Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising

Brecon Jazz Festival this year is special – so every year is special for this iconic festival! As last year, the programming and organization is planned by local groups, many of them volunteers. But the energy is tremendous.

Jazz Performance by local artist, Karin Mear

Some highlights of this year’s festival on Fri-Sun 11-13 August are below, but we actually launched the celebration of the ‘Brecon Jazz is 34!’ in June, with a spectacular display of talent and music, at a packed event in the Wellington Hotel. A group of Brecon artists came along to draw and paint their impressions of the music on stage as part of this ‘jazz festivity’. And it was a vibrant series of performances – the rhythms of Cubaña (Los Despacitos), the amazing Festival Trio and swinging Room to Groove – so we have some wonderful artwork arising out of this event, which will be on display in the Guildhall Foyer.

And it was at that event that we were able to announce news about Brecon Jazz 2017, with SPECSAVERS in Brecon not only on board as a team, discussing their involvement, but also with the message we use below – proudly supports Brecon Jazz Festival. At the same time, member organization Friends of Brecon Jazz also kindly provided funds to sponsor our Sunday evening headline (details below).

And so to music: Brecon Jazz Festival 2017 programme has a mix of ticketed and free events, day and weekend deals, with headlines and more informal gigs ‘to choose from: Friday at the Castle with the Festival Big Band, meal, vocals and dancers (7.15pm). On Saturday, there are three concerts, with the evening headline and famous ‘Brubeck’ name sponsored by Specsavers Brecon – Darius Brubeck Quartet with Dave O’Higgins on tenor sax (£18) Guildhall 7.30 pm. A Saturday stroller is only £32 and includes this and two other concerts! On Sunday, start easy at the Muse Arts Centre with a double bill of Annette Gregory & Friends (vocals, piano, saxes) followed by Ashley John Long (vibes), Glen Manby (alto sax) & friends (2 x £8 or £15 both) and guests. Sunday Guildhall at 5.30pm sees stunning Welsh star and trio : Hannah Vivian-Byrne Trio (£10), then a truly storming performance of guitarist/Hammond organ duo Nigel Price/Ross Stanley, with Matt Griffiths on drums, at 8.15pm Wellington Upper Suite (£14) to close the weekend. Or why not buy a Sunday day ticket for £35 (4 concerts) and come to everything! There will be jazz in the streets and stalls to browse. Remember, whatever you are doing on the Festival weekend, you ‘Should’ve gone to Brecon Jazz!’. We’ll see you there.

Lynne Gornall

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