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The infamous, 21-piece London-based big band Loose Tubes (pictured) return to the stage for the first time in 24 years with their 30th Anniversary Reunion concert that has just been announced as a major highlight of the 2014 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which will run from 30 April to 5 May. Now in its 19th year, and held in association with BBC Radio 2 and sponsored by Jazzwise, the festival is staged in Cheltenham’s Montpelier Gardens in a tented festival village that features the main 1,300 seater Big Top stage, the Jazz Arena that seats 630, a free stage and a food, drink and market area. A strand of emerging and experimental groups will also be presented at the nearby Parabola Arts Centre and Playhouse Theatre. The Loose Tubes reunion is an absolute coup for Cheltenham and will be the band’s first performance since Ronnie Scott’s club in 1990.
A wildly imaginative and richly eclectic ensemble, sometimes described as an ‘agitprop anarcho-syndicate collective’, the band features names such as Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Julian Argüelles, Martin France, Chris Batchelor, Eddie Parker and Ashley Slater and was formed in 1984 out of workshops led by acclaimed bassist and composer Graham Collier. The 30th Reunion concert will be on Saturday 3 May and will include new music commissioned by BBC Radio 3’s Jazz On 3 written by Batchelor, Parker, Bates and one of the group’s founders, Steve Berry. Also just announced for the festival are blues giant Robert Cray; pianist Dan Nicholl’s Mirror with visuals by the New York artist Stephen Byram; saxophonist Paul Dunmall following on from his recent 60th birthday tour dates and DJ Gilles Peterson who will play a special late night club event including a live band. Check February edition of Jazzwise (out on 20 Jan) for further artists and events to be announced.
It has also been confirmed that Loose Tubes will play Ronnie Scott’s Club for a week from 5 to 10 May, directly after their comeback premiere at Cheltenham Jazz Festival.
– Jon Newey
For more information and ticket details go to www.cheltenhamfestivals.com