Funk / Jazz / Music / Wales

Hot weather and cool sounds at Swansea jazz fest

Hot weather and cool sounds combined to make the 2017 Swansea International Jazz Festival the biggest and best yet.

The temperature soared in South Wales for the fourth annual festival, again based in the city’s maritime quarter.

With 16 venues and 56 events, from Thursday to Sunday, this is now the biggest jazz festival in Wales.

The Dylan Thomas Theatre and the nearby Dylan Thomas Centre showcased the biggest acts in ticketed shows, while bars, hotels, and even the museum hosted numerous free gigs.

It all kicked off in fine style with the big band sound of the multi-award-winning Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra on Thursday night, and went on to feature well-known names such as Ruby Turner, Joe Stilgoe, and Stan Tracey.

The festival signed out with the crowd-pleasing All Fired Up – musicians from TV’s Strictly Come Dancing performing the hits of Earth Wind & Fire.

With Swansea Jazzland supremo Dave Cottle as artistic director, the festival has the potential to grow even further, and perhaps achieve the scale of Brecon Jazz at its peak.

But the venues in the maritime quarter would probably be too small for the global jazz stars who graced Brecon in its heyday. The city has bigger venues, but moving out of the maritime quarter would change the compact nature of the festival.

Still, it’s a nice problem for the organisers to have!

Read my preview of the festival here and our 2016 review here.

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