Festival hits all the right notes
What better way to spend a summer's afternoon than by enjoying some blues under blue skies?
Outdoor performances in St John’s Square were a new feature this year of the two-day Blackpool Jazz and Blues Festival, which celebrated its third year at the Winter Gardens.
Since its inception, the event has raised around £10,000 for Trinity Hospice – and organiser Stephen Pierre is delighted at the continuing support for the festival.
“There is no doubt it is growing, which is very encouraging,” he said. “The addition of the outdoor performances went down very well.
“It was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the music, whether for just a few minutes or longer.
“It is a free event and I am keen to keep it that way. And we were so grateful for the donations received to Trinity Hospice.”
Stephen, proprietor of the Galleon bar in Abingdon Street, founded the festival because he wanted to raise the cultural profile of his home town after several years living and working in London.
“My initial intention was to demonstrate that a seaside town like Blackpool can reach out to attract a wider demographic,” he said.
“Promoting live music, showcasing aspiring talent and supporting charity, can only be a positive for the community.
“Most importantly it’s a creative way of improving the town’s reputation both locally and on a national level and I am really pleased with the way it has gone.
“Thanks to everyone for their support.”
Among the acts involved this year were BBC Young Musician of The Year 2015 award winner Alexander Bone and his band and veteran jazz pianist Frank Flynn, while trumpet ace Terry Reaney led his 18-piece Blue Bird Big Band as he celebrated his 80th birthday in the Spanish Hall on Saturday.
“We sang happy birthday to Terry and everyone had a wonderful time,” said Stephen.