Jazz Festival events in Marlborough on Saturday kick off at noon with events simultaneously at no fewer than 18 venues ranging from the huge Priory Marquee in the town gardens to impromptu bandstands in the pubs and clubs and even at the town's fire station, writes NIGEL KERTON.
Although the festival reaches its culmination with Sunday’s closing show by award-winning jazz superstar Clare Teal, its busiest day is on Saturday when the town centre will be closed to through traffic and in place of the cars, buses and trucks that normally fill the High Street there will be stroller ticket holders wandering from venue to venue.
Festival favourites the Red Stripe Band (Castle and Ball car park), Richie Bryant All Stars (Castle and Ball lounge), Sticky Wicket (Priory Marquee) and Bob Bowles Band (Royal Oak) will be among the opening acts.
From then on there will be frenetic activity as the stroller ticket holders dip in and out of the 60-plus events taking place across the town.
The festival’s volunteer stewards will control entry at each venue to make sure there is no overcrowding and there are likely to be queues waiting to get in to see Red Stripe, Sticky Wicket and some other favourite acts.
Festival director Nick Fogg, who has a reputation for spotting emerging stars, said one act not to be missed will be AJ Brown and his Signature Showband (Priory Marquee 6-8pm).
Clare Teal said of this MIJF newcomer: “AJ Brown is a shiny new star – great voice, great guy – catch him while you can!”
The New Road Bandstand below St Mary’s Church yard will be providing non-stop music right through the day for everyone to stop and appreciate…no tickets required. Featured here will be Kennet Vale Brass from 12.15pm; Thundering Herd, 1.45pm; Ramsbury Silver Band, 3.15pm; Wiltshire Youth Jazz Orchestra, 4.45pm; Big Brunch 6.15pm; Nathan Jones, 7.45pm and closing with Mick Allport’s new Marlborough Big Band, 9.15pm.
Events on Sunday begin at 10am with the traditional Jazz Sunday Festival in St Mary’s Church featuring Marlborough Community Choir, Gilmore n’ Jaz, local duo Kerry and Tom McKenna and the Jazzports.
The Priory Marquee will open at 2pm on Sunday for the festival headliner Clare Teal with her Mini Big Band of top musicians.