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Cambridge International Jazz Festival celebrates 100 years of Jazz

By Gemma Gardner

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe
Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

Some consider 2017 to be the 100-year anniversary of jazz and it's certainly the centenary of some of its biggest stars, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.

Focused on jazz in the UK and Ireland, the #jazz100 campaign highlights the diversity and energy of jazz today, celebrates the story of jazz music and culture, and considers how the next 100 years will unfold.

At this year’s Brewin Dolphin Cambridge International Jazz Festival, supported by the Cambridge Independent, which takes place from November 11 to 26 at venues across the city, there will be plenty of action to help celebrate the #jazz100 campaign and many other notable anniversaries with some of the big names of jazz.

Thelonious Monk is remembered at a special ‘Monk Movie Night’ on November 12 (5-8pm) at Anglia Ruskin University, with screenings of Straight No Chaser and The Jazz Baroness.

Jazz poet, musician, spoken word performer, author and seen by many as ‘The Godfather of Rap’, Gil Scott Heron features in four tribute projects. On November 17, protege and Liverpool author and performance poet Malik Al Nasir will be giving a talk entitled Artists as Activists at the Centre of Latin American Studies (Judith E Wilson Drama Studio, 5-7pm).

On November 18, Stan Tracey’s Hexad celebrates the 90th birthday of ‘The Godfather of British Jazz’ with a band put together in celebratory mode by drummer son Clark Tracey, who played in Stan’s band from the age of 18. Clark has chosen some of today’s best musicians from a new generation to represent Stan Tracey’s music including Alex Ridout, winner of BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016.

Ella Fitzgerald is celebrated in two affectionate tributes, Ella: Queen of Jazz on November 19 at Hotel Felix, with author/illustrator Helen Hancocks and award-winning duo, Miriam Ast and Victor Gutierrez featuring a selection of Ella’s songs, live illustration, plus a short reading and chat about Helen’s latest book which includes the true story of the remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, and Embraceable Ella at Hot Numbers on November 20, with local musicians Joanna Eden and Chris Ingham.

Full listings and tickets can be found at cambridgejazzfestival.info.


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