|Manchester Airport’s 21 years of jazz
estival organiser Ian Darrington (lft) and Manchester Airport’s Head of Public Affairs Sarah Brookes.
Manchester Airport will mark a very special “birthday” this week.
When the first chords of this year's Wigan International Jazz Festival strike on Thursday it will mark 21 years of sponsorship support by the airport.
It’s a special relationship that has ensured Wigan’s reputation for attracting some of the biggest names in jazz over the last 26 years including Diana Krall, Maynard Ferguson and Art Blakey.
This year Manchester Airport’s contribution will once again mean that visitors to the town can enjoy some of the finest performances in jazz, including The Ryan Quigley Big Band and the Pete Cater Big Band.
Festival organiser Ian Darrington said: “Once again Manchester Airport has shown a real commitment to the arts through supporting this year’s jazz festival.
“There can’t be many businesses out there that have been as supportive for as long as Manchester Airport has.
“In these difficult financial times private sector support like this is needed more than ever and we are truly grateful to them.”
Throughout the four day event – starting Thursday 14 July - some of the world’s top jazz musicians will descend on the town and organisers hope the popularity of the big band sound will once again ensure sell out shows.
“Big Bands and Beyond” will see performances from The Ryan Quigley Big Band, the Laurence Cottle Big Band and the Pete Cater Big Band all performing at Lowri Beck Celebration Hall, Robin Park.
Other highlights include presenter of the BBC’s “Big Band Special” Clare Teal and Her Trio performing alongside home grown talent including AJ Brown and His Band and the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Sarah Brookes, Head of Public Affairs, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “One of the main objectives of our long-standing arts sponsorship programme is to inspire new audiences and promote art forms to those who would not normally have access to them, as part of our contribution to our local communities across the Greater Manchester region. We also believe that a thriving arts scene helps to support inbound tourism and inward investment. The current economic climate has seen many arts organisations struggle financially, so we are proud to play our part in supporting Wigan Jazz Festival."
In response to this tough climate the rover ticket has been set at a lower price this year (less than £7 per concert) For the first time, this year children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Student discounts are also available.
Wigan Town Centre will also a host a series of open air concerts between 11am and 1pm, Thursday until Saturday.
Tickets are available from www.quaytickets.com, by phone on 0843 208 0500 or over the counter at Robin Park Indoor Sports Centre, Loire Drive, Wigan.
For more information visit www.wiganjazz.net
Wigan’s 26th International Jazz Festival – at Lowri Beck Celebration Hall, Loire Drive, Robin Park, Wigan
Thursday 14 July
3pm to 5pm Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra with Steve Waterman.
8pm The Ryan Quigley Big Band in a Tribute to Maynard Ferguson.
Friday 15 July
12 noon till 2.00pm John Law Trio
3pm to 5pm AJ Brown and His Big Band
8pm Clare Teal and Her Trio
Saturday 16 July
12 noon till 2.00pm Geoff Eales Quartet with Neil Yates
3pm to 5pm Andreas Varady & David Lyttle with David Lyttle Trio
8pm Wigan Jazz Club Big Band with special guest Alan Barnes.
Sunday 17 July
12 noon till 2.00pm Darius Brubeck Quartet
3pm to 5pm Laurence Cottle Big Band
8pm Pete Cater Big Band (Tribute to Buddy Rich)