Preview: Cheltenham Jazz Festival @ Montpellier Gardens (Cheltenham; 2nd to 7th May 2018)

Cheltenham

Cheltenham Jazz Festival provides a five-day intoxicating mix of both popular music and jazz artists.  This year’s lineup sees a larger number of British performers take the stage, as the baton gets shared across the Atlantic for the younger generation.

London singer-songwriter Zara McFarlane will be adding her modern twist to the genre with compositions that draw on her African-Caribbean heritage. McFarlane’s performances are rich in vulnerability and honesty, on top of a reggae-infused swing beat.

Moses Boyd, a collaborator of McFarlane’s, is a brilliant drummer and producer who is performing for Gilles Peterson. He will be showcasing his album Moses Boyd Exodus, a mix of jazz, afrobeat, and grime. An excitable and frivolous band with Theon Cross on tuba, this will be perfect for energising the crowd as the weekend performances unfold.

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 will be bringing the legacy and power of Nigerian afrobeat to Cheltenham. Seun is the youngest son of Fela Kuti and launches a politically protesting pulse throughout his music. Potently groovy and skilful, this band brings the crowd together with stabbing brass lines and a strong message.

Other artists we’re excited to see on the bill include bands Empirical and Kansas Smitty’s House Band, who bring a New Orleans flavour, as well as the spiritually-attuned saxophonist Kamasi Washington.

Events By These Artists

Date Event name Artist City/Town Venue
27 Jul Naked City Festival Moses Boyd London Beckenham Place Park

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