Photography credit: Becky Matthews

#cheltjazzfest Top Tips by Tony Dudley Evans

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We spoke to Tony Dudley Evans, Programme Advisor about Cheltenham’s place on the international jazz scene.

Cheltenham is widely regarded as both the most innovative festival in the UK and a festival that all the major players in USA and Europe want to be part of.

It’s the commitment to supporting young artists, the interest in the European scene and the mix that runs from really edgy ‘out there’ music to more mainstream. Only in Cheltenham could you hear Amok Amor on the same festival programme as Will Young.

We get invitations from countries like Norway, France, Switzerland, Estonia and Austria who want to collaborate on exchanges. New York continues to be probably the major centre in the world with a strong African-American scene (e.g. Markus Strickland last year) and some very interesting stuff emerging from downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. There is so much good music out there that we can only book a small proportion of what we hear.

Tony’s Top Tips

Meshell Ndegeocello brings together all aspects of black music, jazz, soul, gospel and funk.

Last year I loved Logan Richardson’s playing with Christian Scott so I’m excited to have him back with his own group.

The Norwegian connection with Marius Neset’s band and the Trondheim Birmingham Exchange.

The Swiss Schnellertollermeier trio and a solo drum set from Julian Sartorius.

The return of Kit Downes – this year playing the church organ at Dean Close with saxophonist Tom Challenger featuring music from his forthcoming ECM album.