Cheltenham Jazz Festival returns after Covid cancellations

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Image source, Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Image caption,

The festival will end on the 2 May

A Jazz festival that was cancelled twice due to the pandemic has returned to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival organisers and musicians said they were happy to see the event back as it has a “special place in their hearts”.

This year’s festival, which began on 27 April, will also include a performance commemorating the BBC’s 100th anniversary.

Local artist Chloe Gorman said it “means the world” to play at the event.

She added that it was “amazing” to perform on the same bill as “legends” such as Gregory Porter and Robert Plant.

Image source, Phil Stevens

Image caption,

Organisers said they are excited for people to see the international line up including artists such as Jamie Cullum (left) and Gregory Porter (right)

Composer and conductor Guy Barker has put together a special piece looking at the evolution of Jazz to mark the festival’s anniversary and return.

70 musicians will play the piece alongside the BBC Orchestra to also celebrate the BBC’s 100th anniversary.

Mr Barker said he has been attached to the festival for a long time.

“It’s got a special place in my heart,” he said.

“It was very weird not doing the festival last year and the year before. It felt like something big was missing in my life.”

Cheltenham Jazz Festival head of programming David Gaydon said he started organising the event back in 2020 before the pandemic, “only to have it whipped away”.

“I went down to the site on Friday. I actually felt a bit sick and I don’t know if it’s nerves or excitement,” he said.

“It’s just so good to be back.

“We have some big major international artists. There’s also some really good new bands playing.”

Image source, Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Image caption,

Organisers said they are relieved the event has been able to return

Artists on the line up include Corinne Bailey Rae, Nubya Garcia, Jamie Cullum and Gabrielle.

The festival ends on 2 May.

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