Jazz festival organisers celebrate ‘wonderful’ return of musical event

Claire Hirst on saxophone. Picture: IAN BUZER

Claire Hirst on saxophone. Picture: IAN BUZER - Credit: Ian Buzer

Hundreds turned out for the Ipswich Jazz Festival’s three day event, which hosted both national names and local artists.

Back to Basie orchestra, with sax player Alex Garnett. Picture: IAN BUZER

Back to Basie orchestra, with sax player Alex Garnett. Picture: IAN BUZER - Credit: Ian Buzer

The festival, which was held at venues across the town, included live music, art shows, dance, film screenings and workshops.

Organiser Neil Bateman said: “We had a great turnout, with truly wonderful performances. The performers of the three main gigs received standing ovations from the audience.

“The workshops were well received too – and we had positive feedback all round. We are extremely grateful for all the support we’ve had from local businesses, organisations and individuals.

“The festival is a great community venture and we have already started to plan for the next one.”

John Ethridge and Vimala. Picture: JOHN ETHRIDGE

John Ethridge and Vimala. Picture: JOHN ETHRIDGE - Credit: John Ethridge

Many of the events were free – and the not-for-profit venture kept paid-for ticket prices as low as possible.

The event was once again sponsored by Kerseys Solicitors, along with Ipswich Borough Council, Arts Council England, Ipswich Town and Waterfront and ColourPlan Print.

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Anthony Wooding, managing partner of Kerseys, said: “I went along to some of the shows and had a great time. This is a wonderful community event and we were delighted to be involved in it a second time.”

Claude Deppa and the Clare Hirst Band opened the festival at the Manor Ballroom.

Claude Deppa on trumpet. Picture: IAN BUZER

Claude Deppa on trumpet. Picture: IAN BUZER - Credit: Ian Buzer

It was followed by ‘Stars at St Peter’s’, including music from John Etheridge, Vimala Rowe, Art Themen, The Chris Ingham Trio and the South Suffolk Youth Jazz Ensemble at St Peter’s by the Waterfront.

The festival closed with London based Back to Basie – voted best British Big Band at the British Jazz Awards six times.

Workshops were held in lindy hop dancing, music photography and various types of jazz.

Film screenings included Finding Fela!, by Oscar-winning documentary maker Alex Gibney, and a remastered version of 1940s musical Stormy Weather.

Georgie Porgie’s Wine and Jazz Bar by Jenny George

Georgie Porgies Wine and Jazz Bar by Jenny George - Credit: Jenny George

Subterranean Arts hosted two exhibitions, at 21 St Peters Street and the Town Hall, to showcase responses to jazz and memorabilia from private jazz collections.

Local artist Jenny George, who displayed her Georgie Porgie’s Wine and Jazz Bar painting, said: “The scene I wanted to create was one of theatrical energy, with colourful, musical vibrancy.”