Preview: Scarborough Jazz Festival

Scarborough Jazz Festival announces first names for 2018, including Alan Barnes, Dave Newton, Gareth Lockrane, Nerija, Nigel Price and Vimala Rowe

Scarborough Jazz Festival, winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Award for best jazz venue 2017, has announced the first names for this year’s festival, 28 to 30 September.

Two UK big bands - the Gareth Lockrane Big Band and the Stan Sulzmann Neon Orchestra - lead the way. They are joined by two acts from the European mainland: Leila Martial from France and the Woody Black 4 (pictured right), a clarinet quartet from Vienna.

Two tribute concerts have also been announced. Jo Harrop will sing the songs of Peggy Lee, with Tony Kofi on sax. Vimala Rowe will sing a programme of songs from Billie Holliday, accompanied by guitarist John Etheridge. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Vimala sang Strange Fruit at our festival in 2016” said festival director Mike Gordon. Andchuck, a young, modern and experimental Manchester-based jazz quartet which was selected for the Jazz North Introduces scheme, is also on the bill.

“We’ve already booked some incredible performers,” said Gordon. “As always we are trying to achieve balance and variety, and above all superb musicianship… I’m particularly excited by the quality of the combos: the Alan Barnes Octet, Parliamentary Jazz Award Newcomer of the Year winners 2017 Nerija (pictured left), the Matt Ridley Quartet, the Nigel Price Organ Trio, the Terry Seabrook Quintet (Celebrating Wayne Shorter) and the seven-piece Atlantic Crossover”.

Pianist David Newton and reeds player Alan Barnes will celebrate 40 years of playing together. Barnes will again be the festival compère and it will all take place in Scarborough Spa’s Grand Hall.

There are a few acts still to be announced and there will be a programme of fringe events too.

Acts already confirmed for the 2018 festival are:

Alan Barnes Octet
Dave Newton & Alan Barnes
Gareth Lockrane Big Band
Fever: Jo Harrop Sings Peggy Lee, with special guest Tony Kofi
Leila Martial
Matt Ridley Quartet
Nigel Price Organ Trio + 1
Stan Sulzmann’s Neon Orchestra
Terry Seabrook Quintet
Atlantic Crossover
Vimala Rowe Sings Billie Holliday with John Etheridge
Woody Black 4

Earlybird weekend tickets are now on sale priced at £90 (until 30 June). For further details and to buy tickets please go to the Scarborough Jazz Festival website or call 01723 821888.

Addendum: On 18 April, Scarborough announced the addition of Henry Lowther and Ben Crosland to the festival's 2018 programme.

Bruce Lindsay

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