We had a lovely weekend in the sunshine : thanks to you all...see you in June 2015

Thanks to everyone who brought their smiles and good humour to our 29th Festival; to the performers, the young jazzers; the stewards, Ruth, Lesley and the stallholders, Jan and the jazz cafe team; to the ticket sellers and litter-pickers; to the security, the electricians, the water providers, the sound guys, the first-aiders, Steve the Safety guy, and the Jazz bus team. Thanks to the traders and townspeople of Upton for their support and for joining in the spirit of the event; to the secondliners, the school bands, the photographers. Thanks to the press, to the tv people - not everyday your festival is on Good Morning Britain alongside Wimbledon and Glastonbury! Thanks to our sponsors and supporters, to Richard and the Barbourne Cider team; to the Conway Castle jazz cruise; to Frances and the church and the choir; to the stars in the TIC; and to everyone else who made Festival 29 a success. See you at Festival 30 in June 2015.

Over 60 concerts embracing a superb choice of the best in New Orleans, Classic Jazz, European/Gypsy/Hot Club, Dance and Street/Parades entertainment. Laurie Chescoe, George Huxley, Caz Shennington, Alan Barnes, Tom Kincaid, Keith Nichols, Craig Milverton, Chris Pearce, Annie Hawkins, Dennis Armstrong, Jamie Brownfield, John Shillito, Tad Newton…and a host of other very talented artists will be with us in June

A genuine International flavour with top Dutch bands Jazz Connection, Storeyville Jazz; Shreveport Rhythm (Germany); Sammy Rimington coming from Sweden to meet up with James Evans coming from New Orleans; and Sally Night, star of the New York scene.

Dance : a dedicated Jazz-Jive-Swing Dance marquee offering three days of dance music in a fabulous atmosphere with Steve Steinhaus Swing Band, Indigo Kings, Swing Commanders, Dart Valley Stompers, Steve Tucker and his All Stars.

Our very popular Church Service, plus a Gospel session with Sammy Rimington

The full Festival experience - Marquees on the Sports field with stalls, camping and parking next to the Jazz. Stalls on the Riverside too.

Best of Young Jazz 6 ; the very best of young talent from right across the Midlands.

A full European/Gypsy/Hot Club programme with Remi Harris, Radio Banska, Moscow Drug Club, Hot Fingers and Emily, and Fiddlebop.

2 lively Jazz parades with Wonderbrass and Brass Volcanoes, making exciting debuts at our Festival.

New Organiser for Festival 29

Maintaining traditions, bringing new ideas

Rachel Hayward has been appointed Music Director for the Festival in 2014. Her remit is to help shape the event, engage with the bands and to maintain our traditions whilst bringing in new ideas. We are planning to create a true 'heart' for the Festival building on the successes of 2013. From a New Orleans background, Rachel has played amongst the very best players on the British jazz scene for over 30 years. She ran the Bude Jazz Festival for a number of years, and she now brings together her experience and love of music along with her exceptional organising skills as our Music Director for the Upton Jazz. Rachel and new Chairman David Harrison have made a great start - we're well ahead of last year and we're all enjoying planning for June 2014.

Best of New Orleans at Upton in June:

Many bands want to come back to Upton…! Annie Hawkins New Orleans Jazz Band; George Huxley's All Stars with Caz Shennington; John Shillito's Select Six; Tad Newton and Friends; Laurie Chescoe's Reunion Jazz Band. The Bateman Brothers Jazz Band will be re-creating the stunning concerts of Louis Armstrong in the 40's and 50's; Dennis Armstrong's Oliver Band will offer you 'tight arrangements' of King Oliver Creole Jazz classics.

Top, top, Classic Jazz:

You know Alan Barnes well and now you get to hear him with his old friend and piano player David Newton. Keith Nichols - classic jazz and ragtime - is probably the most talked about piano player on the jazz scene at the moment, and doesn't usually play Festivals …? Hey, but then we have the wonderful Craig Milverton and his trio back again and Craig with his Oscar Peterson tribute. Tom Kincaid is back, Spats Langham too; Jim Swinnerton as well. Ben Cummings will be treating you to his sublime trumpet playing; Jamie Brownfield will be back - more sublime trumpet playing. How much sublime trumpet playing do you want ?

International...? You Bet..!

James Evans is coming over from New Orleans; Jazz Connection and the Storeyville Jazz Band from Holland. Plus Shreveport Rhythm from Germany (with one or two Bourbon Stompers playing) and Sammy Rimington's International Jazz Band.

More European/Gypsy Jazz:

We welcome back Remi Harris who always fills the room. In 2014 we are proud to present  a stronger line up of European and Gypsy Jazz featuring Radio Banska; Moscow Drug Club;  Hot Fingers and Emily; and Fiddlebop.

New to Upton:

If you like clarinet then you will love Trevor Whiting. Malcolm Sked is not really new to Upton having been here many times with Bob Kerr, but he will be with us in his own right and bringing his sousaphone and string bass. We welcome Nick 'scholar of jazz drumming ' Ward and one of the brightest drumming talents in the UK in Jack Cotterill.

Jazz-tastic, Jive-tastic, Swing-tastic, Dance-tastic:

Great news…we are going to take Dance, and the needs of Dancers, seriously, with a dedicated dance marquee and dance bands in other venues. So you will get to dance from mid-day to 11.00pm every day. We welcome back the Swing Commanders after their very popular first visit last year. Plus the ever popular Dart Valley Stompers, the Steve Tucker All Star Band, Jazz Connection, and the mighty, and we mean mighty Steve Steinhaus Swing band - big favourites on the Midlands Dance scene. There will be dance classes too.


 Up and coming local band the Indigo Kings play bluesy jazz with classy vocals - think Caro Emerald and you're on the right lines. Rachel will entertain us with her 'Dream'; and we welcome Chris Pearce and his Frenchmen Street Jazz Band - with old friends Richard Leach and Graham Smith of Antique Six fame.

Livening up the Parade:

We know you like to parade but in the past couple of years we have been asked if we can spark it up a bit. This year we have not gone for sparks, we've got volcanoes -  the Brass Volcanoes - check them out on their website. These guys played at the London Olympics and got invited back to play at the Paralympics. Wow…! 

Stalls and Food:

Ruth and Lesley made their Jazz debut last year and they are coming back to organise the stalls and the food - in both locations, up there on the Sports Ground next to the Church, and as usual 'Down by the Riverside'. Severn Leisure will be running the Conway Castle and we promise to work together with any venues in town who want to pitch in with Music on the Fringe.

Jazz Bar:

We're working with Richard and the team at Barbourne Cider to bring back the Jazz bar. Quality beers and ciders with quality music and a great atmosphere.

Friends of the Jazz

Since we announced the changes for 2014 we have had many calls from people from near and far who have previously supported the Jazz by handing out leaflets or putting up posters in clubs, tourist information centres and arts venues in their locality. Even organising groups to visit the Festival. Our response ? Of course we want to hear from you, we would love to have your support - so please get in touch and let us know how you can help us and how we can help you.

New for 2014... the Food and Beer Festival

Something we want to shout about - a welcome addition to the Festivals of Upton. The first Upton Food and Beer Festival will take place on Jazz weekend and will be based on Fish Meadow. Yet another attraction, yet another reason to be at Upton Jazz Festival in June 2014. Check out their website in links.


Syd Pearman, ably assisted by Beryl, has his highlights DVD from Upton Jazz on You Tube. So if you want to relive some memories, please check out 13 bands at the 2013 Upton-upon-Severn Jazz Festival on You Tube SYD6325.

Look out for the sheer class of Pete Allen and Ben Holder; the honeyed vocals of Ruth Frith; the wacky Red Stripes; the lovely Three Belles; plus 'son of Syd'... Bev Pegg; Lamarotte; Carl 'King of Boogie' Sinclair plus the amazing collapsing German keyboard...!!

Thanks to all those who made the 2013 Festival a success and a pleasure. Thanks for the many positive comments we have received and the support from the townsfolk and traders of Upton.

Best of Young Jazz Workshops

Any young players interested in taking part in jazz workshops or performance opportunities please contact Best of Young Jazz project managers on boffyoffice@aol.com.   


Friends of the Upton Jazz Festival

Click here for more information on the Friends of the Upton Jazz Festival

Next Friends' concert:

For details of the Friends' concerts up until July 2014, please click here.



Upton Jazz wins support from Destination Worcestershire

Upton Jazz is supported by: