Theatr Brycheiniog is proud to be the home of Jazz in Brecon. The Brecon Jazz Bar tells the story of the Brecon Jazz festival since the first one in 1984. The photographs on display include popular UK favourites Humphrey Littleton and George Melly who played Brecon regularly in its first 25 years. The display also features the performances of world greats Wynton Marsalis and Lionel Hampton and outlines the role of Jed Williams in establishing the festival’s international reputation. The bar hosts the monthly Brecon Jazz Club concerts and gives a flavour of the club.
Brecon Jazz Futures continues the festival’s reputation for discovering the stars of tomorrow. A young Jamie Cullem played the 20th Anniversary Brecon Jazz Festival in 2003 and Amy Winehouse in 2004. Brecon Jazz futures provides a fantastic opportunity for jazz audiences to have a first glimpse of the great talent that is emerging from our topmusic colleges from across the UK.
Brecon Jazz Futures 2016, which has been made possible by a grant from the Brecon Beacons National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund, presents an exciting blend of the emerging bands from London, Manchester, Cardiff and Edinburgh. These bands have already played in venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Vortex, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Bridgwater Hall and the Cockpit Theatre. They have also played the Jazz Festivals of Manchester, Lancaster, Marsden and others in Europe. For line-up see www.breconjazzfutures.com .
Dennis Rollins & Velocity together with Nerija will headline and mentor Brecon Jazz Futures. Dennis is highly respected and a great Brecon Jazz favourite having first played Brecon Jazz in 2002 with Badbone & Co, he launched Velocity in 2011 and their latest album Symbiosis has been very well received. The Guardian review headline described an “infectiously accessible playful jazz trio”.
Nerija recently nominated for Jazz FM’s Breakthrough Act of the Year 2016, are an all female collective of up and coming musicians playing exciting and original music. Together they have toured across Europe and the UK, supported top jazz musicians such as Jazz Jamaica at Ronnie Scotts and played UK festivals including the Manchester Jazz and EFG London Jazz Festivals. Jazz 4 Jed are sponsoring these two concerts in memory of Jed Williams
Kizzy Crawford’s ambition as a black Welsh artist is to make her mark by fusing bilingual soul-folk jazz and she’s already getting recognition for her work with airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru as well as live TV performances on S4C, Children in Need for BBC 1 and the 6 Nations advert campaign. Kizzy won the ‘Brwydr Y Bandiau’ at the National Eisteddfod 2013.
She kicks off Brecon Jazz Futures on Friday night and on both Saturday and Sunday the performances start at 11am and then continue through-out both days in the Studio and the Auditorium. There will be free music in the Brecon Jazz Bar and outside on the canal terrace. The colourful entertainment will include street theatre, music and face painting. On the Saturday the Brecon Frazz Parade will start from outside the theatre at 2.30pm and the day will end with a Jazz Jam from half past midnight until 3.00am.
On Sunday the programme at the theatre will also feature the ever-popular local band Wonderbrass and Brecon Jazz stalwarts, the weekend will conclude with a Futures Fiesta in the Studio.
The website www.breconjazzfutures.com shows what you need to know, and provides links to some stunning sounds to help you choose your tickets, all at £7-50 except for the headline Dennis Rollins/Nerija concerts on the Saturday night, at £15, Kizzy Crawford at £10 and the Futures Fiesta on the Sunday night at £5.