Brecon Jazz Festival

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Tom Cawley's Curios at Brecon Jazz 2008

The Brecon Jazz Festival is a music festival held annually in Brecon, Wales. Normally staged in early August, it has played host to a range of jazz musicians from across the world.

The first festival was organised by Jed Williams, owner of The Four Bars Inn, in 1984.[1][2] George Melly, who had a house close by, performed.[3]

As well as the main festival, a Brecon Fringe Festival organises alternative acts in pubs, hotels, galleries and cafes in the town.[4]

Adamant Jazz Band on the opening evening of Brecon 2008

Jazz musicians at Brecon[edit]

Jazz musicians who have performed at the Brecon Jazz Festival.[5]

1984 Humphrey Lyttelton, George Melly, Bruce Turner, John Barnes
1985 Jan Garbarek, Slim Gaillard, Stan Tracey, Ken Colyer
1986 Al Grey, Buddy Tate, George Chisholm, Dudu Pukwana
1987 Joe Henderson, Helen Shapiro, Woody Shaw, Pasadena Roof Orchestra
1988 Lee Konitz, Humphrey Lyttelton, Slim Gaillard, Louisiana Red
1989 Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Giuffre, George Melly
1990 Humphrey Lyttelton, Sun Ra, Scott Hamilton (musician)
1991 Gerry Mulligan, Ruby Braff, Joe Pass
1992 Michel Petrucciani, Johnny Griffin, Pat Metheny, Courtney Pine
1993 Lionel Hampton, Stéphane Grappelli, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones, McCoy Tyner
1994 Benny Carter, George Shearing, Slide Hampton, Ray Brown
1995 Cleo Laine, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Barron, McCoy Tyner
1996 Van Morrison, Joshua Redman, Phil Woods, Charles Brown
1997 Milt Jackson, Hank Jones, Courtney Pine, Diana Krall
1998 Branford Marsalis, Van Morrison, Michel Petrucciani, Ahmad Jamal
1999 Ruby Braff, Stan Tracey
2000 Wayne Krantz, Kenny Barron, Scott Hamilton
2001 Van Morrison, Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves
2002 Courtney Pine, Scott Hamilton, McCoy Tyner
2003 Humphrey Lyttelton, George Melly, Richard Galliano
2004 Amy Winehouse, Humphrey Lyttelton, George Melly
2005 Phil Woods, Peter King, Jon Faddis, Marty Grosz
2006 Stan Tracey, Kirk Lightsey, Gwilym Simcock
2007 Catrin Finch, Mulgrew Miller, Joe Lovano, Jools Holland
2008 Joan Armatrading, Cerys Matthews, Courtney Pine
2009 Anouar Brahem, Manu Dibango, Abdullah Ibrahim
2010 Hugh Masekela, Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
2011 Allen Toussaint, Femi Kuti, Monty Alexander, Courtney Pine

(Kind of) Blue Plaque[edit]

In 2009, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the release of the Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue, the festival invited jazz fans to submit nomination for an award, in the form of a Blue plaque to be awarded annually,[6] the first to be bestowed in 2010, honouring the venues which had made the most significant contribution to jazz in the United Kingdom. Twelve nominees were selected:

The Concorde Club received the most votes in the initial voting, followed by The Band on the Wall and Ronnie Scott's, and will receive the initial (Kind of) Blue Plaque.[8]

Ticket information[edit]

Programmes of music over the festival weekend have included:

Free music open to everyone, performed on the bandstand in the centre of Brecon and on streets closed off to traffic for the festival weekend.[9][10]

The Stroller Programme, requiring the purchase of a 'stroller ticket', with acts from the British jazz scene performing in smaller indoor and larger outdoor venues.

The Concert Programme showcasing major acts with an international profile. Every concert requires an individual ticket.


Camping is popular at the festival, with two official campsites open to ticket holders and several independent campsites in the Brecon area. Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts are also available, but high demand usually means that early booking is required.


External links[edit]