Guildford Jazz today announced the line-up and opening of booking for Guildford JazzFest ’20 . The three day festival will run from March 20-22 at Guildford’s Electric Theatre and feature a wide spectrum of jazz, funk and latin grooves.

Headlining the festival will be ECM recording artist and internationally recognised saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy. Ballamy, who is listed between in the BBC publication 100 Jazz Greats between Count Basie and Chet Baker, has recorded over 70 albums in a career spanning more than 30 years which has included playing with Loose Tubes, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Everything but the Girl and figures as varied as  John Dankworth, Carla Bley and Django Bates . His headlining at Guildford Jazz Fest ’20- follows past appearances at numerous international festivals including North Sea , Berlin, Vancouver and Montreux.
Ballamy will be performing “21st Century Pastoral”.  a rarely performed arrangement for big band of music by Ballamy spanning his entire career. The piece has been arranged by  Malcolm Edmonstone, Head of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and will be performed by Iain with the Guildhall Big Band directed by Scott Stroman.

Other major artists today announced as appearing at JazzFest ’20 include:
• The renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins and his Velocity Trio: a  simmering jazz, funk and world music roller coaster

• The Mark Nightingale/Alan Barnes/Steve Waterman Sextet playing a tribute to the music of Henry Mancini including Clark Tracey on drums

• Virtuoso guitarist Nicolas Meier World Group ,  one of the rising stars in a vibrant British jazz scene and “an unconditional must for connoisseurs of Jazz-World Fusion” (Adam Baruch)

• Latin Jazz Salsa band Heads South featuring Steve Waterman, combining Cuban and other Latin Rhythms

• Award winning pianist David Newton playing duos alongside jazz impresario Alan Barnes.

• Renowned jazz vocalist and pianist Pete Churchill

• Gareth Williams, one of the country’s leading modern jazz pianists, featuring in both the Sextet and as a live accompanist to the 1929 Buster Keaton classic,  Steamboat Bill Jr.

Alongside sets from these leading UK jazz artists,  the festival features :
• many free foyer sets including Gin in the Jazz Bar and New Orleans Dixie Jazz from clarinet maestro Duncan Batchelor and his quartet

• a number of community events including a celebration of Surrey Young Jazz Musicians of the Year,  a jazz vocal workshop and a talk organised in conjunction with West Surrey Arts Society on the early history of jazz by from broadcaster and bass player Sandy Burnett

• the club’s patron Bill Bruford, the legendary drummer from Yes , King Crimson , Genesis and Earthworks, in discussion with Iain Ballamy.

Unusually for a jazz festival, profits from the event will go to local charity Guildford Philanthropy which helps local people disadvantaged by disability, poor education, mental illness and caring responsibilities.
The festival is already attracting major local sponsors including Guildford Community Lottery, Peter Cluff and BBC Radio Surrey. Discussions are under way with a number of other local businesses and the full sponsor line up will be announced in January.
The three day festival is a first for Guildford Jazz,  a thriving community based arts organisation which has been arranging regular sell out gigs since 2011 . Its founder,  local bass player Marianne Windham commented :
” The festival represents a celebration of all that Guildford Jazz is about : bringing the finest UK jazz musicians to Guildford to play a wide spectrum of accessible music in a friendly club- like atmosphere. What’s new is that we expect to share that with jazz fans across London and the South East who can combine the best in UK jazz with a visit to all that Guildford and the Surrey Hills has to offer in terms of great countryside, pubs and restaurants”.
More details about the festival can be found on the web at  https://guildfordjazz.org.uk/guildford-jazz-fest-20/ and on facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/GuildfordJazzFest/
Booking for individual gig and day and weekend festival passes  is now open through the Electric Theatre Box Office at https://electric.theatre/