Full Programme announced for 2020 Cheltenham Jazz Festival (5-10 May)

Having made partial announcements earlier, Cheltenham Jazz Festival (5-10 May) is announcing its full programme today. Tickets will go on sale to Members at 10am on Wednesday 26 February and on general sale from 10am on Wednesday 4 March 2020. It is also announced that the new head of programming, taking over from Emily Jones who has moved to Gateshead, is Dave Gaydon. FULL TEXT OF PRESS RELEASE: The Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 returns in May with a broad spectrum of world-class contemporary jazz, blues, soul, R&B and pop. Set against the picturesque backdrop of Cheltenham The Festival Town from May 5-10, this year’s programme once again delivers a balance of core jazz and mainstream offerings from today’s biggest stars, heritage legends and next-generation talent, with an impressive spread of UK exclusives and special commissions in the mix.  

Marc Copland, Joey Baron, Randy Brecker

Coinciding with the Early May Bank Holiday, which moves to Friday (8 May) to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, this year’s festival will host R&B funk legends KC & The Sunshine Band, UK soulstress Beverley Knight and Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band. Blues/folk-inspired co-operative Saving Grace unveil their brand-new project featuring singers Robert Plant and Suzi Dian, multi-instrumentalist, DJ and cultural pioneer Nitin Sawhney will showcase music from his seminal record Beyond Skin alongside repertoire from his 20-album career, while Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winning Booker T Jones returns to the Festival with material from his new album Note By Note. The Festival’s Artistic Curator Gregory Porter opens the 6-day event with a concert at the 2000-seat capacity Henry Westons Big Top and has selected various acts for the ‘Gregory’s Picks’ series: Lizz Wright, Keyon Harrold, Makaya McCraven and Gary Bartz & Maisha, announced last month. The Parabola Arts Centre programme presents a snapshot of the global landscape of jazz today, with this year’s line-up stronger and more diverse than ever. Award-winning trumpeter Laura Jurd presents her latest boundary-pushing project Stepping Back, Jumping In featuring a 14 piece-ensemble, Seb Rochford unveils Pulled By Magnets – a new band exploring Seb’s Anglo-Indian heritage featuring Pete Wareham on saxophone and Neil Charles on bass and Portuguese rock-fuelled outfit The Rite of Trio perform their UK debut as Cheltenham’s pick from the 12 Points Festival European jazz showcase. Anglo-Swiss quintet YDivide celebrate Switzerland’s lively jazz scene, legendary jazz vocalist Norma Winstone teams up with German pianist Pablo Held and there’s a special 50th anniversary concert reinterpreting Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 masterpiece Electric Ladyland led by guitarist, vocalist and arranger Denny Ilett, who has assembled a 16-piece band of leading UK jazz musicians including Laura Jurd, Yazz Ahmed, Iain Bellamy and many more. Elsewhere, a brand-new group fronted by three of contemporary jazz’s leading instrumentalists, saxophonist David Liebman, trumpeter Randy Brecker and pianist Marc Copland bring their quintet to the Everyman Theatre. British singer Liane Carroll pays tribute to the legendary Carole King with a concert at The Daffodil and million-selling US vocalist Stacey Kent will delve into the Great American Songbook with acclaimed saxophonist Jim Tomlinson at the Everyman Theatre. The Festival’s long-standing partnership with BBC Radio 2 continues with special broadcasts throughout the weekend including Squeeze live in concert and a New Orleans-themed Friday Night Is Music Night with Guy Barker’s Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Taste-making DJ and broadcaster Gilles Peterson takes up residence at Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter – a new pop-up venue, where in addition to his own DJ set will showcase some of the acts he’s championing right now on the UK scene: alt singer-songwriter Rosie Lowe, punk jazzers Melt Yourself Down and the genre-bending Nubiyan Twist. Jo Whiley makes an appearance at The Warehouse for Jazz Detox. Also on the bill and representing the UK’s kaleidoscopic jazz scene are SE London collective Steam Down, jazz/hip-hop/soul-influenced vocalist and guitarist Oscar Jerome and 8-piece Afrobeat outfit KOKOROKO. Elsewhere, Ibibio Sound Machine, fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams will explore a tapestry of African and electronic soundworlds and iconic drummer Tony Allen pays homage to the late South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. And set for Cheltenham are some of the most in-demand blues artists currently touring the world: recent Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Keb’ Mo’, US bassist and founding member of blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot Danielle Nicole and harmonica extraordinaire Errol Linton. The Festival offers a range of inspirational opportunities for young people such as the family programme in the Yahama Discovery Space with shows for all ages from babies upwards, the popular ‘Jazz It Up’ showcase on the Free Stage for local schools, and Musicate – a year-round primary school music teaching and appreciation programme. Equally committed to emerging talent, this year’s programme will also feature a double bill showcase from Amahla & Rosie Tee – two artists from last year’s Free Stage who will perform in the Jazz Arena and receive a mentoring session with key industry figures. Students from the jazz course at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire combine with pupils from the Siena Jazz-Accademia Nazionale Del Jazz in Italy for the Birmingham Exchange concert, and once again the …around town programme will oversee 90 free gigs throughout Cheltenham in pubs, clubs, streets and shopping centres. Covering acoustic singer-songwriters to explosive big bands, dancers, artists and street performers, …around town offers a platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their work to agents and promoters. This year also sees the introduction of ‘Jerwood Jazz Encounters’; an 18-month scheme offering intensive support to four artists to develop their knowledge and understanding of showcasing music in unusual spaces and new formats, culminating in the commission of four new works for presentation in 2021. They are Elliot Galvin, Lara Jones, Witch ‘n’ Monk (Heidi Heidelberg and Mauricio Velasierra) and Faye MacCalman. Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 is hosted in a tented festival village in the town centre’s Montpellier Gardens featuring the Henry Westons Big Top stage, Jazz Arena, Free Stage, Yamaha Discovery Space, a programme of family activities and events and a food, drink and market area. The Festival reaches beyond the festival village into Cheltenham bringing jazz to venues throughout the day until late into the night. These include Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre, Hotel du Vin, The Daffodil and a new pop-up venue Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter plus a dozen more clubs and bars and three street stages in the …around town programme supported by Cheltenham BID. Tickets go on sale to Members at 10am on Wednesday 26 February 2020 and on general sale from 10am on Wednesday 4 March 2020. Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2020 Full Listings: Tuesday 5 May Gregory Porter With Special Guest Lizz Wright – Henry Westons Big Top Wednesday 6 May Danielle Nicole – Jazz Arena Liane Carroll: Carroll Sings King – The Daffodil Squeeze – Henry Westons Big Top Thursday 7 May Oscar Jerome – Jazz Arena Emma Smith ft. Jamie Safir – The Daffodil Friday Night Is Music Night – Walkin’ To New Oreleans: The New Orleans Story – Henry Westons Big Top Bebel Gilberto – Everyman Theatre Kansas Smitty’s Takeover- The Daffodil Late Night Jam Sessions- Hotel du Vin Friday 8 May (Bank Holiday) Jazz Babies: Bam! Babies’ Academy Of Music – Yamaha Discovery Space Jazz Exchange: Siena And Birmingham – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Keyon Harrold – Jazz Arena Bamako To Birmingham: Amadou & Mariam And The Blind Boys Of Alabama – Henry Westons Big Top Sam Frankie Fox & Ricardo Rocha – Yamaha Discovery Space Jazz Kids: Alex Woods Trio – Yamaha Discovery Space Neil Charles: Dark Days – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Kansas Smitty’s – Everyman Theatre Makaya McCraven – Jazz Arena Shake Stew – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Booker T. Jones – Henry Westons Big Top Lizz Wright – Everyman Theatre Georgia Cécile – The Daffodil Gilles Peterson Presents: Rosie Lowe – Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter Pulled By Magnets – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Shaun Escoffery – Jazz Arena Saving Grace ft. Robert Plant & Suzi Dian – Henry Westons Big Top Stacey Kent – Everyman Theatre Gilles Peterson Presents: Melt Yourself Down – Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter Leila Martial: Baa Box – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Gilles Peterson DJ Set – Warehouse @ The Bewery Quarter Late Night Jam Sessions – Hotel du Vin Kansas Smitty’s Takeover – The Daffodil Saturday 9 May Jazz Babies With Holly Thomas – Yamaha Discovery Space Laura Jurd: Stepping Back, Jumping In – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Global Folk Adventures With Katie Stevens – Yamaha Discovery Space Showcase: Amahla & Rosie Tee – Jazz Arena Holly Thomas – Hotel du Vin stillefelt – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Hotclub Of Jupiter – Yamaha Discovery Space Double Bill: Judi Jackson & Jalen N’Gonda – Henry Westons Big Top Electric Lady Big Band – Everyman Theatre Yamaha Sessions – Yamaha Discovery Space Nitin Sawhney – Jazz Arena The Rite Of Trio – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Imelda May & Ronnie Scott’s Big Band – Henry Westons Big Top Keb’ Mo’ – Everyman Theatre Myra Melford & Snowy Egret – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Rejoice: Tony Allen Celebrates Hugh Masekela – Jazz Arena Errol Linton – The Daffodil Gilles Peterson Presents: Nubiyan Twist – Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter Emeli Sandé – Henry Westons Big Top Liebman / Brecker / Copland Quintet – Everyman Theatre Mette Rasmussen & Chris Corsano – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Steam Down – Warehouse @ The Brewery Quarter Late Night Jam Sessions – Hotel du Vin Kansas Smitty’s Takeover – The Daffodil Sunday 10 May Yamaha Sessions – Yamaha Discovery Space Norma Winstone & Pablo Held – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure For Kids & Surprise Guest – Jazz Arena Brilliant Brass! – Yamaha Discovery Space Ibibio Sound Machine – Henry Westons Big Top Family Sing With Juliet Kelly – Yamaha Discovery Space Ydivide – Cheltenham Ladies’ College, Parabola Arts Centre Gary Bartz & Maisha – Jazz Arena Yamaha Sessions – Yamaha Discovery Space Beverley Knight – Henry Westons Big Top KOKOROKO – Jazz Arena KC & The Sunshine Band – Henry Westons Big Top

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