Cheltenham Jazz Festival: Around Town Free Events

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‘Cool catz’ assemble! Get set to soak up the sun (here’s hoping), sit back and relax with the 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.

Thousands of music lovers will flock to Cheltenham Jazz Festival over the May Bank Holiday (1st - 6th May) for the annual programme of free gigs taking over the streets, pubs and clubs of Cheltenham in association with Cheltenham BID. Up-and-coming local acts and national artists will perform on three free stages as well as in clubs and bars across the town, and in surprise pop-up locations, offering musical inspiration between Jazz Festival gigs all day and late into the night.

Looking for jazz + dining? The Ivy Brasserie has live Jazz on 4th and 5th May. More details

Both new and esteemed names on the jazz scene take to the stage for this internationally recognised celebration of the musical genre. With almost 70 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!

Cheltenham Jazz Festival features headline acts, cutting-edge jazz and unique collaborations including Level 42, Kandace Springs, Jamie Cullum, Madeleine Peyroux, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Soweto Kinch Alfa Mist David Sanborn Fred Hersch Kansas Smitty’s House Band Incognito Friday Night Is Music Night Abdullah Ibrahim Swing Out Sister Curtis Stigers Charenee Wade, Carmel, Yazz Ahmed John Surman Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and many more!

Jazz in the Gardens; the Free Stage on Montpellier Gardens is at the heart of the Festival, and the best place to relax between events. Hear some of the best acts from across the country and enjoy Festival food traders, the Festival bar, bottlegreen Garden bar, Chase Distillery Horse Box Bar, Neptune Rum Bar and Nyetimber Garden (from 5.30pm on Thursday 2nd May to 7.45pm on Monday 6th May).

The Cambray Place Stage provides an opportunity to get a glimpse of future stars, (running Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th May 12pm - 5.45pm). A day of great music combined with outdoor food and drink is at The Brewery Quarter Stage (Sunday 5th May 1pm – 6.45pm.)

Official Hospitality Partner No 131 is offering a bespoke Festival menu and two late-night gigs featuring soul-drenched remixes with DJ Sam Redmore and Alchemical with Aisling Iris, plus more late-night sounds at sister venue The Tavern. The Bottle of Sauce has live events all weekend including a Tropical Tea Party takeover with The Fontanas and a set from beatboxer SK Shlomo. The Cosy Club has three nights with Ben Cipolla and The Nouvelle House Band and there’s a special Speakeasy Sunday at The Botanist. Gigs can also be heard in Harry Cook Free House, John Gordons, The Strand, Smokey Joe’s and The Firestation, while longstanding Festival late-night jam sessions at Hotel du Vin keep the jazz party going until the wee small hours of the morning.

Puddles are forecast during the Festival, but no wellies are needed because these are Jazz Puddles – magical sound installations by artist Mike Blow. They will be found in the Festival Village, The Brewery Quarter and The Promenade. Jazz Puddles are part of the Festival’s Musical Encounters strand which brings jazz to a wide audience by putting it in unusual and quirky places. For families there are free hands-on sessions for all ages in the Yamaha Discovery Space and The Chatterbox.

A display of archive gems and photographs from iconic BBC show Jazz 625 will be on show at Cheltenham Ladies’ College Parabola Arts Centre foyer from 3rd - 5th May. A one-off live broadcast of Jazz 625 will come from Cheltenham Jazz Festival on Friday 3rd May.

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

Cheltenham Jazz Festival …around town line up

Thursday 2nd May

Time

Venue

Artists

5:30pm – 9pm

Free Stage Montpellier Gardens GL50 1UW

TREE // HAUS; The Patsy Gamble Band, Swing From Paris

8pm

Smokey Joe’s GL50 4ED

Red Hot Riot

8:30pm

Harry Cook Free House GL50 1SD

Stolen Chocolates

10:30pm till late

No. 131 GL50 1NW

DJ Sam Redmore

Friday 3rd May

Time

Venue

Artists

12:45pm – 9:30pm

Free Stage Montpellier Gardens

Jazz Rouge, LEAH, Pixie And The Gypsies, Dave Elmer DJ

7:30pm

John Gordons GL50 1SU

Caddick And Parkes

8:30pm

The Strand GL50 3NX

The Moody Tuesdays

9pm

Cosy Club GL50 3FF

Ben Cipolla And The Nouvelle House Band feat. Nick Robinson

9pm

The Firestation GL50 3PU

Patsy Gamble Quartet

10:30pm till late

The Tavern GL50 3DN

LATIMO and George Montague

10:30pm till late

Hotel du Vin GL50 3AH

Late Night Jam Sessions

Saturday 4th May

Time

Venue

Artists

10:30am – 10pm

Free Stage Montpellier Gardens

Jazz It Up with Gloucestershire’s best school jazz bands; Decca Recommends: Amahla; Rosie Tee, RBC Township Band, Thrill Collins; Echo Juliet DJ

12pm

Cambray Place Stage GL50 1JX

The Joey Bill, Lindsay Martin Group, Tunehead; LEAH, Late Night Juice, Argle Bargle

3:15pm - 7:30pm

Yamaha Discovery Space. Montpellier Gardens

Hands-On Sessions

7:30pm

John Gordons

Chloe Et Al

9pm

Cosy Club

Ben Cipolla And The Nouvelle House Band feat. Grove

9pm

Bottle of Sauce GL50 1HE

Tropical Tea Party Takeover with The Fontanas

10:30pm till late

Hotel du Vin

Late Night Jam Sessions

Sunday 5th May

Time

Venue

Artists

10:30am – 10pm

Free Stage Montpellier Gardens

Jazz It Up with Gloucestershire’s best school jazz bands; wilkins / harris; Shems Bendali Quintet; RBC Sextet; Lady Nade; Josh Scofield Quartet; Adannay; Georgia And The Vintage Youth;

12pm

Cambray Place Stage

Funky Business; The Sandwich; Sorry Grace; BossMagnet; Mustard Brass Band; The Rosa Gray Band;

1pm

Brewery Quarter Stage GL50 4FA

Stolen Chocolates; Rory McNeill; Albino Frogs; The LM Project; Charlton Blues Kings;

3pm

No 131

Joanna Cooke

3:15pm - 7:30pm

Yamaha Discovery Space

Hands-On Sessions

6pm

The Strand

Natasha Seale And Sam Montero

7:30pm

The Botanist GL50 4FA

Speakeasy Sunday

9pm

Bottle of Sauce

SK Shlomo

9pm

Cosy Club

Ben Cipolla And The Nouvelle House Band feat. Eleanor Lang

10:30pm till late

Hotel du Vin

Late Night Jam Sessions

10:30pm till late

The Tavern

Trampette and Odd Soul

10:30pm till late

Hotel du Vin

Late Night Jam Sessions

10:30pm till late

No 131

Late Night At No. 131 with Alchemical featuring Aisling Iris

Moinday 6th May

Time

Venue

Artists

9am 11:15am &

3:15pm - 7:30pm

Yamaha Discovery Space

Hands-On Sessions

10:30am – 10pm

Free Stage Montpellier Gardens

Jazz It Up: youth and adult jazz ensembles from across Gloucestershire; Charlie + Jake; Decca Recommends: Bad Honey; ALINA3; Teotima; Alice Auer

1pm

No 131

Cool Jazz Collective

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.