FESTIVAL NEWS: Ilkley Jazz Festival 16th-21st August 2016

Highlights of this year's festival


Tina May – Sings Piaf

Multi award winning vocalist, Tina May, brings to life the music and song of France’s most beloved entertainer, national icon and musical legend. A gifted lyricist, consummate vocalist and sparkling entertainer, Tina May’s astonishing vocal ability and hypnotic stage presence has won her worldwide acclaim. See her masterfully capture the magic of Piaf with classics in the Winter Gardens.

QCBA Quartet – Beauty in Quiet Places

QCBA is a hard bop jazz quartet fronted by trumpeter Quentin Collins and tenor saxophonist Brandon Allen. They are joined by Jim Watson on Hammond and Enzo Zirilli on drums. ‘Beauty in quiet places’ consists of original material written by Collins and Allen that provides a fresh take on the hard bop formula, mixing in some Latin flavours with blues, soul, swing and deep grooves along the way. The album also takes you from a samba-infused roller coaster ride all the way to a softer, more reflective side.

Beverley Beirne – Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun

Beverley returns to Ilkley Jazz Festival with her London based band for a pre-release preview of her forthcoming album ‘Jazz Just Wants To Have Fun’. Sometimes jazz, that great American art form that tends to take itself way too seriously, just wants to kick off its shoes and have a good time. And now, it can, thanks to Beverley Beirne singing with an honest and heartfelt, deep-soul sensuality and scatting with abandon in places that would do Ella proud, she swings both lightning fast and seductively slow on clever and stylish re-imaginings of perfectly chosen 80s hits.

Graeme Wilson Quartet

Tenor Saxophonist Graeme Wilson brings Paul Edis (piano) Andy Champion (bass) and Adam Sinclair (drums) from Newcastle to play Idiosyncratic original tunes, with unusual time signatures, from a band of close-knit players with an enthusiasm for folk and rock ballads, free jazz and the dancefloor.

Gary Potter – Solo

Gary Potter is regarded as one of the greatest jazz and country guitarists in the world. His playing is melodic, lyrical and imaginative. He is influenced by players such as Django Reinhardt – Gary featured in the Channel 4 film The Django Legacy – and Charlie Parker, yet his approach to playing jazz guitar, both acoustic and amplified, is sufficiently original to give him an identity that is all his own.

Nicola Farnon

We start the festival, whilst enjoying a meal at Monkmans restaurant, with the multi-talented Nicola both singing and playing bass who is delightfully original, warm and witty in performance. Nicola is supported by pianist Andy Chorleton.

Firebird Quartet

The band consists of Ian Chalk on trumpet, Martin Longhawn on piano, John Marley on bass and Tim Carter on drums. The Firebird play contemporary jazz, funky grooves and their own modern take on standards. The set includes original material as well as music by artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter, at the Craiglands Hotel.

Emma Fisk

It is a great pleasure to have Emma Fisk and James Birkett back at the festival this year. They will be performing work from Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang in the intimate surroundings of Monkmans Resturant with a mix of their showpiece numbers such as Raggin’ the Scale, Black and Blue Bottom and 1920s standards as performed by Joe’s chamber jazz ensembles.

Matt Holborn Quartet

The Matt Holborn Quartet are an exciting young gypsy jazz band based in London. Playing a mix of gypsy swing, jazz standards, bebop and world music, the quartet’s main aim is to keep this style of jazz fresh, new and exciting whilst paying homage to the traditions of the music in the Black Hat.

Also look out for the Late Night Jazz Jam hosted by Beverley Beirne where professionals and amateurs will be letting their hair down!

Full listing

  • Tuesday 16th August – Nicola Farnon – Monkmans 7.30pm – £TBA inc. meal – Bookings on 01943 817485
  • Thursday 18th August – Firebird quartet – Craiglands 7.30pm – Free
  • Friday 19th August – Emma Frisk – Monkmans 6.30pm – £TBA inc. meal – Bookings on 01943 817485
  • Friday 19th August – Tina May – Winter Gardens 7.45pm – £18 – Bookings on 01943 602 319 or in person at the VIC
  • Saturday 20th August – Jazz Workshop – Christchurch 11am – Free
  • Saturday 20th August – Garry Potter – Christchurch 2pm – £5 (or £30 day ticket) Bookings on www.ilkleyjazzfest.blogspot.com
  • Saturday 20th August – Graeme Wilson 4tet – Christchurch 3.30pm – £5 (or £30)
  • Saturday 20th August – Beverley Beirne – Christchurch 6pm – £12.50 (or £30)
  • Saturday 20th August – QCBA 4tet – Christchurch 8pm – £15 (or £30 day ticket)
  • Saturday 20th August – Late Night Jazz Jam – Black Hat 11pm – Free
  • Sunday 21st August – QCBA masterclass – Black Hat 10am – Free
  • Sunday 21st August – Matt Holborn 4tet – Black Hat 12.15pm – Free


Tickets are available from:

  • For Monkmans Events – call 01943 817485
  • For Tina May – 01943 602 319 or in Person at the Ilkley Visitor Information Centre
  • For Saturday day tickets here on the ticketing page http://ilkleyjazzfest.blogspot.couk/ or at the Grove Bookshop Ilkley (Music)
  • Saturday individual performance tickets have not been released at yet, but will be available in July
  • For Jazz Workshop, Masterclass and Late Night Jam Session please email ilkleyjazz@gmail.com to book a free place

Further information from the festival website


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