Dame Cleo Laine is celebrating her 90th year by welcoming the stars and festival guests into her private gardens. Peter Bacon reports.
The breadth of the Dankworth family’s artistic interests is reflected in the wide range of performers who will be appearing at an intimate festival in Wavendon over the summer weekend of 14-16 July 2017.
The stellar line-up of artists in the Dankworth Family Festival ranges from classical guitarists John Williams and Craig Ogden to poet, playwright and Booker Prize winning novelist Ben Okri, taking in soprano Lesley Garrett, clarinet virtuoso Emma Johnson, the Brodsky Quartet, and soul and jazz vocalist Natalie Williams, among others. And, of course, the multiple talents of the Dankworth family members will be an integral part of the programme.
Friday’s opening event is an apéritif and canapé reception with Lesley Garrett and Emma Johnson, accompanied by Andrew West.
A full Saturday programme starts at mid-day with Craig Ogden and Jacqui Dankworth, finishes at 9pm after a performance by Natalie Williams, and includes Ben Okri with Charlie Wood and band, and the Brodsky Quartet.
Sunday’s line-up has Alec Dankworth and the Million Dollar Band at 12 noon, followed by Peter Fisher and the Chamber Ensemble of London, and culminates in a performance by Dame Cleo Laine herself with Friends.
The gardens at The Old Rectory are a show in themselves, and festival goers are encouraged to bring a picnic on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are £45 for Friday, £55 each for Saturday and Sunday, or £130 for the whole weekend. Children are admitted free. All proceeds go to Beds and Northants Multiple Sclerosis Centre, a charity close to the family’s heart.