Jazz, man, at Robin Park Arena

Echoes of Ellington
Echoes of Ellington
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Music celebrating some of the world’s greatest jazz artists will be performed in Wigan as one of the region’s most popular festivals returns for its 30th year.

Wigan International Jazz Festival, sponsored by Manchester Airport, takes place at Robin Park Arena from Thursday to Sunday, July 9 to 12.

Festival director Ian Darrington, who has run it from the start, said: “This is a landmark year for the festival as we reach the 30th anniversary.

“I would encourage music lovers to check out the programme and come to watch some fantastic music played on their doorstep.

“In addition to the concerts at Robin Park, we’re planning some free entertainment in the town centre and Mesnes Park so that the festival can reach as many local people as possible.”

This year’s highlights include Leigh’s own Andy Prior in a tribute to Frank Sinatra – who would have reached his 100th birthday this year – and Glenn Miller; bringing classic songs like Come Fly With Me, In the Mood and Fly Me To
The Moon to the stage.

James Pearson teams up with the Skelton Skinner All Star Big Band to recreate Oscar Peterson’s musical intellect and passion; while some of the best jazz musicians in the UK come together to perform Echoes of Ellington, above, featuring classic big band arrangements like Jubilee Stomp, Prelude to a Kiss and Stompin’ at the Savoy.

Other performances include In With a Shout, featuring four of South Africa’s finest musicians, and the Johnstone, Jarvie, Lowrie Trio from Scotland.

The Wigan Jazz Club Reunion Big Band and Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra will also be taking to the stage over the course of the festival.

Coun Paul Kenny, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for Resources, said: “The jazz festival brings a real buzz to the borough and we’re looking forward once again to welcoming artists from around the world to perform here in Wigan.”

Tickets for the festival are now on sale. To find out more visit wlct.org/jazz

Charles Graham