THIS year’s Jazz Jurassica in Lyme Regis will deliver its most ambitious programme to date promising gutsy gospel, blistering blues, funky brass and sassy swing.
For the very first time a gospel choir, Powerhouse Gospel Choir, will bring the annual music festival to a rapturous finale at Marine Theatre on Sunday, May 26.
Powerhouse live up to their name, setting pulses racing and spirits soaring with their gutsy renditions of traditional and contemporary secular songs. Many are former members of the acclaimed London Community Gospel Choir and have since gone onto work with the likes of Quincy Jones, Pharrell Williams and Florence and the Machine.
Festival organiser Julie Sheppard said: “We’re delighted to welcome these fabulous performers to Lyme Regis, especially as so much soul, funk and R&B have roots deep in gospel music. It’s the first time we’ve featured a gospel choir so it will be a very special evening for us, and a rare musical treat for the audience.”
Making a welcome return appearance at the festival is Laurence Jones, the guitar wizard dubbed by many as the next Eric Clapton.
Since last at the festival he’s matured as a performer adding a Hammond player to his new band and a new album freshly minted in Miami. His live performances are electrifying and seal his reputation as the most exciting artist on the British blues circuit.
Opening the festival, Kick Ass Brass, a 10-strong band featuring some of the best jazz and funk musicians in the country aim to shake up Friday night. They rip it up with hot horns and a powerful rhythm section to follow in the footsteps of funk legends Tower of Power, James Brown and Earth Wind and Fire.
The band will feature the young, multi-talented, Eleisha May, whose smoky soulful vocals add spine-tingling magic to the set.
Festival favourites, Matt Carter and Leigh Coleman will make their big stage debut in ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’, their jazzy, finger-clicking interpretation of Stevie Wonder.
“We’re also hosting some special international guests”, added Julie.
“Equinor is a 24-piece big band from Norway making their only UK appearance this year at our festival. They’ll be celebrating the legacy of the king of swing, Duke Ellington, in a spectacular concert in Marine Theatre. It’s great they’ve chosen to play in Lyme Regis. We just hope we can fit them all on stage!
“Whether you’re into funky brass or cool jazz, you’ll find it at the festival – somewhere. For example, this year we’ve added a special event on Bank Holiday Monday – a brunch devoted to the effortless cool of Dave Brubeck.
“And we’ve also got lots of free events on the seafront and venues around town featuring scores of talented musicians. It’s full steam ahead for another great music-packed weekend”.
Jazz Jurassica will be held from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27. More information on events and tickets are available at www.jazzjurassica.co.uk and in the free printed programme available from April.