Martin Taylor and Jazz at The Philharmonic concert to save Swanage Jazz Festival

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News that this year's 28th edition of the Swanage Jazz Festival would potentially be its last, has inspired award-winning jazz guitarist Nigel Price to set up a Kickstarter campaign and present a special Jazz at The Philharmonic-style concert to raise the funds necessary for the festival continue next year. The concert will take place on 29 October at The Mowlem Theatre, Shore Road, Swanage, Dorset and will include an opening solo set by internationally acclaimed guitarist Martin Taylor, which will be followed by a JATP-style band of top UK jazz talent including Simon Spillett (tenor sax); Tony Kofi (alto sax); George Hogg and Byron Wallen (trumpets); Ian Bateman (trombone); Dave Newton (piano); Dario Di Lecce (double bass); Steve Brown (drums) and Nigel Price (guitar).

Based in the Dorset coastal town of Swanage, the Jazz Festival has played host to hundreds of musicians since 1990. It was started by Fred Lindop, with a small marquee, a small indoor venue, and around 300 tickets. The festival has a rich history and has featured hundreds of top UK and international artists during its 28-year history. It's also worth around half-a-million pounds to local businesses during the festival weekend. Price has been nominated by the festival directors to continue running the event but to do so has to raise £15,000 to cover "unavoidable VAT impositions from ticket sales". The Kickstarter campaign has already raised £7,727 but with the deadline of 1 November there are only a couple of weeks left to hit the target.

In a statement on the Kickstarter campaign page, Price explained why he's started the fund-raising campaign: "Quite simply, there is currently not enough money in the festival fund for 2018 to even get the thing going, let alone expand enough to negate the unavoidable VAT bill. The audience will be playing their part by soaking up much of the cost through increased ticket prices, but this can only go so far. We need to find enough on top of that to make the festival run on a full tank of gas, rather than on empty, as is now the case. Together, we can all make this happen through this 'crowd funding' infrastructure. On top of attracting the top jazz musicians from the UK and further afield this festival brings a massive financial boost to the town, somewhere in the region of half a million pounds over the weekend (yes - really!) and if we all band together, share the load, each of us making a small donation then we can ensure that this important event on the Swanage calendar can continue far and away into the future. Not only that but, with the proposed increase in capacity, there will in turn be an increase to revenue for the town."

Tickets for the Jazz at The Philharmonic concert can be bought direct from the Mowlem Theatre Box Office by calling 01929 422239, or online here and here at www.mowlemtheatre.co.uk

To donate to the campaign visit www.kickstarter.com – for more on the history of Swanage Jazz Festival visit www.swanagejazz.org

Mike Flynn