For five wonderful days in August, Aberjazz will bring the town to life with live music, workshops, a dragon-led parade and, finally, a party!
For this special 20th anniversary year, Aberjazz will bring some distinguished musicians to Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, introducing jazz and blues influences based on a broad spectrum of world music.
It all starts on Thursday, August 24 with the festival’s curtain raiser in Ffwrn featuring one of Aberjazz’s favourite bands, Little Rumba, back for the first time since before lockdown.
Aberjazz is proud to welcome Cleveland Watkiss MBE as this year’s headliner, who will lead his excellent eight-piece band with The Great Jamaican Songbook. Be prepared for poignant stories and the music with its deep, infectious, laid back drum and bass rhythm. What could be more special when we are acknowledging 75 years of Windrush?
The Aberjazz parade will take place on Sunday afternoon, August 27. It will be led by Idris the dragon and the band Wonderbrass, who will lead the crowd through the town to the back of the market where they will join the Aberjam-open mic, DJs and the Artisans’ market.
There will be plenty to do for young pirates; dress up and go along to Groovin' with Pirates in Theatr Gwaun at 11am with a second performance at 4pm.
For the Closing Party in the Ffwrn on Monday, August 28, Aberjazz is delighted to welcome the winner of the 2023 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition The N’Famady Kouyaté band to end the festival in style.
Whether you want to dance, sing or pick up tips on playing various instruments, why not go to one of the free workshops? You can even learn some Welsh through the medium of song.
The Aberjazz Fringe will see live music popping up in the pubs, clubs and restaurants all over the town.
Aberjazz would like to thank Arts Council of Wales who are the main sponsor, as well as Pembrokeshire County Council, Fishguard Town Council, Stena Line, and all other contributors.
Aberjazz was started in 2004 by a group of enthusiasts keen to share their love of jazz with the people of Fishguard and beyond. The first festival was held during the last weekend in October 2004. In 2006 it was decided to move it to the August Bank Holiday weekend and to add blues to broaden the appeal.
From 2008, under new management, Aberjazz started to promote jazz and blues concerts throughout the year, culminating in the Fishguard Jazz ‘n’ Blues festival in its current five-day format.
Over the years some renowned artists have played at the festival such as Jacqui Dankworth MBE, Courtney Pine, Paul Jones, Andy Fairweather Low, and of course, this year will feature Cleveland Watkiss MBE.
Many of the artists are familiar names on the jazz and blues circuit in the UK and beyond; others are local stars who have built a following all over West Wales.