festival crowds - Geno Washington, jazz festival

Record crowds are expected to flock to the Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival which marks its 21st anniversary this Easter.

Organisers have been inundated with inquiries after unveiling the final line-up which includes performances by more than 120 bands at venues across town.

Taking place over Bank Holiday weekend, April 13-17, this year’s headliners include Ruby Turner, Connie Lush, Geno Washington (pictured) and The Beat.

Most pubs, bars and restaurants across town will host live performances including The Cheshire Cat, Firenze, Nakatcha and Street on Welsh Row.

The music trail has 20 venues including landmarks such as the Civic Hall, Museum, Methodist Church and St Mary’s Church where jazz singer Elaine Delmar, winner of Radio 2’s ‘Artist of the Year’ will be in concert on Bank Holiday Monday to help boost church funds.

Geno, who enjoys cult status on the soul scene, will open the festival with his Ram Jam Band at Nantwich Civic Hall on the Thursday.

Connie (pictured below), regarded as one of the finest Blues singers in the UK, will bring her vocals to The Crown Hotel on Friday.

connie lush, jazz festival

Fresh from her tour with Jools Holland, R&B and soul singer Ruby Turner makes her festival debut at Nantwich Civic hall on Saturday.

British SKA sensations The Beat, whose hits have included Mirror in the Bathroom and Can’t get Used to Losing You, will play at the Civic Hall on Monday.

Other star names include Nearly Dan, King King, Zoot Serious & The Bellyful of Pop, Mike Sanchez, Rebecca Downes and Emma & The Wolf.

Festival spokesman Steve Barnes said: “Every year the festival draws some 40,000 people to Nantwich helping to showcase the town and all it has to offer.

“After 21 years, the festival reputation is held in such high regard, bands contact us hoping to take part. It means we have the pick of some of the best musical talent the country has to offer.

“This year the buzz began as soon as we unveiled the programme on social media. The feedback has been fantastic and enquiries are coming thick and fast.

“Tickets to the major shows are selling well to music-lovers across the North West and well into the Midlands. Everything bodes well for a record-breaking anniversary event.”

Zoot Serious & The Bellyful of Pop will set toes tapping during a free outdoor show on the town square on Easter Saturday.

FatPigeon Live will stream music videos on Sunday.

With these outdoor concerts, and many special Bank Holiday deals to be found round shops and eateries, the festival will be one for all the family.

Festival founder Phillip Martin, owner of The Crown Hotel, said: “The whole idea back in 1996 was to showcase Nantwich as a wonderful historic town to visit and enjoy music.

“It’s fantastic that after 21 years we are still doing that and every year the line-up gets strong.

“It’s great to have the support of the town and our thanks go to the licensees who make the festival a widespread event.”

Tickets are needed to The Crown, Civic Hall and St Mary’s gigs.

Pub performances are free but an £8 wristband is needed to enter. Proceeds support festival security.

Wristbands are available to order from the festival website or can be bought at The Crown Hotel, Civic Hall, Tourist Information Centre and town square kiosk from April 13.

For a full round-up of all the performances, pick up a brochure in local outlets or visit www.nantwichjazz.com

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