Come and join us again for four days in May 2019 for the very best in New Orleans, Swing and Classic Jazz and Blues with guest stars and bands from the US, Canada, Europe and the UK

Dates for 2019 are Thu May 9th – Sun May 12th

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Keswick Jazz & Blues Festival 2019

We hope you agree that the 2018 Keswick Jazz and Blues Festival was a success. Thank you all for your feedback and for making it such a wonderful weekend.

Preparations are already in full swing for 2019 and we hope you’ll check back here for our full list of bands and artists but, for now, piano fans can look forward to sessions featuring; Jeff Barnhart, T.J. Johnson, Brian Kellock, Tom Kincaid, Keith Nichols and Andrew Oliver.

Jazz guitar fans will be in heaven as alongside some of the UK’s finest including Spats Langham, Paul Sealey and Martin Wheatley, we have Tommy Harkenrider bringing in some Orange County Californian sunshine and good vibes along with his fantastic blend of swing, jive and blues guitar.

We also have some very special evening sessions planned, which we’re very excited about, none more so than our gala concert “One Night At The Cotton Club” which will feature both the sensational ‘Keith Nichols Orchestra’ and the superb new band led by Ned Bennet, the ‘Harlem Meercats’ who both specialise in the late 1920’s music of the immortal Duke Ellington Orchestra.

Other highlights have to be our four all-star tributes, to the immortal ‘Fats Waller’, the great Jimmie Noone and his Apex Club Orchestra, the seminal recordings of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven and to the legendary ‘Okeh’ recordings of King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band.

For fans of swing and jive we have something very special lined up as the amazing Ray Gelato takes a very rare night away from his globe trotting ‘Giants’ to front a cracking five piece featuring two of his old team mates, Enrico Tomasso and Tom Gordon.

There are some truly wonderful bands around right now playing in the prewar traditions of the New Orleans and Chicago masters and we’re delighted to welcome back some of the finest. Both the Basin Street Brawlers and the Vitality Five represent all that is good about the burgeoning London traditional jazz scene and feature some astonishingly good young musicians.

Possibly slightly longer in the tooth, every bit as vital and exciting, plus Keswick favourites all, we welcome back the “Jazzaholics” “Scarlettes Serenaders” and the “Savannah Jazz Band”, all packed full to bursting with high quality talents.

There’ll be many more additions to our line up, some ever popular regular favourites as well as some fantastic new faces do so check back soon or join the mailing list (see below)!

What to expect

The Keswick jazz and Blues Festival is possibly unlike any other festival you could go to. Unlike many festivals, the one here in Keswick does not all take place in just one field, one marquee, one hotel or holiday complex. Our famous Jazz and Blues Festival is not just a presentation of some great music but also celebrates the area in which it takes place – the stunning Lake District. That’s not to say that the festival takes place all over the Lake District but it does take place in numerous selected venues in Keswick all of which are surrounded by some pretty amazing scenery.

Over the four days of the festival the organisers schedule a great cross-section of entertainment at each venue. Some of the venues seat as many as 400 whereas others are a little more personal and can seat just half of that. Any valid ‘stroller’ ticket will get you into any of the venues for any of the performances (available seating and H&S rules permitting of course).

Each venue has three scheduled performances per day which consists of two 45 minute sets with a short break in the middle. Many ‘strollers’ will enjoy a particular session in one venue then amble along for the second session at another venue, maximising their enjoyment.

Staggered Session Times: Some of your feedback from the last festival asked the organisers ‘why the sessions were all scheduled at the same time?  If they were staggered then a ticket holder could spend absolutely all day enjoying a session somewhere’. The answer to this is purely a practical and simple, one; as none of the venues can hold all of the tickets holders then many people would be disappointed when other venues are full after they leave the venue they had been at. Also, besides the potential disappointment, the time between sessions gives the musicians a chance for a break (they have to eat too) and allow the sound engineers to setup for the next entertainers – which takes more time than most people realise.

The positive feedback from the defined session times was far greater than the negative, with many ticket holders glad of the opportunity to grab a drink, some lunch or dinner, maybe have a stroll around town but, most importantly, there was no urgency to rush to the next venue. With so much to see and do in this wonderful Northern Lake District town the break between sessions give ticket holders the chance to enjoy the town and what it has to offer.

Doors to each each performance will be opened 30 minutes before the session starts. See the FAQ page for more on this.

2019 Mailing List

Due to the new data protection laws that come into force on May 25th 2018, we have to ask all those currently on the mailing list to confirm that they indeed want to be kept informed and remain on the list. So, if you have had an email from us covering your mailing list renewal or you would like to be on the list to receive the Festival News for 2019 then this is the place to sign up.

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