Jazz and blues festival in Chipping Sodbury the 'best ever'

Gazette Series: Thomas Ford singing the Blues at the Hobbs House Jazz Lunch on Saturday as part of the Chipping Sodbury Jazz Festival Thomas Ford singing the Blues at the Hobbs House Jazz Lunch on Saturday as part of the Chipping Sodbury Jazz Festival

WORLD renowned jazz and blues musicians descended on Chipping Sodbury at the weekend for the town’s fourth annual festival.

The Sodbury Jazz and Blues weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, saw a wide variety of local and international artists perform across a selection of venues including pubs, cafes and at a supermarket.

The town hall hosted the headline acts of the festival, the New Orleans Update on Sunday, and Chris Farlowe and the Norman Beaker Band and Zoot Money and Papa George on Saturday.

Other highlights included Eddie Martin at The George Hotel, a sell out Hamptons breakfast with Paul Buck and Cass Levett and an afternoon of outdoor music with the Ambassadors of Jazz at Waitrose on the Saturday. Fabulous Baker Brothers Tom and Henry Herbert served up barbecue food while international blues musician Thomas Ford played to customers.

On Sunday, St John’s Church held a jazz mass featuring local singers and Coffee 1 hosted blues duo Good Biscuits.

Organiser Mark Lloyd, from Sodbury’s Chamber of Commerce, said it was the most successful festival to date.

“We think it was our best one ever,” he told the Gazette. “Every event was well attended, more so than in the past. The town hall concerts were very attended and the artists were exceptional.

“The weather being nice helped and Waitrose were offering free rickshaw rides from the High Street to the store which were a lot of fun.”

He added: “The choice of venue and acts around the town was really good and the standard of playing was exceptionally good.

“I think the addition of the blues element last year has really widened the festival’s appeal and we have somewhat of a following now.

“It’s nice to see the event growing.”

The chamber is planning a Christmas concert in December and will stage the fifth annual festival next June.

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