Nolans, Sinatra... and all that jazz

The Nolan Sisters with Frank Sinatra on tour in 1975
The Nolan Sisters with Frank Sinatra on tour in 1975
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Despite last minute weather warnings, it’s ‘turned out nice again’ for Blackpool’s new Jazz and Blues Festival.

The event had been due to take place at North Pier, but the main stage area at the Sun Lounge cannot be protected from the elements, so it has been moved to the Winter Gardens’ Arena.

The Winter Gardens is steeped in jazz and big band history. The late Sir John Dankworth - honorary president of the former Blackpool Jazz Club - played at the Winter Gardens many times throughout his career, and his granddaughter Emily is deeply touched with my plans to re-ignite jazz in Blackpool and her grandfather’s legacy.

Event organiser Stephen Pierre said: “The decision to cancel the event was something I have been anxious to avoid. As this is the birth of the Blackpool Jazz and Blues Festival I could not risk the unpredictable weather.

“The Winter Gardens is steeped in jazz and big band history. The late Sir John Dankworth - honorary president of the former Blackpool Jazz Club - played at the Winter Gardens many times throughout his career, and his granddaughter Emily is deeply touched with my plans to re-ignite jazz in Blackpool and her grandfather’s legacy.”

The free events take place from 11am to 8pm tomorrow and Sunday, with the headline slot featuring Frank Sinatra tribute act Johnny O’Connor with Anne Nolan, looking back to the Nolan sisters’ experience of touring with Sinatra in 1975 - marking the 100th birthday anniversaries of Ol Blue Eyes and Billie Holiday.

Evening events will also take place at Stephen’s The Galleon and Malloy’s pub.

A special parking rate, for £4 all day, has been arranged at Talbot Road Car Park.