Keswick jazz festival will go-ahead this year

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Jazz festival procession
Jazz festival procession

A popular jazz festival has been saved thanks to the sound engineer who worked alongside former organisers for the past decade.

Music lovers were devastated when Keswick’s Theatre by The Lake announced it was not going to host a festival in the town this year.

After much thought Ian Jones, who runs the Higher Sounds Ltd business, decided to step in and take over the running of the event.

Renamed Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival, it will take place between May 11 and 14 and include jazz favourites from previous years along with plenty of new additions.

“I’ve been watching jazz since I was 10-years-old,” said the 56-year-old.

“My grandad used to drag me off to the club every Sunday, so I’ve always had an interest in it.

“There were so many disappointed people when they found out last year was the last.

“It seemed such a shame for it to finish after 25 years.”

During his time working on the festival, Mr Jones got to know many of the musicians who have visited in the past, so has called on them to perform in May.

Over the four days there will be 90 gigs said Mr Jones – both free and ticketed. There will also be the traditional New Orleans-style procession through town.

“Ticket sales have been encouraging,” he added. “I’m already planning next year’s event.”

Many of the venues are within walking distance of each other, including the Alhambra Cinema, Skiddaw Hotel, Masonic Hall, Conservative Club and Keswick Methodist Church.

The Loft, Golden Lion and Packhorse pubs will offer free jazz and blues sessions.

There will also be dance classes, free events, market square performances and jam sessions.

Three and four day passes are available, along with one day tickets.

Call 01729 825493, or visit www.keswickjazzandbluesfestival.co.uk

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