17th/18th/19th AUGUST

Every year we think that we have organised the best festival yet but 2018 seems to have topped the lot according to comments received so far!
The cream of the cream in terms of the best musicians on the jazz scene were there and whether they played with their own bands or were part of a band formed by Graham or were part of the Keith Nichols Orchestras they played their hearts out and made their sessions something special.

Friday night started as it continued throughout the weekend and we often heard the comments – we can’t see everything we want to see as there is too much fantastic jazz on at the same time. What a problem to have!

We pride ourselves on the diverse mix of styles and music that we offer as well as giving the opportunity to bands and artistes who are not so well known to perform among well known names. They all mix in the bar area and chat away until the small hours which is certainly a unique situation. The festival is loved as much for this by the musicians as it is the general festival attendees. They too like the opportunity to sit and chat to the musicians and exchange stories.

Despite increasing the size of the marquee venue we still do not reach capacity which is great (although we are not that far away) and the new location for the Vale Piano Room was a hit all round. The musicians remarked upon the acoustics saying how great they were and the pianos hired from Vale Pianos were again much appreciated. Thank you to Vale Pianos for their support and help with the supply and the tuning during the course of the weekend.
We would like to thank all who visited and enjoyed the weekend, the musicians who entertained us, the volunteer stewards who gave their time and Kate & Andy Fletcher who as usual went above and beyond the call of duty to help us. A massive thank you from all the committee.
Keep a look out for news about 2019 festival…………………….

Comments received

As always so many thanks are due to all the team who ensure that the Pershore Jazz Festival remains the best there is. There is such a variety of music so every taste is catered for. The good weather made strolling around the venues very pleasant, and the Vale Piano Room was excellent now it has moved to a central location. Now looking forward to 2019

Another wonderful Pershore Jazz Festival. Congratulations to you and all the team who work around you. We thoroughly enjoyed it again and so did all the people we spoke to. We learned a bit more about jazz and wouldn’t have missed the early morning talks for anything. Both were excellent

We would love the thank the Pershore Jazz Festival 2018 team for a fantastic festival. The Vale Piano Room in the reception area was excellent. Couldn’t listen to all the bands we wanted to; there was so much choice. We look forward to next year

I have to mail and tell you what a great jazz day I had yesterday. It’s only the fourth year that I have been to your Jazz Festival but yesterday was brilliant. I went to all the venues, but I spent a lot of time in the Vale Bar, and the music was wonderful, talented players, great atmosphere. Loved my day, thank you for putting the whole thing together. I look forward to next year….

Could I please ask you to pass on our thanks to ALL the stewards and helpers who did such a great job over the weekend. My wife was on crutches after a knee operation and had to use her own chair – nothing was too much trouble and we were looked after splendidly everywhere we went….. though the jazz festival itself was as usual excellent, their help made such a difference to us. THANK YOU ALL

I wanted to say thank you for a lovely weekend – it just gets better – I don’t know how you do it! Please would you thank all your colleagues – you work very hard over a long period to make it all happen so well. The Vitality Five group was amazing. Hope we may hear them again. I look forward to 2019, but in the meantime, you all deserve a good rest. 

Just a quick note to say thank you to all the committee for giving us such a wonderful festival. We, along with I am sure very many others ,really enjoyed ourselves very much indeed

A HUGE thank you to you all for a fantastic festival again this year and all your mammoth efforts organising this magnificent event. We had a wonderful time and feel truly blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy the craftsmanship of so many talented performers all in one place. Pershore is our favourite festival! The whole atmosphere of the festival was brilliant. We are already looking forward to next year!













FROM THE NORTH & SOUTH – M5 Motorway Junction 7 exit onto B4084 towards Pershore
Enter Pershore and continue through the town centre until you reach the River Avon bridge
Continue up the hill following jazz signs which are at the bottom of the hill
The College Campus you will find on the right hand side of the road
Following signage for car parking, camping and caravanning, college reception, college B&B rooms and ticket office



Bands and artists who appeared over the weekend:

click on highlighted names to view their websites

As always festival favourites plus new bands and artistes will be appearing to complete our aim of providing wall to wall music and all genres of jazz throughout the weekend

Click on The Jazz Guide to find details of all the latest national news and events

Friday evening sessions:
KEITH NICHOLS ORCHESTRA – THE PARAMOUNT BROADCASTERS – as always Keith will work his magic and arrange sessions using the musicians that are booked at the festival.

IAN BATEMAN JAZZBAND – A TRIBUTE TO KENNY BALL & HIS JAZZMEN – Kenny Ball was a big influence & part of Ian’s career. When Kenny’s son announced in September 2017 that he would no longer be running the band Ian offered to continue the music in the form of a tribute show. All band members have experience of playing with the original band and the show will be based on the golden years of the band in the 1960’s and their chart hits.

JEREMY HUGGETT’S SWING PLATOON – A 10 piece big band performing all the Swing & Jump Jive Classics

JOHN HALLAM & ALEX CLARKE – an accomplished and popular reed player John will perform in various sessions as well as leading his own new band The Blue Three. With John for this opening night will be the talented Alex Clarke

Saturday all day:
SUNSET CAFE STOMPERS – traditional jazz in the New Orleans style

“THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY” – a talk presented by Chris Walker who has for over 30 years presented a weekly jazz
programme broadcast by radio stations all over the world


ENRICO TOMASSO – much acclaimed trumpeter and several times winner of the British Jazz Awards. Expect to see Enrico’s talented daughter Analucia on vocals too!

NICK WARD’S JELLY ROLL QUARTET – John Maddocks – Keith Nichols – Tom “Spats” Langham & Nick Ward – all members of this band are steeped in the musical styles of early jazz & music from the south side of Chicago in the 1920’s

– Now based in London multi-instrumentalist Michael is making his debut appearance and will appear with Vitality Five, his own 7/8 piece band and other guest sessions

– a salute to Trad jazz recreating hit tunes from the 1950’s & 60’s

KIM CYPHER QUINTET – an exciting and versatile saxophonist, vocalist and composer with her own distinct style Kim fronts her quintet of talented musicians. Lee Jones – Rory McInroy – Tom Clarke-Hill & Mike Cypher

JEFF & ANNE BARNHART (USA) – Internationally renowned entertainers

JEFF BARNHART’S SWEET & HOT – Jeff Barnhart USA – Anne Barnhart USA – Tom “Spats” Langham & Graham Smith
This band teams up talent from USA & UK

AMY ROBERTS – Amy will be joined by well known and popular musicians for her ‘New’ Amy Roberts Quartet

VITALITY FIVE – featuring internationally renowned musicians from three corners of the globe they are some of the most authentic and specialist performers of 1920’s hot jazz & stomps London has to offer.

WENDY KIRKLAND  QUARTET – PIANO DIVAS celebrate singer pianists such as Diana Krall, Elaine Elias, Shirley Horn, Nina Simone, Blossom Dearie and more.  “Mellow and Stylish” Clive Davis – The Sunday Times  “proper jazz piano & excellent band” – Dave Gelly – The Observer  

OLD HAT JAZZ BAND – a combination of the finest musical talent from London and the sounds of the 20’s & 30’s delivered
with originality and love for the music 

EMMA FISK – talented jazz violinist who specialises in hot club/gypsy jazz and classic jazz styles

EMMA FISK’S HOT CLUB DU NORD – this band brings to life the classic 1930’s & 40’s repertoire of Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli’s Hot Club de France with their wealth of knowledge, experience and love of this jazz style

DORINE DE WIT – withdrawn due to personal reasons of a happy nature! This year’s band will be led by John Maddocks, Graham Hughes & Jamie Brownfield

Sunday all day:
CLARINETS IN JAZZ – session presented by inspiring reed players Michael McQuaid, David Horniblow & John Hallam

RALPH ALLIN QUARTET – unique gypsy jazz genius who gives spellbinding performances of jazz standards & original works

ROY SAINSBURY’S RHYTHM CHIEFS – a six piece band inspired by the swinging music of the Count Basie small groups

BASIN STREET BRAWLERS – one of London’s top hot jazz ensembles playing music from the 1920’s & 30’s

JOHN HALLAM‘S BLUE THREE – launched at the festival in 2017 this band perform music in the style of the original band “The Blue Three” which was created for a recording session in 1981 with members Kenny Davern, Dick Wellstood & Bobby Rosengarden. 

SUNSET CAFE STOMPERS –  Sunset Cafe Five play ‘Jazz Arrives in Britain’ performing tunes from before 1920

CATE CODY – sophisticated jazz vocalist – 1930’s style – with the finest of her chosen musicians

RICHARD EXALL QUARTET PLAYS STAN GETZ – Cool jazz – with top class well known musicians

DAVID HORNIBLOW – an established musician on the London jazz scene & a member of Vitality Five David is the long-time clarinettist for Chris Barber

THE DIME NOTES – a quartet that swings! Four magnificent high quality instrumentalists who gel together to create authentic sounds of the days gone past

SECOND LINE JAZZ BAND – now known as JUKES JAZZ SOCIETY – young – talented – local jazz band to make debut appearance

THE WASHBOARD RESONATORS – a jazz and blues duo from Yorkshire – highly entertaining

JAMIE BROWNFIELD HOT 6 – young talented and an exciting trumpet player and his band

WASHINGTON WHIRLIGIG – since forming in 2012 this band play a mixed repertoire of jazz music all performed with the fire and drive of their idols

GRAHAM SMITH‘S JAZZ ALLSORTS – back on the jazz circuit playing all sorts of jazz for all sorts of people played by a selection of different musicians

KEITH NICHOLS & HIS LEVEE LOUNGERS – top class musicians gathered together for the finale session of the festival

OLD HAT JAZZ BAND – 2nd session

The following musicians will also be included in sessions during the weekend

BRUCE ROLLO – one of the finest traditional jazz and swing bassists – a master of the supremely rhythmic and percussive “slap” style of bass playing.

MARTIN WHEATLEY – Martin possesses outstanding skills with any stringed instrument – he performs with top class bands and specialises in the jazz styles from the 20’s/30’s/40’s

JIM DOUGLAS – best known for his work with Alex Welsh band. Now a member of Jazz Allsorts and part of many other bands.

ANDREW OLIVER – a specialist in early jazz piano and a member of Vitality Five & Dime NotesJ

JOHN MADDOCKS – popular reed player with a style akin to Johnny Dodds

TOM SPATS LANGHAM – “our national treasure” and master of the history, tunes and artistes of classic jazz era he is a born entertainer

MALCOLM SKED – a popular bassist and essential member of many bands he will be at the festival with Keith Nichols Orchestras

NICK BALL – Bristol born vintage drummer with a love for exploring early jazz and ragtime is a member of Vitality Five

GRAHAM HUGHES – another popular addition for the festival and an accomplished trombone player

TOM KINCAID – renowned jazz pianist and versatile composer

DAVE NEWTON – a much admired jazz pianist

TOM CLARKE-HILL – always in demand as an excellent jazz bass player





Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Final

All Day Cafeteria    Licensed Bar with Real Ales & college cider    Ample Parking with disabled areas

Single College Campus B&B En Suite Rooms (Check Availability) Camping/Caravan Pitches & (Accommodation & Pitches

only available with full weekend ticket)

Whilst every effort will be made to ensure the line-up is as advertised the organisers reserve the right to change the programme if necessary

Accommodation Guide