Eighty-four years ago on a Spring day in Welwyn a legend was born – literally.
That was the day Chris Barber came into the world and eight short decades later he is considered one of the greatest musicians of our time.
He has toured all over the world, fostering the careers of the likes of blues singer Ottilie Patterson and vocalist/banjoist Lonnie Donegan, and in just nine days the revered trombonist and band leader will be returning to Welwyn for the first time in his career to top the bill at the Herts Jazz Festival with his Big Band.
The opening concert of the fourth annual event will be the first time Chris has played a professional gig in his birthplace in 60 years.
Also headlining this years festival are the John Taylor Quartet and Georgie Fame with the Alan Skidmore Quartet and there are also plenty of other big names from British jazz on the programme including Ben Castle, Art Themen, Jean Toussaint, Orphy Robinson & Anthony Kerr, Clark Tracey, James Pearson, JJ Wheeler and more.
Another first will be the premiere performance by Stickchops - comprising the two vibes players Orphy Robinson and Anthony Kerr and drummer Clark Tracey.
To ensure the party keeps on swinging over the three days there again will be free of charge sessions in the foyer during the lunch and dinner breaks and after hours.
Festival director Clark Tracey says, “We have our best festival line-up ever. Demand for weekend and day tickets has been unprecedented and we hope everyone can get to see their favourite band.”
Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, September 12 to 14. Details: hertsjazz.co.uk