Brecon Jazz 2014 is the 30th anniversary year of the world-famous festival, and in tribute, the Wales-based operator Orchard has produced a programme featuring the top musical talent of today. Recent Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter, and BRIT Award nominee Laura Mvula join stellar names such as Burt Bacharach and Jean Toussaint, along with big Jazz names such as Loose Tubes, and Warren Vaché that hark back to the origins of the festival (August 7-10 tickets from February 28: breconjazz.com). 28 Feb 2014
Brecon Jazz 30th Anniversary celebrates talent of today and doffs cap to the past
This summer’s special celebratory festival adds another venue, the Captain’s Walk, that is synonymous with Brecon’s heyday, and this summer it will be jumping to the sounds of Beats & Pieces, and Dennis Rollins’ Velocity Trio, amongst others. The Brecon line-up also includes a tribute to Stan Tracey, who died late last year, Gipsy Jazz legend Fapy Lafertin, Trad Jazz favourite Chris Barber, Don Weller and David Newton, and major contemporary names Polar Bear, Kairos 4Tet, and Troyka.
Pablo Janczur, director of Orchard who recently won the Live UK Regional Promoter of the Year Award, said: "We’ve been building momentum to the 30th year since we took over in 2012, and so it’s exciting to be able to announce some very big international artists, a ‘new’ venue that was a longtime festival favourite, and hopefully give Brecon’s wide and diverse Jazz audience a great sense of anticipation for what lies ahead in August."
Following in the stellar footsteps of Dionne Warwick in 2012, one of the true greats of 20th century popular music Burt Bacharach will take to the stage of the town’s Market Hall to lead the audience through the catalogue of his renowned compositions that have formed the soundtrack to so many lives over the past 60 years, and inspired Jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and Stan Getz.
The singer–songwriter, composer, record producer and pianist is a six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, beloved for classic hits such as The Look of Love; Anyone Who Had a Heart; Alfie; Walk on By; Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head; and Make it Easy on Yourself amongst his 73 Top 40 hits in the US and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK for the likes of Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, Bobbie Gentry, Jackie DeShannon, and Tom Jones.
There are returns for artists such as trumpeter Warren Vaché, who appears in mid Wales in August with Alan Barnes, and renowned local band Mike Harries and the Root Doctors who both played at the first ever Brecon Jazz in 1984. Loose Tubes reunite for their own 30th anniversary this year after a hiatus of some 24 years. Under multi-instrumentalist and composer Django Bates, the 21-strong big band played the Brecon festival in 1985, and will feature familiar names such as Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Julian Argüelles, Martin France, Chris Batchelor, Eddie Parker and Ashley Slater for their appearance in Brecon.
This is what Django had to say about Brecon’s heritage: "As Loose Tubes took to the stage in the open square as the finale to the second Brecon Jazz Festival in 1985, the Bishop began speaking to the crowd. He had a lot to say so we quietly introduced a gospel vamp beneath his words, inspiring new heights of exhortation. We built up the intensity together until he was overwhelmed and the gig took off. Walking around Brecon last year brought equally strong memories of wild times with Dudu Pukwana, seeing Garbarek for the first time, marveling at Jed Williams' never-ending supply of Dobell's Jazz record shop bags, and of formative performances with contemporaries such as Arguelles, Ballamy and Loose Tubes, to an always refreshingly responsive audience. The invitation to bring Loose Tubes back, 29 years on, is a tribute to the ethos behind Brecon Festival which from the very beginning has been unpretentious, stylistically broad-minded, genuinely friendly, and welcoming to all."
Brecon Jazz 2014 tickets are available from February 28 on www.breconjazz.com