Brecon is set for a whirlwind of performances this year -with an all-encompassing line-up you are set to see some of the biggest names in jazz as well as a parade of up-and-comers. With the fringe beginning on Thursday 10th-Sunday 13th August and the Jazz Weekend taking place on the 11th-13th, its going to be the best yet!!!
Concerts will be held at the major venues in the town of Brecon– Theatr Brycheiniog, Wellington Hotel, Brecon Cathedral, Brecon Guildhall, Castle Hotel and The Muse. From cosy gigs to big bands, from an emerging artists showcase to late-night jam sessions, there really is something for all jazz fans.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday will see lots of activity around the town, music in the streets, stalls… In addition, Brecon Fringe Festival will ensure there is music for every taste in scores of different venues across the town.
Friday afternoon kicks off with aworkshop for all creative jazz session, an adventure in playing and composition for learners and practitioners alike (using special techniques, participants don’t need to read music). ‘instant Jazz’ Workshop with Rod Paton of LifeMusic (Friday 11 August at the Muse from 2-4pm £10).
Weekend & Day tickets also available.
Also on Friday “Strings go Swing” Ben Creighton-Griffiths and Heulwen Thomas – uptempo Jazz Harp & Jazz Violin swing duo 4.15pm – 5.30pm @ Ty Helyg Guesthouse (was the Lansdowne Hotel, Watton), only £5. Pay on the door or book at venue.
Friday (8pm) at Brecon Jazz will see the grand opening at the Castle Hotel, with the ‘Slice of Jazz’ Festival Big Band which will include dancers ‘Hoppin Mad’ and vocals from Elaina Hoss. The price also includes a hot buffet meal (at 7.15pm). More info here.
SATURDAY AT BRECON JAZZ – CONCERTS
This year sees national and local heroes of jazz with a sprinkle of international visiting or resident talent, Atsuko joins us with her Festival-special trio, of Italian Paolo Adamo on drums and Brazilian Matheus Prado on double bass. They have invited Bristol wonder-saxophonist Kevin Figes from across the Bridge to join them, adding alto to the mix, and also with a guest appearance by jazz French Horn player Rod Paton, a musician of many languages. This is a Brecon Jazz Festival concert special. Atsuko Shimada Trio with Kevin Figes and Rod Paton at the Guildhall on Saturday (3.15pm).
Also on Saturday (12 noon £8) , guitarist Gerard Cousins will be performing his Miles Davis Tribute with a special quintet convened for the event. Gerard Cousins Project plays ‘In a Silent Way’.
Saturday evening at 7.30pm Guildhall is our headline, DARIUS BRUBECK QUARTET, £18. Tickets here.
SUNDAYSunday at Brecon Jazz
has two evening headlines as well as two ‘Jazz in the afternoon’ concerts to help everyone relax and have a wonderful weekend, with lovely food available throughout at the Muse Arts venue :‘Annette Gregory and Friends’ is vocals and piano-based at the Brecon Muse (from 2pm) with John McDonald on keyboards and Matheus Prado on double bass. Young musician and guests include Rachel Head, Norman Willmore and Zach Breskal (saxes, drums).
Ashley John Long, Glen Manby and Friends is vibes and sax-based at the Brecon Muse (from 3.15 pm) with Pete Komor on double bass. Rod Paton on French Horn will join the lineup for some special ‘guest’ numbers.
You need to go to both! – a day ticket is the best value
SUNDAY EVENING at BRECON JAZZ – AMAZING CONCERTS 5.30 & 8pm
Hannah Vivian-Bryne Trio on Sunday at 5.30pm is a great Festival treat and not to be missed. A true Welsh talent and already acclaimed jazz star, vocalist Hannah brings her wonderful lineup of Ayo Vincent on piano and Linus Fenton on double bass to create a totally unforgettable evening of beautiful classic jazz. Be there to say you discovered Hannah Vivian-Byrne at Brecon Jazz this year!
Nigel Price / Ross Stanley the Guitar and Hammond organ duo, with young star Matt Griffiths drums, need little introduction to jazz audiences, for their storming sets of great rhythmic driving sounds. This is the concert to close the weekend and to round off in one event all those fabulous sounds of Brecon Jazz 2017. Sunday evening (8pm) at the Wellington Hotel (upstairs suite) book here £14 –
a fantastic concert to celebrate the 34th year of Brecon Jazz Festival, and to look forward to 2018! See programme for full details HERE.
Brecon Fringe Festival
The Brecon Fringe Festival hosts events place all over the town of Brecon, organised by local landlords, venue owners and individuals. The majority of events are free, with others asking for a very small fee. There are 30+ venues again in 2017 with live music and other events taking place all over town and in nearby villages. The Fringe offers a range of musical tastes from local artists and those from further afield. Acts this year include Ragsy- a previous contestant of the popular tv programme ‘The Voice’, and many Welsh bands to enjoy. See a full line up of events here.
Thurs 10th at the Clarence and Sun 13th at the Wellington Hotel-Ragsy
Taking inspiration from his own life experiences and finding catharsis in pouring his emotions into song, Ragsy’s heartfelt lyrics perfectly align with his raw, classic rock-inspired vocals. Crafted over a two-year period following his time on BBC’s The Voice in 2013, mentored by Sir Tom Jones; ‘Ouch!!!’ is a record of the highs and lows, where Ragsy’s distinctive voice tells an honest and impassioned tale of life’s unpredictability.
Fri 11th-Dream Team at The Gremlin
All the way from Durban in South Africa, Dream Team are a Zulu hip hop outfit. They play The Gremlin with a four piece band in advance of their show at Theatr Brycheiniog on Saturday August 12 at 8.30pm. (The theatre show is ticketted £15)
Sat 12th-Brecon Frazz Parade
The theme is Alys In Wonderland. There will be a parade as part of the Brecon Jazz and Fringe Weekend. It is a chance to dress up and celebrate and everyone is welcome to join in. The theme this year is Alys In Wonderland. Similar to the early years of the Brecon Jazz Festival, this year’s parade is a collaboration between local community groups, venues and individuals, and is a chance for everyone to get involved. There are free workshops running up to the event. or you can prepare your own for a group, club or business you are part of. If you can’t get to any of these simply show up wearing your brightest clothes to help fill the town with noise, colour and fun. This is definitely a case of ‘the more the merrier’ so spread the word! (STARTS AT BRECON CATHEDRAL MEET AT 1PM, STARTS AT 2PM AND ENDS AT THEATR BRYCHEINIOG). All welcome, under 12s must be accompanied by an adult. For more information call 07791 654779 or email email@example.com.
…AND SO MUCH MORE! Click here for the full lineup of bands!
There will be an extra long Farmers Market for August coinciding with both the Brecon Jazz and Fringe Festivals.
Getting here: Whether you’re travelling by bus, train or car, here are some tips on getting to Brecon.
By Train and Bus: Via Paddington/South Wales line for train. www.traveline-cymru.info
For bus use the TrawsCymru T4 http://www.trawscymru.info
By road: SAT NAV LD3 7EW (Theatr Brycheiniog)
M4 – coming from the East, enter via the A449 to Raglan picking up the A40 or via the A470 at Cardiff
M4 – from the West, enter via A4067
M5 – enter via the M50 to Monmouth and join the A40
Parking: Cambrain Way, Brecon, LD3 7HR £5 per day, 10am to late
We hope you enjoy!