A host of world class musicians will once again descend on the Cotswold town of Cheltenham this May for the return of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The programme will feature the festival's trademark mix of jazz icons and up-and-coming new artists interspersed with unique, one-off performances from established international stars.
Highlights of the 2013 programme include Van Morrison, who will return to Cheltenham to play classic songs from his award-winning back catalogue alongside material from his Blue Note debut Born to Sing: No Plan B; Madeleine Peyroux will introduce her new album The Blue Room, which sees the genre-blending songstress rework landmark musical gems from legendary artists Ray Charles, Buddy Holly and Leonard Cohen; exclusively for the festival, Noisettes - described as "the best live band in Britain" by The Guardian last year - will perform a stripped back session of sleek soulful pop-songs inspired by jazz and blues greats; universally acclaimed singer Gregory Porter is the festival's Artist in Residence and will be performing tracks from both his Grammy-nominated debut Water and latest album Be Good; and shows from stars of tomorrow Laura Mvula and Lianne La Havas will demonstrate why the future of British music is brighter than ever.
BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night will once again broadcast live from the festival and this year will honour the legendary Georgie Fame at 70. Fame will perform with The Guy Barker Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra and will be joined by special guests Alan Price, Zoot Money and Madeline Bell for a truly unique birthday celebration.
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and his superb quintet will present music from Grammy-nominated album Spirit Fiction; seven-time Grammy Award-winning vibraphonist Gary Burton will present his latest group comprised of guitar protégée Julian Lage, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Antonio Sanchez; trumpeter Dave Douglas will be bringing his quintet and guest vocalist Heather Masse to perform material from his album Be Still ; whilst Mike Stern, Dave Weckl and Tom Kennedy will all be on stage together as part of the Mike Stern and Bill Evans Band.
Mercury Music award nominees Roller Trio will feature in a double bill with Polar Bear, and Seb Rochford of Polar Bear will also be appearing with Sons of Kemet, a post-jazz ensemble that features saxist/clarinettist Shabaka Hutchings, tuba virtuoso Oren Marshall and the stunning double-drum team of Tom Skinner and Rochford. The Edition Records Quartet, an exciting new Anglo-Norwegian collaboration that features Dave Stapleton, Neil Yates, Marius Neset and Daniel Herskedal will showcase music from their hotly-tipped debut album, whilst revered composer and band leader Mike Gibbs and his stellar 12-piece ensemble led by keyboardist Hans Koller are also set to entertain the Cheltenham crowds.
Following the huge success of 2012, the Festival will once again take place in Montpellier Gardens in the heart of Cheltenham. The tented festival village will feature a 1300 seat Big Top, which will play host to some of the Festival's biggest names, and the 630 seat Jazz Arena will welcome both established acts and emerging artists. In addition, concerts will also take place in the beautiful Parabola Arts Centre, just minutes from the main festival site. The site in Montpellier Gardens will also be the place to soak up an outstanding festival atmosphere, with free outdoor music, a selection of food and drink stalls, fun family activities and a host of talks and workshops which explore the music industry, it's the perfect place to spend the Bank Holiday weekend.
Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2013 runs from 1-6 May and will take place at Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham.
The full programme is available to view online from today (Monday 11th February). Public booking opens on Monday 4th March.