The 34th Bude Jazz Festival was a great success with some excellent performances and a good atmosphere throughout.
Its success has enabled the committee to plan a similar event for 2024.
The format was similar to recent years with all the venues in walking distance of each other, two or three gigs at each venue per day, and staggered intervals so that festival goers could move around without encountering breaks. The closure of Nanny Moore’s bridge at short notice for flood prevention works was a hindrance to easy movement between venues, but there was nothing the festival organising committee could do about that.
The venues were the same as for 2022 and included the Falcon Hotel, the Parkhouse Centre, the Methodist Church, the Golf Club, and ‘Upstairs’. The bar and catering at the Parkhouse centre, by ‘Outside Inn’, were again very well received.
The weather was less kind this year and the opening parade had to be curtailed and mostly took place in a gazebo outside the Parkhouse. Nevertheless, a ‘brolly parade’ did take place and prizes were given for the best adult and children’s ‘brollies’. Other features included a strolling band playing at various locations around the town on two days, busking sessions outside the Falcon every morning, and Lindy Hop dance lessons each morning, led this year by South West Lindy Hoppers.
Although the roots of the festival are in traditional jazz the organisers have widened the scope in recent years so that there is a wider choice of genres. There were many festival regulars but new bands this year included the Tom Morgan Trio and The Windy City Weatherbirds. There were also some bands telling the story of the British 1950s jazz boom such as the Neil Maya Quartet – 1959 The Golden Year of Jazz, Ian Bateman’s – It’s Trad Dad, and The Lonnie Donegan Story with Warren James. There has also been a determined effort to involve younger bands with younger musicians.
The 35th Bude Jazz Festival will run from August 27 to 30 ,2024. Tickets will be on sale from January/February 2024.