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22nd February 2011

The fourth annual Barbican International Jazz & Blues Festival

This year, the event takes place over the four days of the first May Bank Holiday weekend...

The event - supported by Plymouth City Council and backed by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership - brings excellent music and a groovy atmosphere to the city's historic quayside quarter. This year, the event takes place over the four days of the first May Bank Holiday weekend - including a Royal Wedding too.

There will be a network of waterside venues linking together to create a buzzy atmosphere of free and ticketed gigs. Look out for gigs in the B-Bar, the Barbican Theatre, Bacaro, the Watering Hole, Plymouth Gin Distillery, the National Marine Aquarium, the Blues Bar and Grill and more.

The Festival is developing each year, with new aspects, including The Jazz Village - a dedicated marquee on the quayside by the landing stage programmed with excellent acts and a Festival Market throughout the event. A Stroller Ticket - enabling Festival-goers to pay one fee and gain entry to multiple shows.

The Festival brings together local and international acts from across the spectrum of jazz and blues. Headliners this year include piano man T J Johnson, keyboard crooner Joe Stilgoe, sax-funkers Porkchop and US guitar bluesman Michael Roach.

Local band highlights include Becca Langsford launching her new album, blues player Vince Lee, slide guitar man Thomas Ford and his band the Dirty Harmonies, gospel soul-singer Mama Tokus and jazz diva Louise Parker.

Excellent young jazz and blues musicians are included in the programming, ensuring that the next generation of musicians are supported and showcased.

"The Festival's developing and we've got a programme of quality for this year, we've got a Jazz Village this year which is brand new. It's going to be packed with stalls and music too which will really add atmosphere to the Barbican and give more to our Festival-goers."
Festival Director Dan Thompson
Swing Sunday pays homage to that section of jazz known as swing. Swing music continues to appear in today's charts - think Michael Buble, Robbie Williams, Jamie Cullum - and Sunday May 1 is devoted to this infectious genre. Watch out for swing bands, swing dancing in the street, colourful costumes and singalong tunes. Organisers have teamed up with Plymouth swing dance teaching outfit Mad About Swing to bring workshops and dance action to the Festival. Swing bands and performers are being programmed throughout the day to ensure that everyone's a King of the Swingers by the time Swing Sunday's over.

The Festival begins on Friday April 29 and runs until Bank Holiday Monday May 2. So organisers will be pulling out the stops to put on a fantastic day of music, street entertainment and the glorious Grand Festival Jazz Parade - complete with jazz umbrella waving.

The Festival sounds the right note for the city's calendar, so come on down, support the event and enjoy the atmosphere in the heart of Plymouth's waterfront

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