Preview: Fishguard Jazz and Blues

Dave Jones previews the Fishguard Jazz and Blues Festival, including Gabrielle Ducomble, Sarah Gillespie, the Tango Jazz Quartet and shakuhachist Clive Bell

Aberjazz is pleased to present the 15th Fishguard Jazz and Blues Festival, held at numerous and characterful venues in the scenic West Wales coastal town over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend, from Thursday 23rd to Monday 27th August 2018. Like previous years in some ways, it’s another very eclectic programme, representing a broad spectrum of jazz styles with a sprinkling of blues, folk, and rock.

The programme is predominantly of small and medium-sized bands, but there’s also solo jazz piano from Greg Carley, and solo blues guitar from Jonathan Nicholas. Amongst the many bands we have Victoria Klewin, a Bristol-based musician who sings with Flat Earth featuring Jean-Paul Garde on Hammond organ, and she’s also appearing with a jazz quartet in Peppers, one of the aforementioned venues. There’s also the Blue Haze Quartet, and Taeko Kunishima whose group features Clive Bell on Japanese shakuhachi flute and Dominic Lash on bass. Also at Peppers are Chube, a young acoustic and electronic trio featuring Ben Creighton-Griffiths on electric harp and Aeddan Williams on bass, and there’s also yours truly rounding off Friday night with his new quartet, featuring the extraordinary Ben Waghorn (saxes and flute) and Ashley John Long (bass).

This year there’s also a women in jazz theme, with performances from Gabrielle Ducomble (pictured above right and appearing at Theatr Gwaun with Nicolas Meier on guitar, Karen Street on accordion, Nick Kacal on bass and Saleem Raman on drums) and Debs Hancock, and the aforementioned Victoria Klewin and Taeko Kunishima, to mention just a few. Anglo-American songstress Sarah Gillespie (pictured left) will be joined by Mercury-nominated pianist and composer Kit Downes (a previous performer at Aberjazz), Ruth Goller on bass and Emiliano Caroselli on drums. There’s also an international flavour including the Tango Jazz Quartet from Argentina, Krissy Matthews from Norway and Dutch musician Paulus Schäfer, considered by many to be one of the best manouche-style guitar players in the world.

Guitarist John Verity brings a strong rock tinge to the festival at the unique Ffwrn venue. Verity, perhaps best known for his time in the band Argent from 1973 to 1976, is now touring with his 20th album called Blue To My Soul, a track from which has been featured in the new HBO TV series Sharp Objects.

For more details about this year's Fishguard Jazz and Blues Festival, including the full line-up and ticket sales, please go to the Aberjazz website.

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