Thursday May 11th to Sunday May 14th – 2017

“A four-day celebration of the best of New Orleans, Swing, Hot Club, Classic, Traditional, Mainstream Jazz and Blues in Keswick”

The 26th Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival – 2017

Thu 11th – Sun 14th May 2017

This year’s Festival will bring music from days of jazz when it began – Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and from the glory days of traditional jazz in the UK, to the fat and hip-swinging music of New Orleans, intimate gypsy jazz, soulful gospel and blues, powerful and inspiring vocalists, hot pianists, cool saxophones, trumpets, trombones, banjos, clarinets… the list goes on.

Unlike many festivals the Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival takes place in numerous venues in and around the town for which a valid ticket gives access to them all. Pick your favourite style, entertainer or location and head over for some fun, no separate booking required, just mix and match as you see fit.

A dance floor will be laid in at least one venue where the bands will play for dancing, and dance tutors will run classes in the morning for beginners and intermediates.

Lots to see, lots to do and all set in the beautiful surroundings of Keswick, in the heart of the Lake District.

If you’re new to Keswick and the Festival then check out our Visitor Info page for some ideas on where to stay, good places to eat and drink etc.

NEW – the finalised list of the acts playing each day over the four days has just been released – click here for details.


A Little History

The first Keswick Jazz Festival happened in 1992. It set out to celebrate the best of British traditional jazz, a style of jazz that evolved when British musicians in the 50’s and 60’s realised what great music the early jazz musicians of New Orleans had been playing and they set out to emulate this, and develop their own style from it. Over the years the festival’s scope broadened to include other styles of jazz (even edging into folk, blues and rock and roll), but at its heart was the idea that the music should be enlivening and fun to listen to. International musicians have been invited to the festivals over the years and some have become a regular feature of the festival.

In 2016, Theatre By The Lake who had been running the festival for some 10 years or so decided that they could no longer do so, and this was the inspiration for the re-launching of the festival as the Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival, programmed in venues around the town.

In recent years audiences have enjoyed bands and musicians that are new to the festival, and in recognition of the fact that the history of jazz and blues are closely intertwined The 2017 Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival will include a few more musicians that err on the blues side of jazz.

Great Entertainment

Following the many years of really enjoyable, varied and successful festivals the 2017 one will be everything it has been previously and more!

The 26th festival will include many of the favourite bands and musicians that have become popular in Keswick over the years plus many new ones. Adding a whole new taste of music to this years festival is the Blues!

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Great Jazz, Great Blues

As any previous visitor would know we have some quite amazing Jazz sessions going on. This year we are adding a whole new taste of music to the festival by adding more Blues.

Loved and enjoyed by many Jazz followers we have Blues bands that will bring new depth to the Festival and help ensure its future.

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Great Place

Apart from being the North Lakes most popular tourist town and being situated in the most amazing landscape, Keswick has so much to offer – especially for a festival like the Keswick Jazz and Blues.

Keswick has no shortage of places to stay at, eat or drink in and the transport links are good to.

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GI Jive logo

Dance Lessons with GI Jive

Ian and Sheilagh Hartley AKA GI Jive have been teaching swing dance in all its forms in the UK, Europe and USA for almost 25 years. They have been associated with Derry Jazz Festival for several years, Bude Jazz Festival for well over 10 years and Keswick Jazz Festival for 6 years and for the last couple of years years GI Jive dance lessonsUpton Jazz Festival. Ian and Sheilagh have danced on stage in England, Ireland, Europe and USA dancing to bands such as The John Miller Orchestra, The Swing Commanders, The Jive Aces, The Squadronaires, The Glenn Miller Tribute Orchestra, King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, Billy Brothers Swing Orchestra (in Italy), The Memphis Belle Orchestra and many more. They have taken part in over well over 1000 events since 1993.

Each day they provide 2 lessons in the morning, the first being at 9.30am for beginners and the second at 10.30am for improvers and intermediate level. The emphasis is to have fun whilst learning.

Dance lesson will take place in the Methodist Church on Southey Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

All are welcome – whatever your abilities!

Ask a question

If you have a question not covered here then use this contact form or email us directly at and we will reply just as soon as we can.

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Thu 11th – Sun 14th May 2017