Returning for the 5th consecutive year, Wales’ biggest annual jazz festival is sure to offer some ‘cool’ rhythms this summer. Festival creative director Dave Cottle, who also programmes the weekly Jazz at Swansea Jazzland every Wednesday, says “We are putting together a strong and diverse programme for 2018.
From 14 – 17 June, the city will host over 50 events in and around the Maritime Quarter, in 16 venues, including the Dylan Thomas Centre and Dylan Thomas Theatre.
The ticketed concert programme includes Swansea born and world-renowned bass guitarist Laurence Cottle with his All-star Big Band presenting – Soul Vaccination: Celebrating 50 years of Soul & Funk. The band features the cream of UK’s Session and Jazz musicians and just debuted the gig to a packed house at Ronnie Scotts Club in London. Another renowned UK Big Band leader is Pete Long, whose Band will recreate the music of the Benny Goodman Big Band live at Carnegie Hall. UK Jazz divas Tina May & Lee Gibson will also present the Sophisticated Ladies show featuring the music of all the great Lady Jazz singers, with guest trumpeter Bruce Adams.
But it’s not just UK jazz ‘cats’ that will be ‘swinging’ into Swansea this summer – flying in from the USA is the 12 piece Louis Prima Jr. and the Witnesses, who will be recreating the great music of his father and the Jump Jive era. Guitar virtuoso Daniel Marques and his trio will also be flying from across the continent, this time from Rio de Janeiro, to present Daniel’s compositions and arrangements based on the repertoire of his albums and Brazilian classics.
We will also play host to Trumpeter Jim Rotondi and his Italian Quartet; Jim is a major figure in the world of jazz for over 30 years, both in New York and on the international scene. His sound, soul, and sense of swing have been in demand as leader and sideman all over the world.
Closing the 2018 Festival is veteran saxophonist and former James Brown band member and arranger Pee Wee Ellis with his Funk Assembly Band featuring Dennis Rollins (trombone) and Lizzie Deane (vocals).
In addition to the ticketed performances, the Swansea International Jazz Festival will also bring a host of workshops, fringe events and jam sessions across the weekend. Whether you’re an expert on the vibraphone or have never played a viola, there are workshops to suit all tastes and abilities. And don’t forget the free jam sessions too – listen to the headline artists jamming with local jazz stars, or why not sit in yourself and play alongside the best in the business!
Supported by Arts Council of Wales and Swansea Council, for the fifth consecutive year the Festival sponsor is Swansea Headquartered Prescott Jones Insurance Solutions.
Prescott Jones Insurance Solutions Managing director, Ed Prescott, said: “We relish our continued support for an event which we think adds a lot to the Swansea cultural scene.”
Councillor Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, added: “Dave Cottle and his team are doing Swansea proud with their efforts. The festival attracts visitors from away, so it is a great boost to tourism and has increased Swansea’s reputation as a centre for festivals.”
More information is available on the official Swansea International Jazz Festival website, jazzwales.com.