Home Entertainment News & Reviews

Wrexham International Jazz Guitar Festival hits town this weekend

ON OCTOBER 14 and 15, to celebrate over ten years of international jazz guitar events in North Wales, the Wrexham International Jazz Guitar Festival takes place in the town.

The opening festival concert will be held at lunchtime on Friday when BBQ, (The Brownfield/ Byrne Quintet), perform at Wrexham County Borough Museum, Regent Street.

This new and exciting quintet, led by three gifted young players, Liam Byrne(sax), Jamie Brownfield (trumpet) and Andy Hulme (guitar), brings a fresh and youthful approach to standards and bebop favourites of the ‘40’s and 50’s Blue Note era, plus more modern material. Their playing, which is far more mature than their faces, can be heard on BBQ’s CD “Keepin’ it Cool”, (highly recommended), which won a place at the 2009 British Jazz Awards. The line-up is completed by Nick Blacka (double bass) and Marek Dorcik (drums). This lunchtime concert takes place from noon to 2pm and admission is free.

On Friday evening, the phenomenal Gary Potter Trio appear at Wrexham’s Memorial Hall.

Guitarist Gary Potter has won the National Award for Jazz and has three times been voted Best Country Guitarist. Gary’s expertise has gained him widespread popularity in Europe the USA and Australia. His incredible technique and versatility are influenced by the great Django Reinhardt, Bieli Lagrene and Wes Montgomery. Appearing with Gary Potter are brilliant London-based Ducato Piotrowski (rhythm guitar), and Nick Blacka (double bass). There will be music from 9.15pm ‘til midnight, and admission is £8, concessions £6, children £3.

The final festival event, an International Jazz Guitar Concert, on Saturday takes place at the Memorial Hall, and features outstanding American guitarist Jimmy Bruno.

Jimmy is one of the brightest stars in the jazz guitar firmament - when he starts his blistering single note runs and blindingly fast arpeggios, look out! Jimmy’s thirteen Concord Jazz CD’s include Live at Birdland and the Concord Jazz Guitar Collective, whilst his latest recording, Maplewood Avenue, is an Affiliated Artists release. Jimmy is joined by two of Britain’s finest guitarists, Trefor Owen and Andy Hulme, and the top notch rhythm section of Bill Coleman (double bass) and Steve Brown (drums), plus special guest, the universally acclaimed Dave O’Higgins, twice voted Best Tenor Sax at the British Jazz Awards. The music commences at 8.30pm and admission is £10, concessions £8, children £5.

In addition to the above concerts, the festival includes workshops and jam sessions at Glyndwr University, which have attracted students of jazz guitar from all parts of the UK and from mainland Europe.

Tickets for both Friday and Saturday evening’s concerts are available from Wrexham Tourist Information Centre on 01978 292015 and further information can be found at www.northwalesjazz.org.uk

The Wrexham International Jazz Guitar Festival is a Wrexham Year of Culture event, organized by the North Wales Jazz Society in association with Wrexham CBC.