Donny McCaslin, Dinosaur and Jason Moran added to Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2018 programme

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The first names have been announced for the 22nd edition of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which runs from 2 to 7 May 2018, and includes some sizable US jazz talents. Chief among these is revered bassist Christian McBride who will be making a very rare UK appearance with his barnstorming Big Band, as featured on his most recent album, Bringin' It (Mack Avenue). They will be appearing at Cheltenham Town Hall on 6 May.

Another name announced is LA sax star Kamasi Washington, who made a huge impact with his critically acclaimed triple album The Epic, and debuts at Cheltenham with his powerful band. They will be playing their heavy spiritual-jazz fusion at the Big Top on 6 May. Soul-jazz singer Randy Crawford, known for her work with The Crusaders on their hit 'Street Life' and solo hit 'One Day I'll Fly Away', as well as her prolific partnership with their late great keyboardist, Joe Sample, is also set to make her debut appearance at the festival in the Big Top on 2 May. Cheltenham's winning approach to crossover programming, also sees popular blues singer Beth Hart perform at the Big Top on 5 May.

And Jazzwise, who are media partners for the festival, can exclusively announce that former David Bowie saxophonist Donny McCaslin (top left) will be making his only UK date in Spring 2018 at the festival (6 May), while his fellow countryman Jason Moran and his Bandwagon (top right) trio will perform on 5 May. Mercury Prize nominated proggy-jazzers Dinosaur (top centre) are the first among many more UK jazz artists to be announced and are set to appear on 4 May.

The festival takes place in its dedicated 'festival village' in the Spa town's picturesque Montpellier Gardens, where the Big Top and Jazz Arena venues are situated alongside the site's Free Stage, record shop, food stalls and bars, with participating venues including the Town Hall, Parabola Arts Centre (PAC) and The Daffodil, as well as a vibrant fringe line-up and late night events around the town.

– Mike Flynn

More info and tickets visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz