Promoted by the local Black Mountain Jazz community-club, the festival has grown from a humble start using a home made marquee in a pub car park to an established event making best use of key venues in the town.
The 2016 festival format worked well and will be the basis for this year’s event. The festival dinner on the Thursday night will again be at the Angel Hotel and this year it features the Moscow Drug Club. A popular start which is already 85% sold out.
The popular 75-seat Melville Theatre will welcome top acts from home and abroad. Friday night starts with an exciting programme involving some of the UK’s top jazz musicians with a focus on the importance 1917 has had to the jazz genres of music.
Saturday at the Melville sees an exciting programme that includes Africa Entsha – the exciting a cappella group from South Africa, that reached a global audience when it appeared at the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony.
Other Saturday acts include top jazz vocalist Ian Shaw, the ever exciting Gilad Atzmon and the fabulous Shez Raja Collection – who will be joined by UK top trombonist Dennis Rollins. Space only allows a mention of some of the many acts appearing.
Sunday at the festival moves to the town’s Market Hall for the afternoon’s free-access Jazz Alley, with the Budapest Ragtime Band as one of the headline acts. The festival closes in the evening, still at the Market Hall, with a repeat of last year’s successful Boogie Party and a welcome return of the much-in-demand Red Stripe Band.
2016 was a milestone in the wall2wall journey – we had a festival ‘package’ that worked well and we felt comfortable with it. However, whilst it answered many questions, it also raised a key one when considering 2017 and future years – which was about ‘reaching a wider audience’.
We have looked at the possibilities offered by live streaming. We were particularly taken with the scenario of retaining our current limited-capacity venues but being able to reach a much wider ‘live’ audience – both home and abroad.
So, this year’s festival will be live streamed – will it be successful – watch this space!