Jazz beside the Sea: a look ahead to the Herne Bay Jazz and Swing Festival 2021

Herne Bay comes alive with three days of live jazz 20-22 August, bringing a wealth of stars both international and local to the seaside town as the Herne Bay Jazz and Swing Festival makes a welcome return.

Familiar to BBC television viewers who like their dancing on a Saturday night, vocalist Tommy Blaize brings a touch of Strictly sparkle to the festival, whilst Ian Shaw presents what promises to be a fascinating homage to two titans of twentieth-century music – David Bowie and Joni Mitchell. Pasadena Roof Orchestra and BBC 2’s Big Band Special regular, Louise Cookman, is also performing.

A wealth of events on the Sunday includes Kent Youth Jazz Orchestra and the 606 Club’s in-house band trombonist (and the Music department’s very own trombone tutor), Geoff Mason, brings his quartet following a recent album release; both appear as part of a series of gigs on the King’s Hall Roof Terrace.

Geoff Mason playing at London’s 606 Club

The Herne Bay Pier Stage also plays host to a plethora of gigs, ranging from former Soft Machine guitarist John Etheridge’s Organ Trio to London-based alto saxophonist Rachael Cohen, who cut her teeth with the NYJO of Scotland and the Tommy Smith’s Youth Jazz Orchestra,  and of whom the Guardian intriguingly observed that she plays with ‘a softly deviant approach reminiscent of Lee Konitz…’

The whole festival weekend closes with pianist Eliane Correa leading her Latin fusion orchestra, La Evolución, bringing a vibrant three days to a suitably festive conclusion.

Ahead of the festival, the Seaside Museum is hosting Jazz in Herne Bay, an exhibition opening on 14 August which promises a fascinating sonic and visual exploration of the history of jazz in the area, which will run until 12 September.

Full details and tickets here online here: jazz enthusiasts can head to the seaside with enthusiasm this August…

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