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Jazz In Pictures
Friday 25th June, 2010

Jazz In Pictures
Stan Tracey sat at his piano.

WIGAN’S 25th International Jazz Festival is set to be picture perfect!

Esteemed jazz photographer William Ellis will hold a special exhibition as part of this July’s event, celebrating some of the greatest jazz performers to have taken to the Wigan stage in the last quarter of a century.

The 55-year-old’s CV includes an impressive list of exhibitions stretching across the globe from Kansas City to Cape Town, New York to Hong Kong and Havana to the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

The breadth and depth of his jazz photographs are widely regarded as a significant archive of the international jazz scene.

Wigan’s jazz festival organiser, Ian Darrington, said: “William’s pictures offer iconic stage shots of some of the biggest names in jazz. They explode with energy and enthusiasm but it’s also the quiet moments where he captures performers backstage that, for me, makes his work so powerful.”

William has been visiting Wigan since the mid 90s not only to capture images of the likes of Manhatten Transfer, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine but also because he believes the Wigan International Jazz Festival to be one of the best in the world.

William said: “Wigan is a very prominent jazz festival and it’s a testament to Ian Darrington and his team that they have created a world class festival.
“The spirit of the festival is as tangible and exciting as any festival I have been to.
“I remember speaking to a South African jazz player called Johnny Mekoa years ago and when I said I was a Manchester based photographer he asked ‘Manchester is that near Wigan’ which made me laugh because it’s normally the other way round but that’s what jazz has done for the town. It’s put Wigan on the world map.”

William’s collection of jazz players, performers and singers including Monty Alexander, Dave Brubeck, Roy Hargrove will appear throughout the jazz festival which runs from Saturday July 10 until Saturday July 17 at Robin Park, Wigan.

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.

Other confirmed artists for the festival include Curtis Stigers, 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.

For more information visit www.wiganjazz.net or call 01942 825 677 to book a ticket.

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