Stars from across the world to grace Jazz Festival

Linley Hamilton
Linley Hamilton

A TRULY international line up of stars will grace this year’s hugely popular Wigan Jazz Festival.

A Russian saxophonist, Dutch big band, Irish multi-instrumentalist, American vocalist and the son of one of the most famous names in the business make for a heady mix of quality talent.

Topping the Bill is Leningrad-born sax ace Igor Butman - ex-US president Clinton’s favourite musician who is also idolised by trumpet legend Wynton Marsalis and has shared a stage with Brubeck, Chick Corea, Pet Metheny and Grover Washington Jnr.

He and his big band are making a rare festival appearance at the Robin Park Arena on Saturday July 18 for the penultimate night of this year’s festival feast of music where his musicians will perform a sensational double-header with the Dutch Swing College Band.

Wigan International Jazz Festival Director Ian Darrington said: “Igor Butman is another coup for the Jazz Festival.

“He is undoubtedly one of the best jazz saxophonists in the world and for many he is the best.

“His playing is an enthralling mixture of innate natural soulful ability and amazing technique. His concert appearances are rare so we’re delighted that he has chosen to come to Wigan this year.”

Now in its 28th year, the Wigan International Jazz Festival has become synonymous with great music and an unrivalled atmosphere. It offers a unique blend of all-star acts, free events and educational workshops and hands-on masterclasses from some of the best in the business.

The full line-up for this year’s festival has now been announced and other highlights include son of a jazz legend Darius Brubeck who brings his trio plus special guest Brandon Allen to the festival on Friday July 12.

One of the UK’s top big bands, London-based, Skelton Skinner All Stars, who perform the music of great American band leader Terry Gibbs, headline on the festival’s final day (Sunday July 14). Northern Ireland’s own horn player Linley Hamilton will be on stage with his sextet on the same day.

Wigan’s own Georgina Jackson comes home to show off her combined talents as one of the finest female lead trumpeters and vocalists around.

Further highlights include appearances from the acclaimed Irish jazz musician David Lyttle, the Skelton Skinner All Star Big Band and the Linley Hamilton Sextet featuring vocalist Dana Masters.

No Wigan International Jazz Festival would be complete without a performance from the world-class Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra and the gang who will be on stage to kick off the festival on Thursday July 11.

Unless otherwise stated, performances will take place at Wigan’s Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre, Loire Drive, and the festival is once again supported by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, Wigan’s Jazz Club and sponsored by Manchester Airport.

WLCT Chief Executive Stuart Murray said: “It promises to be another great year for the Jazz Festival and we are delighted that the team has pulled off a tremendous coup in attracting some of the biggest names in jazz.

“The festival is a must, not just for jazz aficionados but has appeal for all music fans. It is well-established as one of the cultural highlights in our borough and regularly draws crowds from across the North West and beyond.

“We are once again delighted to be supporting the festival in what could be a landmark year.”

For more information about the Wigan International Jazz Festival and for the full line-up visit:<>.

To book tickets click here or call 0843 208 0500.