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Wigan’s 25 Years Of Jazz
Tuesday 20th April, 2010

AMERICAN jazz vocalist Curtis Stigers is heading to Wigan to mark the 25th anniversary of the town’s most famous festival.

For the last 24 years some of the world’s best jazz musicians including Art Blakey, Maynard Ferguson, Horace Silver, Ray Brown, Diana Krall and James Morrison have played at the renowned Wigan International Jazz Festival.

Spanning a quarter of a century more than 7,500 jazz musicians have performed 1,500 hours of live music, during 600 concerts for more than 100,000 guests.

And this year the line-up is a star-studded mix of some of the best in the business including Jazz trumpet legend Bobby Shew, grammy award winning Christian vocal jazz group Take 6, Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander and the “godfather of British jazz” Stan Tracey with his big band and his quartet.

Ian Darrington has been the director of Wigan’s International Jazz Festival throughout its history. He said: “We have once again secured a phenomenal line-up that compares well with any other jazz festival in the world. The fact that we are still here, 25 festivals on, is a testament to the wide and varied programmes we organise, the constant drive for quality, the friendly atmosphere and the continued support and encouragement of a wonderful audience.”

This year’s Wigan International Jazz Festival, titled “Looking Forward Looking Back”, runs from Saturday 10 July until Saturday 17 July and will celebrate the milestone of 25 years of jazz music in Wigan.

Ian added: “Twenty five years is a milestone that we in Wigan are proud to have reached.
“Looking back to 1985 it was the popularity of jazz and big band music generated locally by the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, along with the formation of Wigan Jazz Club, that set the seed for an international festival. Since then jazz has played a pivotal role in the recent cultural history of Wigan bringing in visitors and musical greats from all over the world.”

Other confirmed artists for the festival include the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, the Gordon Campbell Big Band, the Big Chris Barber Band, the Gerald Clayton Trio, Columbia Jazz Band, Tommy Whittle and Karen Sharp, Mark Nightingale and Nigel Hitchcock, the Joe Stilgoe Trio and Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Tickets will go on sale mid May. For more information visit www.wiganjazz.net

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