The World is Listening

The women of the Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival

In its third year, the Bristol International Jazz & Blues festival is living up to its Colston Hall sized reputation. I recently met up with a powerhouse couple in Bristol, Artistic Director of the festival, Denny Ilett, who is very excited about the talented array of women performing at the festival this year, and Katya Gorrie, singer and performer at this year’s festival.

Katya will be appearing on our podcast any day now, but in the mean time you can see her premiering interpretations of her favourite Tom Waits songs, prepared specially for the International Jazz & Blues Festival this Saturday 7th Mach at 16.15pm as part of the free programme in the Colston Hall’s Foyer. (When she’s not fronting cabaret jazz explosion Moscow Drug Club.)

Throughout the rest of the weekend you can find great singers, instrumentalists and headliners (ahem… Carleen Anderson!), here they are, all the great women of the Bristol International Jazz Festival, in order of appearance.
Find the full programme and buy tickets on their website


There will be a bunch of fringe events joining in around the city this week, check out Emily Saunders album launch!
Thursday 5th march at Future Inn at 20.30pm, £5/3


Molly & the Kings perform slick arrangements of traditional standards, swingers and juicy soul numbers. (Their words, not mine, I don’t think I know how to write ‘slick’ and ‘juicy’ in the same sentence!)
Friday 6th March 19.30, Colston Hall, Foyer, Free.


The Bruce/Ilett Big Band hosts drummer extraordinaire, Julie Saury, and Ruth Hammond on baritone sax. Ruth is also playing as part of Katya’s Tom Waits super group on the keys, she has got such natural feel and a soulful control over her instrument, you must see her play when you can.
Friday 6th March 21.30, Colston Hall, Hall One, £13/£9/£8


Check out Bristol University’s celebrated big band, The Hornstars, featuring Holly Wellington on vocals, Eleanor Barton and Harriet Davis on saxaphones, plus Eva Redman on percussion.
Saturday 7th 11.30am, Colston Hall Foyer, Free.


Moonlight Saving Time combine bold improvisation with atmospheric grooves and world rhythms, all topped with Emily Wright’s brilliant vocals.
Saturday 7th 13.45, Colston Hall Foyer, Free.


Celestine Walcott-Gordon will be leading the Bristol Jazz festival chorus in Cartoon Jazz’; featuring songs from the greatest family movies of all time as you’ve never heard them before.
Saturday 7th, 14.00, Colston hall, Hall one, £15/£8


Celestine is also running a soul, gospel and jazz choral master class at Bristol’s Folk House on Park St at 16.30 on Saturday 7th, £20.


Vocalist, violinist, songwriter and improviser Alice Zawadzki is a distinctive and individual presence on the creative music scene in London and beyond.
Saturday 7th, 15.00, Colston Hall, The Lantern, £13/£8


Katye Gorrie plays Tom Waits.
Saturday 7th – 4.15pm, Colston Hall Foyer, Free.


Dakhla play original music combining evocative harmonies, intricate rhythms and absorbing soundscapes.. with four horns and drums! You won’t have heard anything like it! And rocking on the baritone sax is Charlotte Ostafew
Saturday 7th – 5.30pm, Colston Hall Foyer, Free.


Carleen Anderson was born in Houston, Texas, and grew up listening to Gospel music at the Pentecostal church where her grandparents raised her from an infant. Soul music training was from a trio of legends, none other than James Brown, her Godfather, Bobby Byrd, her step-dad and her mother, singer Vicki Anderson.
Saturday 7th, 21.00, Colston Hall, Hall One, £30/£25/£21


Victoria Klewin, a soul chanteuse local to Bristol, takes the stage with a top notch quartet that delivers cool modern jazz.
Sunday 8th March, 13.45, Colston Hall, Foyer, Free.



The Brass Junkies are a dynamic eight piece brass band inspired by the funky Mardi Gras sounds of the New Orleans street bands. Featuring more of Ruth Hammond and also Lisa Cherian, a killer percussionist!
Sunday 8th March, 20.00, Colston Hall, Foyer, Free


Louis Armstrong played Bristol’s Colston Hall over 50 years ago, and in 2015 his music will make a long-awaited return to the venue. For this unmissable show, The Louis Armstrong Museum has given us exclusive access to some of Satchmo’s original big band compositions which haven’t been played since 1947.
Featuring a 17-piece band comprised of Bristol’s finest musicians with guest vocalists and soloists from New Orleans, including Lillian boutté, New Orleans Official Music Ambassador.
Sunday 8th March, The Louis Armstrong Story, 14.00, Colston Hall, Hall One, £15/£8


Dionne Bennett heads up Slowly Rolling Camera as lead vocalist, drawing on a diverse range of influences, the result is an eclectic sound that has elements of trip-hop and jazz, distinct echoes of the ‘invisible soundtracks’ of UK progressives Cinematic Orchestra and Portishead as well as the polychrome textures of maverick Scandinavian artists Sigur Ros.
Sunday 8th March, 15.00, Colston Hall, The Lantern, £13/£8


Legend Dr John closes the festival on Sunday night and features trombonist and Musical Director Sarah Morrow.
Sunday 8th March, 21.00, Colston Hall, Hall One, £36/30/24/18