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Swansea International Jazz Festival returns this summer

Swansea International Jazz Festival is back with a line-up packed with legendary performers and familiar favourites.

Swansea Council has once again joined forces with Swansea Jazz Club to present this year’s Swansea International Jazz Festival, which will be held at venues across Swansea from Thursday 15 to Monday 19 June 2023.

The concert programme opens with Hoop, a world-class seven-piece band reminiscent of the funk and rock fusion jazz era, playing at the Garage Music Venue in Uplands.

The Maritime Quarter’s Dylan Thomas Theatre is the setting for the festival’s further five ticketed concerts, starting with the Laurence Cottle All-Star Big Band playing some of the great tunes from the early days of big band through to Buddy Rich, Bob Brookmeyer, and Jaco Pastorius.

Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, said: “We are delighted to be presenting Swansea International Jazz Festival, which, thanks to the input from Dave Cottle and Swansea Jazz Club over the years, has now become a popular and regular fixture in the city’s event calendar.

“The festival attracts some of the best musicians from the UK jazz scene playing a range of styles across the jazz music genre, which I’m sure will attract not only a local audience but also jazz lovers from further afield.”

Completing the line-up of ticketed gigs are Daniel John Martin’s Gypsy Jazz Quartet, bringing a touch of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and original jazz manocuhe of the highest calibre; The Coalminers, a brilliant 7-piece band with the rhythm and soul of New Orleans; and Iain MacKenzie, one of the UK’s most in-demand jazz and big band singers who is currently principal male vocalist for Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.

The festival’s concert series hosted at the Dylan Thomas Theatre ends with HHH and Mo Pleasure, who will present a thrilling night of the horn-heavy sounds of Chaka Khan, Earth Wind and Fire, and Average White Band to name a few.

Sir Karl Jenkins, Patron of Swansea International Jazz Festival, said: “The festival has been building up year on year since the inaugural event in 2014, presenting a packed programme of great music at venues in and around the city’s Maritime Quarter.

“I’m very much looking forward to June and an exciting weekend of cool jazz. I hope that Swansea International Jazz Festival continues to delight audiences in the future – please support and enjoy this great weekend of live music!”

This year’s festival sees the addition of a new musical workshop, supported by Swansea Music and the National Music Service of Wales, for young jazz instrumentalists in the city with the opportunity to perform in a live concert with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama’s Big Band.

Plus, Swansea¬†Y3 schoolchildren who have been using the pBuzz to make music during the year will take part in a special BuzzAlong Bonanza concert at the Brangwyn Hall, a wonderful finale to the year’s Swansea International Jazz Festival.

If that’s not enough jazz to keep your toes tapping, Swansea International Jazz Festival also features a stroller programme packed with smaller gigs at bars and pubs in the Maritime Quarter and surrounding area during the weekend.

Swansea International Jazz Festival’s artistic advisor, Dave Cottle, said: “The festival presents an excellent and varied jazz programme again this year. There are great concerts to look forward to and some firm favourites are returning on the stroller programme – Swansea will be buzzing again to the sound of live jazz!”