Cheltenham Jazz Festival – BBC Concert Orchestra with Georgie Fame & Guests

Stage View - Chelt Jazz Fest 2013

This first weekend in May sees the return of the annual Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and for the second year in a row I got a ticket to see the live Friday Night Is Music Night concert.

I saw the Ray Charles tribute night last year and loved it. This year, the concert was to celebrate Georgie Fame’s 70th birthday. Fame himself was singing, along with Alan Price, Madeline Bell and Zoot Money.

And, of course, they were accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Guy Barker Big Band.

It was a great evening; last year when I went I didn’t really know what to expect but I really enjoyed it. This year I was more familiar with it and thought it was great too. The BBC Concert Orchestra sounded great and the personalities of the singers on stage were really good. To use that often clichéd phrase… Georgie Fame owned the stage!

Now as with last year’s event, I went with little knowledge about the music that would be played. Last year’s event got me in to Ray Charles’ music. This year’s event has got me in to Georgie Fame’s music.

I did have the advantage  this year of knowing one of the tracks before the concert started: Yeh-Yeh! Other than that, my favorite songs from the concert were Flamingo All Nighter, Rosetta, the Old Music Master and Funny How Time Slips Away – and they are all ones I’d never heard until they were performed on Friday night.

It was a great night out and an excellent way to celebrate handing in my final piece of university work for this academic year. I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s Jazz Festival will bring!

Beyond the Band

This year the Jazz Festival also has a “Beyond the Band” tent where a number of talks are going on.

Yesterday afternoon Anthony Cherry, the producer of Friday Night is Music Night – along with Assistant Producer Ruth Beazley – did a Radio Production talk. This discussion was chaired by my university lecturer Jim Beaman. That was very interesting and informative too, especially from the point of view of someone wanting to get in to producing after uni.

The Cheltenham Jazz Festival is still going on now – find out more at

Bye for now,


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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