Bebel Gilberto, Blind Boys of Alabama and Amadou & Mariam are among the first artists confirmed for next year’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival. The 24th edition of the showpiece in the jazz calendar will take place in the Gloucestershire town’s Montpellier Gardens from Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 May 2020. As ever, the bill will feature a mixture of established stars and exciting new national and international talent.
Bebel Gilberto, the multi-Grammy-nominated Brazilian-American singer and daughter of bossa nova pioneer João Gilberto, will be making her first appearance at Cheltenham. She will present material from her much-anticipated next album, her first studio set since 2014’s Tudo, which is due next spring. She’ll be at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre on 7 May.
The following day, a high-profile double bill at the 2000-capacity Henry Westons Big Top will star Malian Afrobeat-pop duo Amadou & Mariam and gospel originals Blind Boys of Alabama. Malian husband and wife Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia have blended traditional African music with rock and desert blues to become one of Africa’s most popular musical exports.
Blind Boys Of Alabama, fronted as ever by co-founder Jimmy Carter, will sing material from their vast catalogue as well as from their new collaboration album with US singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, Work To Do, which came out in August.
Also confirmed for Cheltenham 2020 are the David Liebman/Randy Brecker/Marc Copland Quintet, a new group featuring leading jazz instrumentalists Liebman on saxophone, trumpeter Brecker and pianist Copland. Their quintet will play the Everyman Theatre on 9 May.
“I am thrilled to be taking on the programming of this incredible festival at such a genuinely exciting time for jazz music,” says Cheltenham Jazz Festival head of programming Dave Gaydon. “We are really spoilt for choice with the huge wealth and breadth of amazing new talent and to be able to present these young artists alongside the jazz legends that Cheltenham is so well known for is a fantastic opportunity.
“2020 will see some brilliant and unique collaborations and as always, we will be championing new talent through our year-round commitment to engaging Gloucestershire’s fine young musicians.”
The festival dates will incorporate the UK’s May Bank Holiday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Tickets will go on sale to Cheltenham Festivals Members at 1pm on 26 November and to the general public at 1pm on 28 November. More details are at the CJF website.