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Everything you need to know about the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019

PUBLISHED: 18:36 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:36 18 June 2019

Polly Gibbons who will be one of the headline acts at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019   Photo: Bruce Bizenz

Polly Gibbons who will be one of the headline acts at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019 Photo: Bruce Bizenz

BRUCE BISENZ 323 874-4557

The Ipswich Jazz Festival is enjoying its fourth great year on the Ipswich Waterfront. There's a warm-up gig this weekend and we take a look at what the 2019 festival has to offer

The Brass Funkeys one of the headline acts in the 2019 Ipswich Jazz Festival   Photo:ALEJANDRO TAMAGNOThe Brass Funkeys one of the headline acts in the 2019 Ipswich Jazz Festival Photo:ALEJANDRO TAMAGNO

Ipswich Jazz Festival is back for it's fourth year later this month and will be offering a taster for what's to come with a series of performances on Ipswich Cornhill this Saturday.

From 10am there will be three bands playing - The Scott Cameron Quartet, PHD and the Luke Brueck Seeley Trio, as well as some yet to be announced guest performers.

The bands are all local jazz musicians and include some young up-and-coming players. People can sit in a deckchair and enjoy the vibe.

The festival itself runs from June 21-23 and this year features an expanded line-up with workshops for amateur singers and musicians, film, art shows and a lecture adding to the three day packed series of concerts.

Suffolk jazz star Chris Ingham will be drawing the crowds at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019Suffolk jazz star Chris Ingham will be drawing the crowds at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019

Some of the concerts are free - for example, gigs at the Arbor House and Halberd Inn and also the family jazz show on Saturday June 22 and a Brazilian jazz concert on Sunday June 23.

Festival Director Neil Bateman said: "2019 marks 100 years since the first tour of the UK by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, which is believed the first time jazz arrived on these shores, so its fitting thatthe recently launched Ipswich Jazz Festival continues to go from strength to strength.

"We've got a great line up of events - even more than last year with tickets at just £15 for our gigs because of a grant by Arts Council England. And thanks to funding by Ipswich Borough Council's Area Committees, some gigs are free and there are concessionary tickets for Ipswich residents who are full time students or who receive certain benefits."

There are gigs by national and international jazz performers, workshops for people who play an instrument or who sing, a lecture, jazz-themed film, pub gigs by local jazz bands, a course for young people, a family jazz show and an art show.

Festival favourite Alan Barnes is no stranger to Suffolk and will be playing his heart out for audiences at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019Festival favourite Alan Barnes is no stranger to Suffolk and will be playing his heart out for audiences at the Ipswich Jazz Festival 2019

The festival kicks off with a party with the Brass Funkeys bring their lively mix of funk, gypsy jazz and marching music on the evening of Friday June 21.

The afternoon of Saturday June 22 sees a free family jazz show with singer Becki Biggins and aimed to be for primary school age children and their families and will feature a performance by Cliff Lane Primary School's orchestra.

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Becki is a much-respected vocalist and songwriter. With writing partner Paul Hardcastle (19, The Wizard) she has had three No.1 US jazz albums and the pair were nominated for a Grammy Award. With tons of energy and an infectious passion for music, Becki takes us on a whirlwind tour of the Blues.

In the evening, the club-style Stars at St Peter's features international singer Polly Gibbons, top saxophonist Alan Barnes and young up-and-coming jazz violinist Ben Holder along with acclaimed trumpet player Neil Yates, supported by the well-regarded Chris Ingham Trio.

There will also be an opening set by the West Suffolk Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Polly Gibbons is a growing presence in the UK Jazz scene. She has already been nominated twice as "Best Jazz Vocalist" by JAZZ FM and the BBC. Her career as a vocalist, composer and live performer is influenced by her love for jazz, blues, soul and R&B. However, Polly is hesitant to define her music as strictly Jazz; her wide repertoire and the ease and style with which she performs it, have led her to appear at a variety of music festivals and venues: from the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London opening for George Benson and Gladys Knight, or for Bozz Scaggs at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Alan Barnes is a prolific international performer, composer, arranger, bandleader and touring soloist. He is best known for his work on clarinet, alto and baritone sax. He has been performing for 35 years and has made over 30 albums as leader and co-leader.

Ben Holder is one of the most gifted and exciting young jazz violinists in the UK. Taught classically from the age of six, he studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire. During his classical studies, Ben began listening to jazz - classic masters such as Benny Goodman and Oscar Peterson and of course the great jazz violinists including Grappelli, Joe Venuti and the awe inspiring Stuff Smith.

Neil Yates is a renowned trumpet player, composer, arranger and educator. Now resident in North Wales, he spent the formative years of his career in London, as a jazz trumpeter with the BBC Big Band and John Dankworth Orchestra, and working on the London session scene where he recorded with top pop artists including Supergrass, Robbie Williams and Alison Moyet.

The Chris Ingham Trio are one of the UK's leading rhythm sections. Described by Art Themen as "like being driven around in a Rolls Royce", the group which consists of pianist Chris Ingham, bassist Arnie Somogyi and drummer George Double are regulars at Ronnie Scott's club and have received high praise in both the national and specialist jazz press.

On Sunday June 23, during the afternoon, there's a free Brazilian jazz concert by Samba Azul followed by an evening gig by dark jazz trio Mammal Hands who have been hard at work touring internationally.

There are also free jazz gigs at local pubs - Andi Hopgood and Jim Watson at the Arbor House, Bigger than Home at The Grand Old Duke of York and Ruby Red and the Bakelites at The Halberd Inn.

Throughout the weekend, there are music workshops for instrument players and singers, a black and white music photography workshop, a music course for young people at Northgate Arts Centre on the theme of Miles Davis' ground breaking album "Kind of Blue" as well as a lecture at Ipswich Institute on the same theme - this year is the fiftieth anniversary of that LP. As well as all that, Ipswich Film Theatre will show Cold War, a film about jazz and love in the Soviet era and there's jazz themed art exhibitions at Subterranean Arts and Ipswich Town Hall.

Full details, including how to buy tickets (most are just £15 with concessions at £1) are on the festival website www.ipswichjazzfestival.org.uk

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