BBC to record three gigs at Welwyn Garden City music festival
PUBLISHED: 19:03 28 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:38 28 August 2017
Three concerts at a forthcoming music festival in Welwyn Garden City will be recorded by the BBC.
In a major coup for Herts Jazz Club, BBC Radio 3 will be returning to the Hawthorne Theatre in October.
The national radio station’s Jazz Now programme will record three concerts from the 2017 Herts Jazz Festival, including one for its special Christmas Day edition.
The concerts are Hexagonal with John Donaldson, Alan Barnes’ words and music suite Fish Tales inspired by Grimsby, and Mornington Lockett’s sextet and members of the Purcell School playing the late Bobby Wellins’ Culloden Moor Suite.
BBC executive producer Alyn Shipton said: “We’re delighted to be recording at one of the strongest and most vibrant regional festivals in the UK.
“Across these concerts we will be representing the strong connections between South African jazz and the UK; showcasing one of Britain’s most original instrumentalists, Alan Barnes, bringing a jazz treatment to the North Sea fishing ports as he has previously done with works inspired by Charles Dickens, plus, as part of Jazz Now’s commitment to Youth Jazz, a very significant young jazz orchestra.
“These concerts will be broadcast during our regular Monday programmes in December, culminating in the Culloden Suite on Christmas Day.”
Festival director Clark Tracey said: “We are really pleased that the BBC has chosen to record some of our festival gigs.
“It just demonstrates that we are up there with the best in the country.”
In addition to the three gigs to be recorded on Sunday, October 15, Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band will get the ball rolling on the Friday night.
Saturday night climaxes with The Golden Age of British Big Bands with the Pete Long Orchestra.
Artists appearing throughout the weekend include Jay Phelps, Gary Husband, Art Themen’s ‘New Directions’, Clark Tracey’s Hexad tribute, James Pearson, resident pianist at Ronnie Scott’s, and the St Albans Music School Ensemble.
The festival will have a similar format to previous years which was so popular, with free-of-charge sessions for weekend and day ticket holders in the foyer during the lunch and dinner intervals, and after hours.
The free sessions feature stars from the British jazz scene such as Derek Nash, Leon Greening and Jim Mullen.
Clark Tracey added: “Ticket sales are ahead of all previous festivals, so we are looking forward to welcoming many newcomers as well as regulars to Welwyn Garden City.”
The Herts Jazz Festival is again being supported by Arts Council England, Fazioli and Cambridge Drums.
Weekend, day and gig tickets are on sale at www.hertsjazzfestival.co.uk and from the Hawthorne Theatre box office on 0300 3039 620.
2017 Herts Jazz Festival line-up
• Friday, October 13
8.30pm-11pm: Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band
11pm-12.30am: Foyer: Dave Newton Trio.
• Saturday, October 14
11.30am-12.30pm: Jay Phelps Quartet
1pm-2pm: Clark Tracey’s Tribute to Hexad
2pm-3pm: Foyer: Guitarmageddon
3.15pm-4.30pm: Gary Husband Trio
5pm-6.15pm: New Directions
6.15pm-7.30pm: Foyer: Nikki Iles/Stan Sulzmann Duet
7.45pm-10.15pm: The Golden Age Of British Big Bands
10.30pm-Midnight: Foyer: Mark Edwards Trio.
• Sunday, October 15
11.30am-12.30pm: St Albans Music School Ensemble
2pm-3pm: Foyer: Derek Nash Quartet play Mulligan
3.15pm-4.15pm: Remembering George Shearing
4.45pm-6.15pm: Fish Tales – Alan Barnes Octet
6.15pm-7.30pm Foyer: Leon Greening Trio
7.45pm-10.15pm: Bobby Wellins’ ‘Culloden Moor Suite’ featuring Mornington Lockett.
• For more information about the 2017 Herts Jazz Festival, including full personnel lists, visit the Herts Jazz Festival website.