Extra showground date for young stars of jazz

Worcester News: SWING THING: Flashback to last year’s Upton event as Barbara And All That Jazz play. SWING THING: Flashback to last year’s Upton event as Barbara And All That Jazz play.

YOUNG musicians in Worc-estershire are blossoming thanks to a new collaboration between the Three Counties Showground and Upton Jazz Festival.

Showground bosses have teamed up with festival organisers and Boffy Arts Events People – promoters of the festival’s Best Of Young Jazz stage – to stage Jazz Sundays at the Malvern venue.

Talented young musicians from professional and amateur Worcestershire bands wowed the crowds at the RHS Spring Gardening Show and Three Counties Show and plan to take to the stage again at the Malvern Autumn Show in September.

Rosie Roberts, Boffy spokeswoman, said: “It’s a great way for talented youngsters to play live and get noticed. There are some incredible young jazz musicians in Worcestershire – the Best Of Young Jazz stage at Upton Jazz Festival is testament to that. Thanks to the new partnership with Three Counties, they now have a year-round showcase for their talents.”

The Best Of Young Jazz is a festival within this weekend’s Upton International Jazz Festival. Up-and-coming jazz stars under 26, many from Worcestershire, play to crowds of thousands. Last year, it was standing room only in the BoYJ marquee, and jazz fans gave the youngsters standing ovations.

The festival, now in its 27th year, starts on Friday and is sponsored by Malvern’s Morgan Motor Company.

Big band legend Chris Barber headlines and he is joined on the star-studded bill by the likes of US reedsman Dan Block, British Jazz Award winner Alan Barnes, legendary clarinettist Pete Allen and sax siren Karen Sharp.

A free fringe festival runs alongside the main event, there will be riverboat shuffles aboard the MV Conway Castle on the river Severn, dozens of speciality food and drink producers will spring up on Fish Meadow and, on the Saturday, a vintage village green will open for a free family fun day. Two Mardi Gras-style parades will take place on the Saturday and Sunday and a gospel church service is also planned.

Organisers are predicting a sunny outlook. They say the expected 15,000 music fans will get sunshine with only a few scattered showers.

Marquees have started going up and chairman Peter Surnam said: “In spite of the recent downpours, Fish Meadow is in remarkably good shape with just a few damp patches. The forecasters are optimistic the worst of the rain is behind us, and so things should improve even further.”

Tickets cost from £30 from uptonjazz.co.uk or on 01684 593254.

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