Jools Holland back at Jazz Festival

Jools Holland

Jools Holland

Iconic rhythm and blues pianist Jools Holland will return to Wigan for another headlining show at one of the borough’s biggest music events.

The musician and TV presenter of the annual Hootenanny on New Year’s Eve and Later With Jools Holland will bring his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra back to the Wigan International Jazz Festival this summer.

The pianist’s previous show in 2014 saw him play to a packed out venue and tickets are once again expected to fly for the 2017 event.

This year’s festival will also launch in spectacular style when top US saxophone player Eric Marienthal, who performed at the 2016 jazz bash, returns as part of the UK debut for the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).

The launch gig takes place on June 26 and is already sold out, with the main festival in Wigan running for four days starting on Thursday, July 6.

Organiser Ian Darrington said: “We’re delighted that Jools Holland and his guests are coming back to Wigan for what promises to be another weekend of top class live entertainment.

“Tickets sold out at incredible speed last time, so I’d encourage fans to book their tickets quickly again for such a popular act.”

The night boasts another star-studded line-up as original Squeeze band drummer Gilson Lavis will join Jools and the orchestra as a special guest and vocalists Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall and Beth Rowley will all perform.

The other gigs for the festival are yet to be confirmed but the organisers have already decided to branch out into the big city to get the show on the road in June.

Top US musician Marienthal will be back in the UK after appearing alongside Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra in 2016, bringing his ensemble of superstar jazz musicians across the pond for the first time for an exclusive one-off gig.

The festival is being put together by Wigan Jazz Club and Inspiring healthy lifestyles in partnership with Wigan Council and is once again sponsored by Manchester Airport.

Coun Paul Kenny, portfolio holder for leisure, client and resources at the town hall, said: “To welcome back a world-renowned act like Jools Holland is a real indication of the calibre of entertainment being attracted to the borough.”

Tickets for the Jools Holland gig are on sale now from £35.50, with VIP packages including a four course meal and drinks available for £81.50. Call 01942 828508.