Preview: Ilkley Jazz Festival

The fifth Ilkley Jazz Festival is the biggest yet, with a specially-commissioned composition from Jamil Sheriff and a wide-ranging programme of concerts

This year’s Ilkley Jazz Festival, which runs from Wednesday 15 August to Sunday 19 August, is the fifth since the event started as a day of jazz at Ilkley’s Summer Festival. The day of jazz was itself initiated by a performance vocalist Beverley Beirne (pictured right) gave at the summer festival in 2011. Beirne (who is profiled in the July 2018 issue of Jazz Journal) has gone on to become the festival’s artistic director, overseeing the festival’s expansion over succeeding years.

This year the festival has programmed 30 events, 13 more than last year. The events take place at numerous venues, large and small, across Ilkley. Major concerts are ticketed, but many events are free and some ticketed events combine music with dining.

Both of this year’s headline acts will perform in the Winter Gardens. Singer Anita Wardell appears on Friday evening. She has recently moved back to Australia so this will be one of her few performances in the UK this year. Jazz harpist Alina Bzhezhinska (pictured below left by John Watson) makes her first visit to Yorkshire to play at the festival. Performers at the music and dining events include vocalists Esther Bennet, Zoe Gilby and Kate Peters: other performers include the Paul Edis Octet, Sam Watts, the Paradise Trio and Swing Manouche.

To celebrate its fifth anniversary the festival has commissioned jazz composer Jamil Sheriff to write a piece based on Ilkley and the surrounding landscape. The result, The Ilkley Suite, will make its debut at the Winter Gardens on 18 August this year, immediately before Bzhezhinska’s concert. Sheriff will also give a free masterclass on Sunday morning at the Black Hat.

The full programme is as follows:

Wednesday 15 August
5.30pm - Ilkley Cinema: Sam Watts, solo performance and film - £11
6.00pm - The Gin Lounge: Julie Edwards Duo - Free
7.00pm - Monkmans James Birkett Duo + Meal
7.00pm - Quinta: Nikki Allen Duo + Meal
8.00pm - Martinez: Dave Smith Duo - £5

Thursday 16
6.30pm - The Black Hat: Zoe Gilby Quartet + Meal
7.00pm - Monkmans: Esther Bennet duo + Meal
7.00pm - Quinta: Kate Peters Duo + Meal
8.00pm - Friends of ham: Nik Svarc Trio - Free
9.00pm - Friends of ham: Beverley Beirne and Nik Svarc Trio – Director’s jam - Free

Friday 17
4.00pm - Ticket Office: Backchat Brass - Free
6.00pm - Monkmans: Rod Mason Duo + Meal
6.30pm - The Winter Gardens: Ronnie Bottomley Trio - Free
8.00pm - The Winter Gardens: Anita Wardell Quartet - £18

Saturday 18
10.00am - The Winter Gardens: Jazz Workshop - Free
1.00pm - The Winter Gardens: The Paradise Trio - £6
2.30pm - The Winter Gardens: Paul Edis Octet - £6
4.00pm - The Winter Gardens: Perpetual Motion Machine - £6
5.30pm - Ticket Office: Bare Brass Band - Free
7.00pm - The Winter Gardens: The Ilkley Suite - £6
8.30pm - The Winter Gardens: Alina Bzhezhinska - £15
Throughout the Winter Gardens: Darren Dunston Bromley - Free
11.00pm - The Black Hat: Jazz Jam - Free

Sunday 19
10.00am - The Black Hat: Jamil Sheriff Masterclass - Free
12.30pm - The Black Hat: Matt Holborn - Free
12.30pm – Broadley’s: James Mainwaring + Meal
1.00pm - Bandstand: Steph Atkinson 2 Rivers 4tet - Free
2.00pm - Bandstand: The Dales Jam - Free
3.00pm - The Black Hat: Swing Manouche - Free
4.00pm - The Ticket Office: Sontuno - Free

Weekend tickets including all events in the Winter Gardens are £50 and Saturday tickets are £35. Tickets from Ilkley visitor information centre - 01943 602319.

For more information, please go to the Ilkley Jazz Festival website.

Bruce Lindsay

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