Friday, July 31, 2015

Ilkley Jazz Festival


Ilkley Jazz Festival are preparing to host some fantastic music over a 3 day event to include top jazz stars, workshops, a late night jazz jam, a jazz brunch and a very special song-writing masterclass, starting Friday August 21st with jazz royalty Jacqui Dankworth and pianist Charlie Wood.

After the initial success last year of The Ilkley Summer Festival Jazz day, the decision was made to expand into the first year of a fledgling jazz festival. ‘We’re small, but determined to grow.  Ultimately, it’s all about presenting top quality jazz and there are some amazing artists coming to perform for us.’  Said Mark Beirne-Smith, festival organiser.

This year the Ilkley Jazz Festival offer the chance to see one of the country's most renowned contemporary Jazz singers, Jacqui Dankworth, the festivals headliner who will be appearing at The Kings Hall on Friday 21st August 7.30pm.  A jazz singer and songwriter, Jacqui has become a highly regarded vocalist in the UK. Her concert appearances and her stylistically diverse recordings showcase her virtuosic and effortless mastery of a wide spectrum of genres. Her voice has been described as “multi-faceted” and “incomparable” by The Times.

It’s unsurprising that Jacqui is so eminent in the world of jazz and so talented as she’s been heavily influenced by her parents – highly acclaimed jazz singer, Dame Cleo Laine, and jazz legend, Sir John Dankworth, who sadly passed away five years ago

"I fell in love with this man’s voice as soon as I heard it. He is the essence of soul and blues” – Paloma Faith on listening to Charlie. 

“One of our finest singers, regardless of category” – Clive Davis, Sunday Times, about Jacqui.

On Saturday 22nd we have the Duncan Lamont Songbook.  A unique two-singer offering featuring the work of Duncan Lamont and the great man himself. 


Photos taken this year at Wakefield Jazz, Yorkshire’s premier jazz club.

Duncan has worked with all the greats, often as a featured soloist, Sinatra, Mancini, John Dankworth, Cleo Laine and even Fred Astaire.  As a gifted composer he has also written 100s of songs that have been sung and recorded by the cream of singers, Blossom Dearie, Mark Murphy, Dame Cleo Laine, Norma Winstone, Tina May and  Natalie Cole recorded his song ‘I Told You so.’  This performance presents some of the very best of Duncan’s Songbook where he will be joined by two top jazz singers, popular London jazz singer Esther Bennett, northern jazz singer Beverley Beirne 

London pianist John Crawford and northern musicians, Simon Read on double bass and Matt Parkinson on Drums. The show has already received rave reviews in top London clubs, such as the 606 and Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Street.

Tickets are available from the Ilkley Visitor Information Centre 01943 602 319

Duncan Lamont will also be holding a special one off Song Writing Master Class in the Wildman Studio Ilkley Playhouse from 2 till 4 on Saturday 22nd.   As well as being a master saxophone player and jazz arranger Duncan Lamont is a Grammy nominated song writer, for his work in TV and film music. This event does not require a knowledge of jazz theory as it is relevant to all genres.  A must for budding song-writers or those just wanting to hear the words and tales of a master song-writer! 

Adrian Knowles and Ben Lowman are back with the Jazz Workshop, which was a huge success last year, in the Wildman Studio, Ilkley Playhouse from 4 till 6 pm on Saturday 22nd

This year, we have also introduced a Late Night Jazz Jam from 10.30 till 1am on Saturday at The Grove Restaurant, Ilkley.

The jam will be hosted by Jazz Singer and Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Beverley Beirne. This is your chance to play, with professional musicians, in public or just come and enjoy the party atmosphere of our jam session at the The Grove. Those wanting to play or sing contact, but don’t be shy, this will be a really fun night!

Sunday 23rd there will be a Jazz Brunch with Djangologie who are the North East's premier gypsy jazz style band, playing hard hitting swing in the style of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. This is a free event in The Grove, Ilkley.  This is the final band of the festival so come along and celebrate with us listening to this incredible band.

(The Jazz workshop, Song writing master class are free events but have limited places so please book in advance by emailing  Please also e-mail us if you would like to play or sing at the late night jam, don’t be shy! The jam is also a free event, for both players and audience).






Mob: 07896 277 616
Tel: 01943 601 520