Final names announced for Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2016

Cheltenham Jazz Festival has confirmed the final line up for its 20th anniversary with British DJ and presenter Jo Whiley to host the ‘BBC Introducing’ showcase and Leo Green’s ‘Sounds of the 50s’ featuring very special guest Imelda May capping off the impressive bill. Taking place across six days from April 27th – May 2nd, the festival will once again deliver a hugely diverse programme that combines established stars with up and coming talent from across the worlds of jazz, blues, pop and soul.
Having already announced Lianne La Havas ‘Live in Concert’ with Jo Whiley on Thursday 28th April, the festival has confirmed that Whiley will also host the return of the ‘BBC Introducing’ showcase. The BBC Introducing showcase, this year in partnership with BBC Radio 2, will provide a platform to flaunt the most exciting and creative UK jazz talent and performances will be recorded for broadcast on Whiley’s show in May.  Whiley will also DJ with Trevor Nelson and Guy Garvey at this year’s Ultimate House Party in association with Nespresso (for Cheltenham Festivals members only). Another notable addition to the final line-up is talented Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May, who will bring Leo Green’s hit BBC Radio 2 series ‘Sounds of The 50s’ to life. The concert will feature an array of guest vocalists performing renditions of 50s classics from the likes of Elvis, Buddy Holly, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino and many others, presented by Green and accompanied by a big band.
Jo Whiley:

"I’m really excited to be returning to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival this year with BBC Radio 2. As well as presenting a concert from the inimitable Lianne La Havas and hosting the BBC Introducing Showcase, I’ll be soaking up the incredible atmosphere and enjoying loads of really special music."
In what is arguably its most star-studded line-up to date, this year’s festival will also feature performances from iconic fusion saxophonist David Sanborn, the queen of UK soul Beverley Knight, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, popular UK soulstress Corinne Bailey Rae, the father of Ethio-jazz Mulatu Astatke, boundary-pushing saxophonist Marcus Strickland, acid jazz pioneers The Brand New Heavies, blues legend Taj Mahal, Cuban pianist Omar Sosa with his afro-Cuban Quartet, and a closing night concert from the festival’s Artistic Curator Jamie Cullum, showcasing songs that have defined his career over the last decade.
Full line-up available here:
The 2016 Cheltenham Jazz Festival takes place from April 27th – May 2nd and is hosted in a tented festival village in Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens, featuring a Big Top stage, the Jazz Arena, the Free Stage and a new Family Tent featuring workshops, performances and sing-alongs and a food and drink area. The festival will continue to use nearby venues the Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham Town Hall, Hotel Du Vin and Subtone.
New this year is ‘…around town’ which builds on the popular Fringe Festival of previous years. ‘…around town’ will bring an eclectic mix of over 80 free gigs from local and international performers and buskers in the town centre for the entire festival weekend, including pop-up gigs and performances at Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter and the Street Stage.

For more information on the Fringe programme "..around town":
Tickets are available now from or 01242 850 270

Photo: Imelda May cr Barry McCall