Monthly Archives: September 2018

“The jazz festival rocks”

The following editorial from local newspaper, Brecon & Radnor Express, gives an overview of the weekend:

“Music lovers flocked to Brecon over the weekend as the town was taken over by Brecon Jazz and the Fringe Festival.

Not even the rain on Saturday could dampen the atmosphere – which was described by festival goers as “buzzing” from start to finish.

Dixiland started the jazz weekend, which hosted musicians from around the world, with a concert at Theatr Brycheiniog on Thursday.  However the official launch came from the Big Band on Friday at the Castle Hotel.

The Jazz Festival, which also featured a series of “afternoon jazz” events in smaller venues such as Ty Helyg guesthouse, hosted free entertainment on the outdoor stage from Friday to Sunday.

Headlining the festival on Saturday evening was a South African Jazz band which was a tribute to the late jazz musician, trumpeter and composer Hugh Masekela who had previously performed at the festival in 2010.

The South African pianist Adam Glasser, who had worked with Masekela, curated the “unique and special tribute” as he led a sextet of musicians at the Guildhall Theatre.

As well as Adam, the other musicians in the sextet included trumpeter, Byron Wallen, who also worked with Masekela and knew him personally, saxophonist Josephine Davies, Rob Luft on guitar, Daisy George on bass and Corrie Dick on drums.

One of the jazz festival’s organisers, Lynne Gornall, said; “We are very pleased with the response to this year’s Brecon Jazz Festival programme.

“The variety of music, representing three continents and profiling of top Welsh and British jazz talent, went down very well with audiences as well as the quality of the music and musicians.”

The jazz programme, which took nine months of planning, was held at five major avenues – Brecon Guildhall, the Castle Hotel, Muse Arts, St Mary’s Church and the Wellington Hotel – as well as the main free stage on the Bulwark and the smaller acoustic free stage on the High Street.

Ms Gornall, who said the organisers are thankful to everybody who helped with this year’s festival, said they are already looking for venues, supporters, volunteers and funders to come forward now for next year’s planning.

The Fringe Festival was also a major success this year as it saw over 200 performances in over 20 venues over four days from Thursday, August 9 until Sunday.


Chris de Saram (10 June 1946–21 August 2018) . A life lived for jazz .

It is with great sadness that Wakefield Jazz announce that Chris de Saram, Wakefield Jazz promoter, has died aged 72.  Friends recall him deep in conversation in the clubhouse whilst studying the Brecon Jazz programme and the concerts he’d enjoyed.  He had an encyclopaedic  knowledge of jazz and a deep enthusiasm which he shared with everyone he met.  He will be greatly missed.

The following tributes have been received from fellow FoBJ members:

“Learnt more from him in a weekend than over many years.”, Mike Talbot, past Chairman FoBj

“Friendly, enthusiastic, outspoken and passionate jazz aficionado….appreciated by a wide age group.”, Marc Edwards

“We share Marc’s respect and liking for Chris and are sad to hear this news. He had been a member for years and was always a pleasure to talk to.” Arlene Jones.

The funeral will take place this Friday, 7 September. Please go to  to see details of funeral arrangements and how you can attend.