Lichfield Arts

Blues & Jazz Festival 2021

20/21/22 August

Welcome to the Blues & Jazz Festival 2021

Rescheduled from June, the Blues & Jazz festival will take place over the weekend of Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd August. It seems only yesterday that the idea of a blues and jazz festival was suggested back in 1990 and now over 30 years and at least 300 bands later we still offer blues and jazz fans a varied programme of top class national musicians and excellent regional bands in our delightful cathedral city.

After missing the festival in 2020 due to the pandemic, this year we celebrate the 30th Lichfield Arts Blues & Jazz festival. Our full line up will be announced very shortly and tickets will soon be available.

Our intended line up so far

We have worked very hard to deliver a great line up of blues and jazz for this years festival and we will announce further additions to the line up very soon! For now, here is a taster of what we have planned for our 30th Lichfield Arts Blues & Jazz Festival. Please note artists and timings are subject to change. 

Some Kinda Wonderful

What better way to start off the festival than celebrating the genius of Stevie Wonder with the mesmeric vocalist, Noel McCalla and award-winning saxophonist Derek Nash.He has put together an incredible band of top musicians who are Neil Angilley (keyboards), Orefu Orakwue (bass), Nic France (drums) and Mark James (guitar) to play a wide-ranging back catalogue of classic hits from the 1970s Signed, Sealed, Delivered through to hits from Talking Book, Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life and Hotter than July.

Playing hit after hit, from the dance floor classics I Wish and Superstition to beautiful arrangements of My Cherie Amour and Overjoyed, the set will also include compositions by Stevie Wonder that others have had massive hits with.

Climax Blues Band

Climax Blues Band were formed in 1968 by Colin Cooper who led the band with Pete Haycock through great success and recognition through the 1970s and 1980s. George Glover joined the band on keyboards in 1981, Haycock left in 1984 and Lester Hunt came into the re-vamped Climax in 1985, Roy Adams joined in 1987 and Neil Simpson in the early 1990s. Colin Cooper was leading the band with a return to the kind of blues that got the band started before his untimely death in 2008.

His wish was the for the band to continue and the recruitment of Graham Dee and Chris ‘Beebe’ Aldridge was made with a view to broadening the Climax sound again and take on new musical influences, move forward creatively which was the Climax Blues Band trademark, rather than rely on the past glories.

Brass Monkeys

A brass band unlike any you have heard before The Brass Monkeys are an eclectic improvising wild bunch influenced by jazz, blues, reggae, country, free improvisation, soul, folk ……

Performing an exciting mix of original material and unusual classics The Brass Monkeys offer a reverent but iconoclastic take on the history of musical improvisation. A great line-up that embraces an exciting mix of youth and experience.

The repertoire is half original and a range of material from all kinds of sources including tunes by Herbie Nicols, Bill Frisell, Lillian Hardin-Armstrong, Archie Shepp, Jonas Gwangwa, Lester Bowie, Taj Mahal, Thelonious Monk, Dudu Pukwana………

The key element in all their music is the opportunity for interplay between the musicians which is at the organic heart of this band.

Dennis “The Creative Menace” Rollins with The Nick Dewhurst Band

UK Jazz/Funk Trombonist Star Dennis ‘The Creative Menace’ Rollins, who has played with the likes of Jamiroquai, Courtney Pine, and is a member of Maceo Parker’s Band, first met Nick Dewhurst when he came to Lichfield roughly 15 years ago, and did a superb week’s workshop with the Netherstowe Big Band, culminating in a performance at the Blues & Jazz Festival!

Since then both have gone from strength to strength and reunited with a brilliant concert in 2018. This years event will be a memorable concert featuring some great pop, jazz and original tunes backed by the very talented Nick Dewhurst Band that aims to play a type of jazz that is exciting and original, whilst remaining accessible and enjoyable to a wide range of audiences.

Don’t forget that in August we will also hold Fuse, our biggest event of the year which will feature a wide variety of artists including those from the blues and jazz genres. Best of all Fuse is FREE! Find out more here.