NEWCASTLE JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL – May 28 to May 30

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This May bank holiday, Newcastle-under-Lyme will be celebrating 11 years of its Jazz and Blues Festival.

Over 70 live bands will descend on Newcastle on May 28 to May 30, to take over the town for the bank holiday weekend spectacular where leading acts such as Courtney Pine, Tipitina and Kent Duchaine will perform in an array of the town’s eclectic bars and pubs.

The weekend event aims to be bigger than ever, with the addition of a vinyl record fair, kid’s outdoor activities and face painting, a charity market and fun day, not to mention some of the biggest names Newcastle has seen perform live in its venues.

VIP Record Fairs will present traders from all over the UK. You are able to browse through vinyl and CD’s from prog Rock, Punk Rock and Hip Hop to soul, Jazz, Reggae and Doo Wop. There will be specialist stalls including the famous Beatles Roadshow. The stall is available to the public from 10am to 3pm each day.

As well as outdoor activities and fairground for the children, there will be outdoor entertainment brought to you by the Backyard Music Boys on the Saturday, and Chase Jazzmen on the Sunday.

There is a hand-picked a selection of local, national and even international artists and bands joining forces – and talent – to provide all with the best Jazz and Blues Festival yet.

Courtney Pine, photo by Augustas Didzgalvis
Courtney Pine, photo by Augustas Didzgalvis

Love Jazz? You’re in for a treat… The world famous Courtney Pine will perform an additional show on Wednesday May 25 at the award-winning New Vic Theatre. His latest project strips everything back for the most intimate show of his celebrated career as he takes to the stage playing bass clarinet accompanied only by fellow Mercury nominee and MOBO award-winning Pianist, Zoe Rahman.

In the 80’s Courtney was one of the first black British jazz artists to make a serious mark on thejazz scene. Today, he continues to break new ground with a string of highly acclaimed recordings and prestigious industry awards.

Fancy a change in genre? The ‘On the Fringe’ line-up features some of Staffordshire’s leading musicians covering various sub-genres to please all over the spring bank holiday. Some of the acts include; Stepping Lane, The King Pistols and Matrix Club Matrix.

Some of the 20 venues involved in this year’s event are The Old Brown Jug, Lymestone Vaults, Revolution, Bar Social, The Full Moon, The Blackfriar and Blakeys; some of which are offering free entry over the course of the Jazz and Blues weekend.

Eddie Leligdowicz, BID Chair and McDonalds Franchisee said;

“From swing or funk, bebop to blues, Newcastle under Lyme’s Jazz and Blues Festival never fails to deliver and delight music lovers of all ages and genres – and this year’s event will be no different! Newcastle’s historic market town ambiance and Purple Flag safety status makes it the ideal backdrop for the event. The only regret you might have is if you don’t take some time out during this weekend to come along and indulge in the variety of acts and performances whilst supporting the local community. And don’t forget the added bonus of FREE parking!”

Newcastle-under-Lyme has been accredited the prestigious Purple Flag status by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for its excellent management in the evening.

The newly funded Newcastle-under-Lyme BID (Business Improvement District) is funding the Jazz and Blues event. The key fundamentals of the BID are to promote Newcastle-under-Lyme’s strengths and characteristics as a vibrant, university, market town and build awareness of its retail, leisure and professional service sectors and its College, locally and regionally. Also to develop the distinctive town experience ensuring it is a safe, attractive and appealing experience for visitors. And to boost growth, development and investment of businesses and organisations which complement and build on the strengths of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

For more info on the full programme go to jazzandblues.co.uk