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Swansea International Jazz Festival is back with another line-up of legendary performers and familiar favourites at venues across Swansea from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th June 2022.

The festival’s artistic director Dave Cottle reveals some of the things to look forward to at this year’s Swansea International Jazz Festival below…

1. Alan Barnes & Bruce Adams

The concert programme opens with Bruce Adams (trumpet) and Alan Barnes (saxophone), both award winning and highly respected musicians on the UK jazz scene, playing with the Swansea Jazz Club Trio at Swansea Jazz Club at the Garage Music Venue in Uplands.

With a repertoire from the classic years of bop and an emphasis on accessibility and good humour, they will open this year’s Swansea International Jazz Festival on Thursday evening with a conviction that jazz should swing.

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2. The Simon Spillett Big Band
plays the music of Tubby Hayes

Bursting onto the UK jazz scene in 2020, the Simon Spillett Big Band is a genuine all-star jazz orchestra that unites some of the most accomplished soloists to celebrate the musical genius of the late, great saxophonist Tubby Hayes.

Utilising a repertoire of Hayes’ own arrangements, many of which were never issued on record, the Simon Spillett Big Band has already proved hugely popular. Hear their great sound for yourself, they’ll be playing the second ticketed concert at the Dylan Thomas Theatre on Friday evening.

“All the ingredients for an excellent jazz evening…” London Jazz News

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3. Karen Sharp Quartet

Well known and admired for her melodic, full-toned saxophone playing, award-winning Karen Sharp will be live on stage at the Dylan Thomas Theatre on Saturday afternoon with her quartet featuring Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown – a band that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary.

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4. James Taylor Quartet

The James Taylor Quartet have set the standard for the coolest sounds in funky acid jazz for over 30 years, led by James on the Hammond organ. On dozens of mighty albums and at their legendary gigs at home and around the world, they have quietly become a byword for distinguished British creativity. You’ll not want to miss them play the festival stage on Saturday evening.

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5. The Louis and Ella Music Show

In The Louis and Ella Music Show, Sarah Meek and Dave Cottle recreate the great songs of the swing era on Sunday afternoon, with authentic arrangements of songs Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald recorded together and individually.

Sarah Meek brings a new youthful energy to jazz with her powerful and versatile delivery alongside one of Wales’ most experienced and versatile professional musicians, Dave Cottle, who combines his many talents playing trumpet and piano (at the same time!) and singing in this hugely entertaining show.

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6. Some Kinda Wonderful – the music of Stevie Wonder

The festival rounds off on Sunday evening with Some Kinda Wonderful, a band created by and featuring Jools Holland’s sax player Derek Nash, and with Noel McCalla’s soaring vocals, they will have you on your feet dancing to the great songs of Stevie Wonder.

Playing hit after hit, from the dance floor classics ‘I Wish’ and ‘Superstition’ to beautiful arrangements of ‘My Cherie Amour’ and ‘Over-joyed’, the set also includes huge hit compositions by Stevie for other artists.

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7. Copper Jack Jazz Cruises

Hop aboard the Copper Jack for a cruise up the River Tawe listening to the cool sound of live jazz. The festival organisers have teamed up with Swansea Community Boat Trust to offer this unique experience to festivalgoers on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Join Ellie Jones and Gary Phillips for a selection of bossas, ballads and swing from the 1930s to 1960s on Saturday or Suzanna Warren and Jeremy Young on Sunday for an ‘Afternoon in Paris’ with guitar, vocals and clarinet producing the music of forties swing from the Hot Club of France.

  • Saturday 25th, 2pm – Ellie Jones & Gary Phillips – £12
  • Sunday 26th, 2pm – Afternoon in Paris Duo – £12

Advance booking essential directly with the Copper Jack. Call 07785 347549 or email events@scbt.org.uk.

8. A packed stroller programme

If that’s not enough jazz to keep you entertained over the festival weekend, the Swansea International Jazz Festival also features a packed stroller programme of free gigs at participating venues in the city’s maritime quarter, check out the full line-up here.

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