Jazz in Wales

News about gigs, festivals, famous names, new artists and more compiled by DJ Andy Roberts in Cardiff, Wales. Send your updates to andy @ jazzinwales.co.uk

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Stroller focus for Brecon Jazz rescue plan

A businessman who supports jazz in Abergavenny has put forward a detailed plan to save the Brecon Jazz Festival.

The proposed new Festival management team will be led by a new company formed by Ben Jones of the local Celtic Spirit Group and John Ellson of the international music and corporate events organization ESIP Ltd.

The co-directors of the new organisation say the Stroller programme will be the key element of the annual festival, and there'll be activities throughout the year to develop Brecon Jazz as a brand at a national and international level.

Ben Jones has recently restored the Kings Arms in Abergavenny, developing it as a music venue which has attracted jazz stars like Andy Sheppard and Martin Speake as well as supporting Welsh musicians. He was also a sponsor of Brecon Jazz 2008.

John Ellson is an international music and corporate events producer who has worked with leading artists including Ray Charles and BB King across three decades. He's also played a key role in the production and broadcasting of Brecon Jazz in recent years.

The directors believe the main focus of the festival should be on the Stroller programme, and plan to employ the current Stroller management team. They also aim to stress the community credentials of the event by making more use of the town's existing venues such as Theatr Brycheiniog and the Market Hall rather than temporary marquees.

There'll also be scope for performances from acoustic and blues artists from Wales, and they're not ruling out concerts by pop acts such as Cerys Matthews.

Other plans involve a year round approach to ensuring Welsh artists receive an international profile through the brand of Brecon Jazz and also Welsh Jazz.

The company will have a staffed office in Brecon to administer and deliver the Festival and associated events. A dedicated team will be led by John Ellson to programme and produce the Festival, whilst Ben Jones will lead the sponsorship team to maximise commercial and private investments. Together, they aim to ensure that all local community groups are engaged.

Other bids have or are been proposed by organisations including Theatr Brycheiniog, the Porthcawl Jazz Festival and the Hay Festival.

Read more on the BBC News website.


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