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Blast Arts 2006

Nick Harper
Harper's out to scare!

A musical treat!

By Alex Jackson
Scarborough will play host to two major festivals this week offering a real feast of musical delights. The nationally acclaimed jazz festival enters its fourth year, while a new and free acoustic festival is being held in Peasholm Park on Sunday.

Scarborough Jazz Festival

Scarborough's annual jazz festival has had a huge impact in the jazz world, with its refreshingly original and varied line-up of the best artists around. Although part of its success is down to the fantastic surroundings of the Spa complex, which sets the scene perfectly for great music.

The star-studded line-up includes pianist Gareth Williams, the two Yorkshire bands- the Colin Byrne Big Band, the Matthew Ball Quintet and saxophonist Andy Panavi, whose quintet includes the award-wining Mark Nightingale on trombone.

Headliners are Tina May on the Friday, Ian Shaw (who brought down the house last year) on Saturday, and Georgie Fame, who will bring the festival to a close with trumpeter Guy Barker and his quartet.


Brass band at Durham Miners' Gala
Brass bands galore

There will also be many fringe events, one of which will take place on Sunday morning at the Suncourt Enclosure and tells the story of jazz and swing. The show will include the first ever recorded jazz standards from 1917, a tribute to the dance craze music of the 1920s and 30s and a rousing celebration of the big band of Benny Goodman and Glen Miller. It offers more than a concert though with the use of story clips and information projected on a big screen. The show is free and starts at 10.30am.

The festival takes place between the 15th and 17th of September. For more information, call the box office on 01723 357869 or email at

Acoustic Gathering 2006

Also taking place is a brand-new festival celebrating acoustic music and bringing together the finest in local talent. The acoustic gathering is unique in its approach to music, helping to highlight a campaign concerning the recent change in licensing laws and the abolishment of the "Two in a room" rule.

Carl Woodford performing in Mojos Music Cafe
The wonderful Carl Woodford

All 17 artists will be performing from the pagoda bandstand in the lake. The aim is to bring attention to the high standard of musical talent in the area. The festival will feature local acoustic acts Billy Nielsen, Ollie Banks and Carl Woodford, a man who takes his influences from late 60s and 70s folk music.


The headliners are Jon Gomm and Nick Harper. The former, a singer-songwriter from Leeds, creates the sound of a whole band with his grooving bass lines and sparkling melodies. Nick Harper needs no introduction. Son of the legendary Roy Harper, he has been dazzling audiences for over a decade now with his boyish charm and showmanship along with his distinctive soulful voice.

The festival starts at 12pm and will run through till 10.30pm. Festival goers are encouraged to bring lanterns at night to create a special atmosphere. For more information, call 01723 351983 or email at

So get yourself down to Scarborough and enjoy!

last updated: 23/07/08
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