We're delighted to reveal the line-up for the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival 2015. Running from Thursday, March 5 to Sunday, March 8 with a programme of over 40 concerts, workshops and jam sessions, this year's festival is set to be our best yet!
On Friday March 6, hundreds of revellers will don their dancing shoes for The Big Band Swing Dance. Following the incredible success of last year’s Big Swing Dance, the 17-piece Bruce/Ilett Big Band and Ray Gelato & The Giants will transport Colston Hall back to an era when swing reigned supreme for an evening of jiving, lindy-hopping and jitterbugging.
On Saturday, March 7 the Big Buzzard Boogie Band along with vocalist Lillian Boutte and a HUGE chorus will raise Colston Hall’s roof with Cartoon Jazz! From the The Jungle Book to Frozen, Mary Poppins to Toy Story; Cartoon Jazz will feature songs from the greatest family movies of all time as you’ve never heard them before.
Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival patron, ECM recording artist and Bristol resident Andy Sheppard is one of Europe’s foremost saxophonists. On Saturday afternoon, he’ll be joined by guitarist Eivind Aarset, the Norwegian master of electronica soundscape, French double bass virtuoso Michel Benita and maverick Italian percussionist Michele Rabbia for the UK premier of his new ECM album due for release in spring 2015.
On Sunday, Colston Hall will be transported across the Atlantic for a very special day of events. The New Orleans Takeover will pay tribute to the spiritual home of jazz and blues with three specially curated concerts.
Louis Armstrong played Colston Hall over 50 years ago and in 2015 his music will make a long-awaited return to the venue for The Louis Armstrong Story. For this unmissable show, The Louis Armstrong Museum has given us exclusive access to some of Satchmo’s original big band compositions which haven’t been played since 1947.
Featuring a 17-piece band comprised of Bristol’s finest musicians, guest vocalists and soloists from New Orleans along with The Wire’s Clarke Peters reading from Armstrong’s personal letters and autobiography, this unique tribute will celebrate the great Satchmo as the single most important influence in jazz history.
In the second of our New Orleans Takeover concerts, the legendary Pee Wee Ellis, who was part of James Brown's original horn section, and Fun Lovin' Criminals frontman Huey Morgan will inject some funk into the festival! Backed by Ellis’s own Funk Assembly - featuring a stellar line-up which includes Tony Remy, Gareth Williams, Laurence Cottle and Mark Mondesir - this is certain to be one of this year’s highlights.
And finally, closing the festival on Sunday night, we’re absolutely thrilled to welcome the legendary Dr.John back to Bristol for the first time in over a decade! Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival will finish with a bang as the six-time Grammy Award winning ‘Nite Tripper’ brings his unique blend of bluesy rhythms, funk and voodoo flair all the way from New Orleans.
And that’s just for starters! There’s also a fantastic line-up of artists in The Lantern with European gypsy swing courtesy of Django A La Creole, Mike Sanchez’s inimitable boogie-woogie piano pumping, a powerful blend of New Orleans funk and blues from guitar virtuoso Matt Schofield and a decidedly Bristol blend of trip-hop and jazz from Slowly Rolling Camera to name just a few.
Combine this with a brand new programme of fringe events on Thursday, March 5; a full line-up of free gigs and jam sessions in Colston Hall throughout the festival and a series of music masterclasses with some of the festival’s star performers in The Folk House and the Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival 2015 is shaping up to be our best yet!
For box office enquiries visit www.colstonhall.org or call 0844 887 1500