With the final line-up now agreed, the Sodbury Jazz Festival organisers are looking forward to a golden weekend at the end of September.
Heading the big names are Acker Bilk, Jacqui Dankworth and Terry Lightfoot. Both Jacqui and Terry have appeared only once in this area over the past five years, so their attendance at the festival is eagerly anticipated by fans.
Acker Bilk, of course, needs no introduction to local or national audiences. Following the amazing success of his composition ‘Stanger on the Shore’ in 1962, he has remained an international star for the past 50 years.
Jacqui Dankworth’s first forays onto the stage were as an actress, working for many years with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Soon the plays turned into musicals and Jacqui was playing leading parts in the West End. But the singing bug had hit, and she left the lights of the West End to focus on her own recording career. Jazz critic Dave Gelly describes her as the ‘perfect exponent of classic ballads’.
Like Acker, Terry Lightfoot is another leading member of the British trad jazz generation that emerged in the late 50s and early 60s. He began playing jazz whilst still at school, and formed the Terry Lightfoot’s Jazzmen in 1955. The band went from strength to strength as part of what became known as the ‘Trad Boom’, having chart success with ‘King Kong’, ‘True Love’ and ‘Tavern In The Town’.
Adding support throughout the three days is a line-up of some of the very best jazz musicians from the South West. In the pubs around town you will be able to hear everything from Trad to Mainstream to Latin and Boogie.
On the Saturday of this year’s Festival there are two jazz tutorials (5) taking place. The first, led by professional harmonica teacher Ben Hewlett, will explain how to use the harmonica in Jazz and Blues. Then, in the afternoon, there’s an opportunity for musicians young and old to bring their instruments and join four professionals for advice on improving their jazz solos.
The Sodbury Jazz Festival takes place from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th September with tickets to the three headline acts available from the Tourist Information Centre. (T.01454 888686). The event is promoted by Sodbury Chamber of Commerce in association with Subsidence Management Ltd and Greenleaf Innovations
In March 2001 Acker was honoured with an MBE for his services to the music industry and in 2005 he was awarded both the BBC Jazz Award for his unique contribution to Jazz in the UK and an Honorary Master of Arts Degree from the University of Bristol. Mr Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band appear in concert at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Friday 28th September. The concerts starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £18.50
Daughter of the legendary, and knighted, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, Jacqui appears at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Saturday 29th September. The concert starts at 8.30pm and tickets cost £16.50
Terry has remained one of Britain’s top jazz attractions and has appeared in clubs and theatres all over the world. In 2000 he received the coveted gold badge of merit from the British Academy of Songwriters for his services to music
Supporting acts throughout the weekend include: John Pearce Quartet , Ruth Hammond, Keith Little Quartet with star guest Colin Dawson(tpt) from Germany, Andy and Jane Christie, The Ambassadors of Jazz, Eric Arthur, Raimundo Fernandez and Indira Roman, Dave Newton, Yann Deplechin, The Rod Kelly Trio, and The Ambling Band.
Jazz Tutorials at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church. Free entry
10.30am -12.30pm Harmonica Open Workshop with Ben Hewlett
2.00pm – 4.00pm Take a Solo
An opportunity for musicians young and old to bring their instrument and join four professionals for advice on improving jazz solos. Paul Buck (Keyboards): Kit Morgan (Guitar): Mark Howell (Bass): Clive Miller (Drums):
Source: Chipping Sodbury Chamber of Commerce