Wood Street Jazz Festival

Sunday July 22nd

2018 Challengers Wood Street Jazz Festival

Wood Street 2018 Banner.jpgOn Sunday July 22nd, Wood Street Village Green will once again be transformed into a vibrant, family-friendly jazz hub for the 2018 Wood Street Festival and a programme featuring SARA DOWLING, one of the most exciting new singers to emerge on the British Jazz scene, saxophonist MARK CROOKS, soloist with the internationally acclaimed John Wilson Orchestra, the guitar duo of International World music artists GIORGIO SERCI and PETE ROTH, and of course, the vibrant SOMETHIN’ ELSE BIG BAND, with special guest, the multi-award winning guitarist NIGEL PRICE!

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, freshly cooked wood fired pizzas, and of course you’re most welcome to bring your own picnic! All proceeds from the afternoon will go to local charity Challengers, who provide vital play and leisure opportunities and parental support for local disabled children and young people.

“Early bird” tickets are £12 for adults, or £14 on the day. Under 18s free, group tickets £40. For more information and for tickets please get in contact with hannahwoollven@disability-challengers.org / 01483 579390 or book online here.

There will be chairs inside the marquee; if you’d like to sit outside on the grass to listen please bring seats and rugs. Toilets (including disabled toilets) on site. Address and directions are at the bottom of this page, and here are some photos from last year!




Sara Dowling is one the of the most exciting new singers to emerge on the British Jazz scene. She demonstrates an immensely emotional vocal style and range, reminiscent of the jazz greats Billie Holiday, Anita O’Day and Betty Carter.

We are delighted to welcome Sara to this year’s Festival with her quintet , which also features Mark Crooks on alto sax, a soloist with the internationally acclaimed John Wilson Orchestra, as they revisit the 1961 album Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley and more.

“A vocal with timeless quality, 5 stars” Jazz Journal

With Sara Dowling – vocals,  Mark Crooks – alto saxophone,  Gabriel Latchin – piano,  Steve Brown – drums,  Marianne Windham – bass

“It’s hard to define what a jazz vocalist is. It’s hard to pin it down, what makes one artist a song stylist and another a jazz singer, and very often people are both. But in 1961, Julian Cannonball Adderley and the young singer from Ohio — Nancy Wilson — showed how effectively a vocalist could function as part of the jazz band. Everything fits. Just the sound, the sheer sound of Nancy Wilson’s voice, Cannonball Adderley’s alto saxophone… they all go together like a great dish somebody’s prepared, where all of the flavors just feel wonderful in your mouth.” MURRAY HORWITZ, American Film Institute



International World music artists Giorgio Serci and Pete Roth present a programme of eclectic guitar music, from original compositions to the beautiful music of Brazil!

Giorgio Serci has won awards such as the “International Jazz Award Sant’ Anna Arresi” in Italy and recorded and toured with Shirley Bassey, Julian Loyd-Webber, Nigel Kennedy, Harvey S. and many others.

“(Giorgio Serci) One of the best acoustic guitarist right now but also one of the most inventive musicians on the circuit. – Jonny Phillips – Jazz Umbrella

MGP records artist Pete Roth’s music is a fusion of ECM sounds and world-music of African, Brazilian, Jazz and Blues influences. He has recorded and released two original albums today and performed at jazz venues all over the country such as Ronnie Scotts and Dean Street Jazz Club to name  a few.

“Roth’s compositions range from instantly memorable melodies giving rise to filigree-delicate acoustic work” – Vortex Jazz


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Based in Guildford, and led by MD Chris Green, the Somethin’ Else Big Band was formed in 2011, the brain child of sax man Neil Clift. The original nucleus of the band included the prodigiously talented Ford brothers, and ‘our man in Merrow’ long, tall Sam Parker on tenor.  We are delighted to welcome the band back to open this year’s Wood Street Festival for the third year running with a fantastic set of toe-tapping, finger-clicking classic Big Band Swing and Latin music, featuring multi-award winning guitarist NIGEL PRICE and top jazz bass player ANDY CLEYNDERT!

Winner of “Best Guitarist” in the 2016 British Jazz Awards, NIGEL PRICE is one of the most highly regarded and in demand guitarists on the UK jazz scene today. He combines a great sound and a dazzlingly technique and his blend of flowing bebop lines, deep blues feeling and mastery of chording has made him instantly accessible and popular with jazz audiences.

Nigel spent three years with UK funk legends The James Taylor Quartet and his renowned Organ Trio won the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Award for “best jazz ensemble”. In addition to a heavy touring schedule he is also a regular performer at Ronnie Scott’s, where he has played over 400 times!

“Sheer brilliance…. Price is a dynamic live performer.” Dave Gelly, The Observer ****

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

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Finding us

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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