Jazz 625 BBC4 Live broadcast and Free Stages complete Cheltenham Jazz Fest line-up

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With Cheltenham Jazz Festival set for a busy six days and nights of music running from 1 to 6 May across the Bank Holiday weekend, it’s been confirmed that an all-star revival of iconic 1960s BBC TV show, Jazz 625, will be broadcast live from the festival on BBC4 on Friday 3 May. Combining live music, archive clips, features and interviews, and a house band led by pianist Robert Mitchell, guests will include Gregory Porter, Joshua RedmanJean ToussaintShirley Tetteh (above left) and Jacqui Dankworth (above centre). 

There will also be an exclusive pre-recorded live performance from Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts (above right with bassist Dave Green) on a hard-swinging set with top US saxophonist Scott Hamilton, plus a new interview with Dame Cleo Laine reflecting on her performance on an original Jazz 625 episode. Those wishing to attend can apply for tickets at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz625.

The full festival programme is now available online and includes headliners such as Abdullah Ibrahim, The Bad Plus, Joshua Redman Trio, Nubya Garcia, Yazz Ahmed, plus dynamic duos Nikki Yeoh/Zoe Rahman and Omar Sosa/Yilian Canizares. Alongside these shows the festival’s Freestage and ‘around town’ programme will spread the music beyond the dedicated site in Montpellier Gardens, with 90 free gigs at street stages and venues around the town.

The Yamaha Discovery Space also hosts plenty of workshops aimed at getting kids (and their parents) into the music, with sessions including Jazz Babies, Evelyn and the Yellow Birds with Cherise Adams-Burnett, Sound Discoveries with Jason Singh and Family Sing with Alice Zawadzki among many others.

The Henry Westons stage also presents acoustic performances from a wide range of artists throughout the weekend, while there’s jamming until the small hours at the Hotel Du Vin, plus aftershow parties and late night DJ sets. Birmingham-based Stoney Lane Records will once again run the on-site record store that will also host numerous post-gig signing sessions with the stars of this year’s event. Jazzwise is the festival’s media partner.

– Mike Flynn

For full details and tickets visit www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz/