Festival 2013 in review
The festival certainly lived up to its reputation as the “small festival with the big heart”. The weather was, kind to us again this year making a stroll between venues or around the College gardens a very pleasant experience. Audience arrived from all over Britain and were joined by visitors from the Continent, Australia and the US taking the opportunity to hear more than eighty top professional jazz musicians from the UK, USA and, this year, Hungary. It all made for a friendly, international atmosphere and there were many reunions of both audience and musicians who had not met since the last festival or even longer.
Musically, the mix of old favourites and new faces gave us an eclectic programme with a wide range of jazz genres and styles to suit all tastes. Every performance was a festival highlight but perhaps the Bohem Ragtime Band from Hungary were amongst the most impressive with their very authentic 1920s styling, even to the inclusion of duetting violins in some numbers. A poignant performance by Mellow Baku with her Mellowtone Band brought a lump to many a throat and Val Wiseman with Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen took us on a nostalgic trip to the Movies. Young jazz was well represented by local Droitwich band Blue Monday and the Fresh Dixie Project from the Home Counties, both infecting the audience with their youthful exuberance. Again, there were many favourable comments about the music, the atmosphere and the excellent College facilities combining to make a truly enjoyable jazz weekend.
Photos by Barry Kesterton
Gerald and I would just like to express our sincere thanks to the committee and everyone who contributed to organizing the Festival. We appreciate how much hard work goes on in the planning and organising (you have probably already started on next year’s plans)! We thoroughly enjoyed it all as always – we have been to everyone from the beginning and intend to be there for as many as we can in the future! Thank you all once again – Sincerely, Gerald and Audrey
Dear Graham, Maggie and all the team at Pershore Jazz Festival, Many thanks to you all for my booking at this year’s festival. I had such an enjoyable time! I thought it was a great festival thanks to the intensive work you had all obviously put into it to make it an outstanding success, which it surely was. I certainly hope you got a good feed back from everyone who attended. It was just great meeting up with many people, particularly musicians, I hadn’t seen for years – some I didn’t recognise. I think they call it senior moments, but what fun!It was such a pleasure presenting the “Movies” programme with Digby & Co. All such brilliant musicians and well done to Digby for valiantly overcoming the hip operation and playing so well! It was certainly a formidable line-up with Bruce up there too and again the next day, I was blessed with another formidable line-up! I was delighted to be working with John Hallam once again and Jeff Barnhart who I’ve not worked with before. Together with Bruce Rollo and Nick Millward we certainly got the sparks flying on this session and the positive response from the audience literally took my breath away! It was an abfab gig! All best wishes to everyone, Val Wiseman
Thank you and all the team for the best jazz event of the year!!!!! We were unable to park our motor home on the field as we usually do, so we were at Gt Comberton Golf Club site instead. Luckily some other jazzers were parked alongside us and kindly gave us a lift to the college each day. Your choice of musicians is impeccable; all our favourites combined so many different ways!!! We were really spoilt for choice with so many good bands on at the same time, but as the venues are so close together we could often see one half of each!! Your organisation of the festival was brilliant, and so, thanks again. We will book earlier for next year to make sure we park on the field!!! An event definitely not to be missed!!! Best wishes Win and Bill