Wood Street Jazz Festival

Sunday July 16th

2017 Challengers Wood Street Jazz Festival

This year’s Wood Street Jazz Festival is on Sunday 16th July.

Once again Wood Street Village Green will be transformed into a vibrant, family-friendly jazz hub, with a full afternoon of fantastic live music in aid of the Challengers, who provide vital play and leisure opportunities and parental support for local disabled children and young people.

The event will running from 1pm-5pm and is being held in and  around a large marquee on Wood Street Village Green. There will also be Pimms and Real Ales from the Hogs Back Brewery and you’re most welcome to bring your own picnic!

This year the music features none other than the world class trumpeter BYRON WALLEN and multi- award winning saxophonist TONY KOFI with a tribute to the deeply soulful and funky sounds of the classic Blue Note Era quintet!

We are also delighted to welcome one of the UK’s top jazz vocalists, JACQUI HICKS, who has toured and recorded extensively with jazz/funk band Shakatak, as well as releasing several acclaimed CDs under her own name.

And the afternoon will open with a fantastic set of Big Band music from the Somethin’ Else Big Band and several members of the George Abbott School Big Band!

Don’t miss out, books tickets today!

Tickets are £12 for adults and £28 for a family. For more information and for tickets please get in contact with hannahwoollven@disability-challengers.org / 01483 579390 or book online here: www.disability-challengers.org/wood-street-jazz-festival-2017

There are chairs inside the marquee; if you’d like to sit outside on the grass to listen please bring seats and rugs. There are toilets (including disabled toilets) on site.

Address and directions are at the bottom of this page.

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We are delighted to welcome back the Somethin’ Else Big Band to kick off the festival with a fantastic set of toe-tapping, finger-clicking classic Big Band Swing and Latin music. The band also features Katie Crooks on vocals, and they are delighted to welcome several members of the George Abbott School Big Band to join them on the stage!

Based in Guildford, and led by MD Chris Green, the band was formed in 2011, the brain child of sax man Neil Clift. The nucleus of the band included the prodigiously talented Ford brothers, Graham ‘the fixer’ Varley, Trombone master Roland Knight and ‘our man in Merrow’ long, tall Sam Parker.


“Jacqui is the best we have.” Digby Fairweather

Jacqui Hicks 1

Voted one of the UK’s top jazz vocalists, Jacqui Hicks is one of those rarities, a great singer as well as a consummate musician.

A gifted saxophonist, after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama she toured and recorded with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as their featured vocalist before joining the jazz/funk band Shakatak, with whom she has toured and recorded extensively. Jacqui has also worked with the Latin/Pop band Matt Bianco and has released a number of acclaimed jazz CDs under her own name and in collaboration with the John Critchinson trio. As a session singer Jacqui has recorded songs for, among others, Hal David & John Cacavas, Duncan Lamont, Brian Dee and Johnny Keating, and she features on several film soundtracks. She is currently appearing up and down the country with Paul Lacey’s Back To Basie Orchestra.

We are delighted to welcome Jacqui for this year’s Wood Street Festival , accompanied by Jonny Ford, a gifted local young saxophonist currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music, with Simon Cook on piano and Ted Hayes on drums.

“Be it the most romantic ballad, hard swinging standard, or the raunchiest blues, Jacqui knows how to put any song across. She is world class.” Paul Lacey – Back To Basie Orchestra





The headline act for this year’s festival features the world class trumpet of BYRON WALLEN with British Jazz Award winner TONY KOFI on sax paying tribute to the music of the BLUE NOTE era with a classic Quintet lineup.

A warm and engaging performer, Byron Wallen is ‘one of the most innovative, exciting and original trumpet players alive’ (Jazzwise Magazine). Widely recognised as a seminal figure in world jazz, he is constantly travelling the world recording, teaching and performing. A World Class performer and unique presence on the UK scene!

Heart warming saxophonist Tony Kofi is a British Jazz multi-instrumentalist, a player of the alto, baritone and soprano saxophones as well as the flute. His many accolades include Best instrumentalist at the 2008 BBC Jazz awards. Best ensemble at the 2005 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, Radio 3 Jazz line up album of the year 2005 BBC Jazz awards and a MOBO nomination in 2008.

Completing the lineup are Leon Greening on piano, whose hard swinging style has made him a favourite on the jazz scene for over a decade, with the outstanding Nat Steele on drums, and Marianne Windham on bass.

The quintet’s repertoire draws from some of the most iconic recordings of small band jazz of the 1950s and 60s when the Blue Note label brought a musical richness to the international jazz scene that reshaped jazz with music influenced by soul, blues, rhythm and blues and gospel from the likes of Horace Silver, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Lou Donaldson, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, and many others.

Expect soulful, funky, hard-swinging music, full of of joyful spirit!


With thanks to Cedar Consulting and Rydes Hill School for their generous support

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Finding us

The festival is being held in a large marquee on Wood Street Green, Wood Street Village, Guildford , Surrey GU3 3DY.

There will be plenty of parking on and next to the green.


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