Cheltenham Jazz Festival Free Events - Around The Town

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‘Cool catz’ assemble! Get set to soak up the sun (here’s hoping), sit back and relax with the soft, soothing sounds of jazz on the breeze. The Cheltenham Jazz Festival in association with BBC Radio 2, returns for our pleasure with a host of free mellifluous delights and pop-up performances dotted throughout our streets, bars and nightlife venues.

Both new and esteemed names on the jazz scene take to the stage for this internationally recognised celebration of the musical genre. With 50 concerts expected over a six day span, our regency town is set to attract lovers of jazz from far and wide - best bring your autograph books!

An impressive array of improvisational masters will line up to entertain the crowds from high sun to full moon at various open air venues, including Cambray Place, The Brewery Quarter and Montpellier Gardens, filling our cultural hub with notes of ballads, blues and bepop! Other venues striking a chord include The Stable, The Tavern, 131, Wild Beer, Harry Cooks, John Gordons, The Strand, Bottle of Sauce, Boston Tea Party, Malmaison, Cheltenham Playhouse and Studio 340.

We're invited to let loose at the free lunchtime and evening Pop Up Jazz Lounge in Montpellier Courtyard with Empirical, with the coolest of Britain's young jazz bands. DJ Sam Redmore takes to the decks after dark for Malmaison’s club night, with new venue The Loft (located upstairs in The Tavern) staying open after hours.

Festival Director Ian George wants us not only to embrace and enjoy new talent, but to find our own inner jazz cats! “We’re turning the town into one big jazz party with the very best local and national talent – there will be loads of new voices to discover..and the chance to get involved yourself and inspire your inner musician in the Yamaha Discovery Space in Montpellier Gardens.”

Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID) has been working with festival organisers to ensure this an equally beneficial opportunity for Cheltenham’s businesses, shops, bars and hotels, continuing to welcome lovers of jazz to our creative corner of the Cotswolds. Over 70 local businesses, including Festival Partners, Festival Champions, and various food traders, venues and production companies are involved with the festival - so expect big things!

To browse the events taking place during Cheltenham Jazz Festival, browse Cheltenham Rock's top family picks here.

#cheltjazzfest Around Town Venue Map

Around the town fusions include:

Free Stage at Montpellier Gardens (3 – 7 May)

The heart of the Festival and the best place to relax between events, with free music throughout the weekend, as well as a bar and tasty festival grub! Performers include:

  • Mrs Peel Jazz
  • Gordon Wood Band
  • Thrill Collins
  • Natasha Seale
  • Hilda Cecila
  • Emily Francis Trio
  • And so many more!

Find out more about the Jazz in The Gardens event.

Cambray Place Stage (5&6 May 12pm - 5.45pm)

The Street Stage at Cambray Place provides the opportunity to get a glimpse of future stars throughout the weekend, including:

  • The Strays
  • Stolen Chocolates
  • Jack Cooper and the Offshore
  • Donkey Zoo
  • George Montague
  • And more!

The Brewery Quarter (Sunday 6 May 1pm – 6.45pm)

Sun yourself outside, grab a bite to eat and bop along to:

  • Pixie and the Gypsies
  • Soular Funk
  • JazzJiveSwing
  • JACKSON

For more information, see the Jazz Festival Takeover at The Brewery Quarter event.

Pop up Performances

Stay tuned for surprise pop-up performances throughout the festival from some fantastic jazz artists on the line up. Visitors also welcome to tinkle the ivories at the Yamaha Discover Space!

Hear the reworked sounds of Lucia Cadotsch & ENEMY post Jazz Festival gig at Parabola Arts Centre, with late night jam sessions providing yet more harmonious nirvana until the early hours at Hotel Du Vin.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival takes place from 2 – 7 May. Listen out for free performances around the town - come rain or shine, it's on!

Follow #cheltjazzfest @cheltfestivals on social media for updates, search 'Cheltenham Jazz Festival' on Cheltenham Rocks for specific events, or visit the website for further details: www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz.