Swing into spring with skanda big band

JAZZ Jurassica, Lyme Regis’ jazz and blues festival, is braced this year for a ‘Skanda’ invasion.

Equinor, a big band of 23 musicians from Stavanger, Norway, are due in Lyme to perform a spectacular one-off concert dedicated to their favourite king of swing, Duke Ellington.

The band has performed at major festivals in Europe but rarely in the UK.

The band’s spokeswoman, Mari Gjaever Walmsley, said: “We’re really looking forward to what will be only our third appearance in the UK and can’t wait to visit Lyme Regis.

“We hope to explore the Jurassic Coast as we have some professional geologists in the band who are keen to explore the legacy of Mary Anning, the town’s famous fossil hunter. So, we’re sure to be spending some time on the beach!”

The band includes seven saxophonists, five trombonists, four trumpeters, a pianist, one on bass, guitar, percussion and drums plus two singers.

Musical director, Tor Yttredal, is professor of jazz at the University of Stavanger and promises to throw in a couple of saxophone solos of his own.

Festival organiser Julie Sheppard said: “We’re thrilled the band’s chosen our festival as their only UK appearance this year.

“They’ll inject fresh energy into the much-loved repertoire of Duke Ellington.

“Big band concerts are always popular, but increasingly rare these days. So, this is a very special treat for all of us. We just hope we can fit them all on stage!”

Equinor Big Band perform ‘Shades of Ellington’ at the Marine Theatre on Saturday, May 25 at 5pm as part of Jazz Jurassica. Tickets cost £10 and are available from www.jazzjurassica.co.uk or call 01297 442138.

The festival will run from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27 with full details on all concerts and events at www.jazzjurassica.co.uk

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2523 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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