Tickets for the 31st  Wigan International Jazz Festival on sale now - see our Jazz Festival page for  full details


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Date Time Artists (click for artist information) Adult WJC member
Thursday  7th July 8.00pm Georgie Fame & the Guy Barker Big Band


Friday 8th July 12.00pm New York Brass Band / Most Wanted Band £16 £14
8.00pm Wigan YJO with Eric Marienthal £18 £16
Saturday 9th July 12.00pm Brownfield Byrne Sextet / SK2 Jazz Orch. £16 £14
8.00pm The Big Chris Barber Band £22 £20
Sunday 10th July 12.00pm Dan Whieldon Trio with Richard Iles / SwingTime Big Band with Andy Prior £16 £14
8.00pm SHAPE Orchestra £18 £16
ROVER TICKETS (Admission to all events) £115 £100


Tickets on general sale from Tuesday March 1st

Information & Ticket Hotline 01942 776169

Box Office at Robin Park - 01942 828508

For online booking of individual shows use the following links:

(NB clicking on these links takes you to an external website, Box Office)

Georgie Fame/Guy Barker Big Band:  BOOK

New York Brass Band/Most Wanted Band:  BOOK

Eric Marienthal/WYJO: BOOK

Brownfield-Byrne Sextet/SK2:  BOOK

The Big Chris Barber Band:  BOOK

Dan Whieldon/Swingtime/Andy Prior:  BOOK

SHAPE Orchestra:  BOOK


Rover Tickets & Jazz Club enquiries: Mary Haynes 01942 720656








Friday  8th July 10.00am Guy Barker talk

The Arena, Robin Park

Saturday 9th July 10.00am Andy Prior talk The Arena, Robin Park
Saturday 9th July 11.00am - 1.00pm Wigan Schools Swing Band

Wigan Youth Big Band

Market Place, Wigan
Sunday 10th July 10.00am Chris Barber talk The Arena, Robin Park
Sunday 10th July 1.00pm - 3.00pm SHAPE Orchestra Mesnes Park, Wigan




Thursday 7th July at 8.00pm 


Georgie Fame (born Clive Powell, 26 June 1943 in Leigh, Lancashire) is an English rhythm and blues and jazz singer, and keyboard player. The musician, who had a string of 1960s hits, is still a popular performer, often working with contemporaries such as Van Morrison and Bill Wyman. Fame is the only British pop star to have achieved three number one hits with his only Top 10 chart entries: "Yeh, Yeh" in 1964, "Get Away" in 1966 and "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" in 1967. Fame was also founding member of his friend Bill Wyman's early band Rhythm Kings, touring with the band. He has also worked with Count Basie, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Joan Armatrading and the Verve.[13] Fame has frequently played residences at jazz clubs, such as Ronnie Scott's. He has also played organ on Starclub's album. He was the headline act on the Sunday night at the Jazz World stage at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, this following a headline gig the night before at the "Midsummer Music @ Spencers" festival in Essex. On 18 April 2010, Fame, together with his two sons Tristan Powell (guitar) and James Powell (drums), performed at the Live Room at Twickenham Stadium, as part of the 10th-birthday celebrations of "The Eel Pie Club”. Part of the proceeds from the concert will benefit The Otakar Kraus Trust, which provides music and voice therapy for children and young people with physical and mental difficulties. The trio performed later that same year at the opening night at Towersey Festival. Fame has made several albums on his own Three Line Whip label since the late 1990s, mostly new original compositions with a jazz/R&B framework. In July 2014 Fame played two consecutive dates at the village hall in Goring-on-Thames and then at the Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire. Fame was featured in Diana Krall's cover of his early hit "Yeh Yeh" on Krall's Wildflower album released on 3 February 2015. In October 2015 Fame announced a 12-date UK tour and on 4 October was a guest on BBC Radio 2’s Weekend Wogan. 

Georgie Fame appears at the Wigan IJF with trumpeter and close friend Guy Barker MBE and his Big Band. Considered Britain’s Premier Big Band the personal comprises the cream of the UK’s studio players many of whom are popular performers on the international jazz festival circuit and especially in Wigan. These include: Nathan Bray, Tom Reece-Roberts, Mike Lovatt, Guy Barker (trumpets), Alistair White, Mark Frost (trombones), Sammy Mayne, Paul Booth, Colin Skinner (saxophones), Jim Mullen (guitar), Chris Hill (bass), Jim Watson (piano) and James Powell (drums).


Friday 8th July at 12 noon 


New York Brass Band are North Yorkshire’s only contemporary New Orleans inspired brass band. Hailing from the ancient streets of York the band has been rocking weddings, burning up festivals and smashing sports events since 2011. In 2015 NYBB played over 200 gigs. The band is a powerful team of some of Yorkshire’s finest musicians packing an arsenal of percussion, sax, trumpets, trombones and sousaphone with a varied repertoire of over 60 tunes at their fingertips without a note of music in sight. This is a band that works without gimmicks, auto tune or backing tracks, we blur the line between band and audience by inviting the crowd to become part of the show and ending the performance in the audience, dancing on the tables or congaing under the stars. The repertoire of the band is a broad range of styles from jazz to pop, reggae to funk and New Orleans to ska. 


This band have Zelig like skills, tapping into a range of vintage sounds and all with an authentically down home swamp feel. They know how to blend momentous melodies, wistful thinking & insightful lyrics over skilfully crafted songs infused with impressive guitar and lapsteel guitar licks. Their style seamlessly personifies blending roots music with a high sense of entertainment. Touches of psychedelia just add to their quirky appeal. Stevie Williams (bass & vocals), Dave Hassell (drums & percussion), Markie Creswell (guitar & vocals), Billy Buckley (guitar & lap steel guitar) and Clive Mellor (harmonica).


Friday 8th July at 8.00pm 

WIGAN YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA directed by David Little


 Formed in 1976, this multi-award winning band aims to train and develop the musical skills of its members in performing big band music from between the 1930s and 1990s. The orchestra has a very busy schedule and often plays up to 50 performances annually all over the UK and abroad. Touring is a very important part of the orchestra's calendar and they've been lucky enough to travel to a number of destinations including the USA, Russia, Israel, Kuala Lumpur, Australia and South Africa as well as throughout Europe. WYJO has received many national and international honours, most notably from the BBC Radio Big Band Competition, the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Competition and the National Festival of Music for Youth. In 2010 they were runners-up in the Great North Big Band Festival at Sunderland University despite being the youngest band in their section. As a result of their high standards, the orchestra has worked with a number of the world's top musicians over the years including Maynard Ferguson, James Morrison and Marion Montgomery. Every year brings personnel changes in the orchestra as its oldest members leave, with many going on to study at music college or forge careers in the professional world, leaving a new generation of WYJO musicians to continue the orchestras proud traditions.


After graduating high school in Southern California in 1976, Eric went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. There he studied with the legendary saxophone professor, Joe Viola. By the time he left Berklee, Eric had achieved the highest proficiency rating given by the school. In 1995, Eric was awarded the Berklee Distinguished Alumnus Award for outstanding achievements in contemporary music. He has since gone on to perform in over 75 different countries, recorded 14 solo CD's and has played on hundreds of records, films, television shows and commercial jingles. Eric started his professional career in 1980 with famed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt. After returning to Los Angeles Eric became a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band. He recorded 6 CD's with Chick Corea band and won 2 Grammy Awards. Eric went on to perform with artists such as Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Burt Bacharach, Aaron Neville, Johnny Mathis, Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, George Duke, David Benoit, The Rippingtons, The Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Patti Austin, Lou Rawls, David Lee Roth, The Yellowjackets, B.B. King, Ramsey Louis, Patti Labelle, Olivia Newton-John, and many others. Among Eric's 14 solo CD's, his latest is entitled "Bridges", on Peak Records. Eight of the songs that Eric has recorded have made it to the top 10 of the National Contemporary Jazz Radio Charts and three have made it to #1. Eric was voted as being one of the year's "Favorite Alto Sax Players" in Jazziz Magazine's Reader's Poll along with David Sanborn and Phil Woods. Eric has also written 3 instructional books, "Comprehensive Jazz Studies & Exercises", The Ultimate Jazz Play Along" and "The Music Of Eric Marienthal" as well as 3instructional videos, "Play Sax From Day One", "Modern Sax" and "Tricks Of The Trade", all published by Warner Bros. Publications which is now Alfred Publishing/Belwin Jazz. Every summer for the past 17 years Eric has put on an annual fundraising concert for High Hopes. High Hopes is a non-profit organization in Orange County, California that works with people who have suffered traumatic head injuries. With the help of many guest artists who have donated their time to perform, these concerts to date have raise well over $1,500,000 for this charity.


Saturday 9th July at 12 noon 


The Brownfield-Byrne Sextet was conceived in 2009 by trumpeter, Jamie Brownfield and saxophonist, Liam Byrne, both of whom are based in rural North Wales. Embracing the trumpet and tenor tradition of 1950's bebop, the group’s repertoire has expanded considerably over the past few years to incorporate much earlier forms of jazz, reflecting the ever-expanding influences that inform it's style. By placing an emphasis on a high standard of musicianship and a challenging repertoire, and staying true to their original jazz influences, these five musicians succeed in achieving a broad appeal with young and old alike, breaking down the boundaries that traditionally exist between the respective jazz genres. Equally at home playing to late night revellers in a city centre jazz club, or performing to aficionados at an old-style traditional jazz festival, the quintet's sound is characterised by the vibrancy of its front line horn section over a driving rhythm section consisting of guitar, double bass and drums. Combining a 21st sensibility with a passion for earlier styles of jazz has given the band a unique sound and identity which has earned them a growing reputation in the UK as torch bearers of the jazz tradition. Jamie Brownfield (trumpet), Liam Byrne (tenor saxophone), Tom Kincaid (piano), Andy Hulme (guitar), Jim Swinnerton (double bass), and Jack Cotterill (drums).


Featuring the cream of the north’s musicians, including Munch Manship, Neil Morley, Steve Parry and Lee Hallam, the 18-piece SK2 Jazz Orchestra, led by drummer Dave Tyas, plays the greatest hits of the legendary pianist, jazz composer and arranger, Stan Kenton. Offering a rare chance to hear this iconic music performed by a first class big band, the SK2 Jazz Orchestra keeps the Kenton sound alive for 21st century audiences


Saturday 9th July at 8.00pm


British jazz trombonist Chris Barber celebrates his 67th year as a bandleader in 2016. Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Chris formed his first Barber New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of nineteen. In 1953, along with Monty Sunshine and Lonnie Donegan, he joined forces with Ken Colyer. Then, with the replacement of Colyer by Pat Halcox, Ken Colyer's Jazzmen became Chris Barber's Jazz Band in 1954 and has been one of Europe's most successful traditional jazz bands ever since. Over the years, Chris Barber's Jazz Band evolved into the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, a richly-textured eight-piece group, blending brass, reeds, and electric guitar into a unique and unmistakable mix of blues and jazz. And despite being 'on the slide' since 1949, having performed over 10,000 concerts and made thousands of recordings, the Chris Barber Band keeps marching on, right into the 21st century. At the end of 2001 Chris extended his band with three more musicians into The BIG Chris Barber Band. Current Personnel (January 2015) Chris Barber (trombone), Bob Hunt (trombone), Mike Henry (trumpet), Peter Rudeforth (trumpet), Nick White (saxophone), Trevor Whiting (clarinet), Bert Brandsma (clarinet), Joe Farler (guitar), Jackie Flavelle (bass) and John Watson (drums).


Sunday 10th July at 12 noon


Dan Whieldon is a Jazz pianist originally from Burton-on-Trent. He started as a child playing by ear, working out songs and hymns on the piano. (He always loved chords from a young age) He played piano and clarinet and got more and more involved in music at his local school de Ferrers, playing in several bands and projects there. Dan decided to study music, so he went to Birmingham Conservatoire where he studied classical piano and discovered some of his favourite composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, Chopin, Brahms etc. all of which featured in his final recital. Studying in Brussels followed and this was a turning point for Dan as he became hooked on the ‘European’ Jazz sound. Diederik Wissels and Nathalie Loriers his two teachers there were a big influence on him. He now enjoys playing with several national and international players on their visits to the North West, which have included amongst others: Steve Waterman, Alan Barnes, Tina May, Jiggs Whigham, Art Themen and Dan Shout. He is a regular at most Jazz festivals in the North West and enjoys playing abroad whenever possible (Taiwan, Belgium, Spain amongst others) Dan’s regular groups include the Mike Hall Quartet, Dan Whiedon/Alice Zawadzki duo, Dan Whieldon trio and the Glossop Gershwin project. His first 2 cds Live at Zeffirelli’s (trio with Gavin Barras and Jonas Backman) and Over the Moon with Mike Hall received positive reviews from the press and enjoyed some radio play on BBC radio 2 on Humphrey Lyttelton’s show. A highlight of Dan’s career was in 2008 when he won the Nottingham National Jazz Piano Competition. His prize was a brand new Blüthner piano and a tour of concerts including the Vortex and 606 clubs in London. Dan’s CD ‘Positive Changes’ has recently been released on ASC records. RICHARD ILES is one of the UK’s most respected trumpet / flugelhorn players, composer and musical director. Over the years Richard has been a regular and popular performer at the Wigan IJF.


SWING TIME BIG BAND with special guest ANDY PRIOR, also featuring EMMA HOLCROFT

SWING TIME BIG BAND, directed by Jez Murphy, is a collection of the finest big band musicians in the North West who have come together to present the best in both classic swing standards and more modern repertoire. The band ethos is to play great music that you want to listen to, to entertain the audience always leaving them wanting more. Their love of big band music comes across in our dynamic performances which are delivered with fantastic energy and the highest quality musicianship. This fine array of players is complimented by the wonderful vocal talents of Miss Emma Holcroft, who presents her own tribute to the great jazz divas. Emma sings the music of Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Rosemary Clooney to name just a few. Having performed in a wide variety of settings Emma says she feels most at home singing these great songs in front of a swinging big band and we couldn't agree more. 


As a child, Andy Prior would listen to his favourite albums of Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra and dream of one day having a band of his own. From humble beginnings in a small, rundown mining community in the North-West of England, Andy nurtured his dreams throughout his teenage years and began studying the trombone. With a bandleader father and a mother trained as an opera singer, Andy cut his musical teeth in the highly disciplined world of brass band music and it was here that his musical talents began to surface. It was not long before he was performing around the world with the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra. He was awarded the Don Lusher Trophy for Best Soloist in the BBC Radio Big Band competition. For most musicians, such recognition at an early age would represent a fulfilment of childhood dreams, but Andy still had a passion that burned within – to sing those incredible, well-crafted songs he heard his heroes perform. Unlike the copycat culture of today, Andy was inspired by the way that Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Matt Monro and others made the songs their own, and he wanted to do the same for himself, in front of a band that would play the music the way he heard it. After making his singing debut at 16 with the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, his “Sounds of Sinatra” show was such a resounding success that when the Orchestra toured Hong Kong and China, Andy was already front page news. So, in 1984, Andy started his big band, using a mixture of young talent and ex-professionals from his local area and began honing his skills as a bandleader and song stylist. Within a short time, he was invited to join the Eric Delaney Band at the world-famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The season was a tremendous success, with people coming from all across the country to see the legendary drummer and his new singing sensation, Andy Prior. The time was right for Andy to begin touring with his own band and, with Delaney’s blessing, he did just that. This new, young, dynamic ensemble, fronted by a man with a unique singing style who plays a mean trombone (and can make ‘em laugh too!) was soon making waves throughout the music industry. Offers of work came thick and fast and Andy Prior was on his way. His talents were featured on national television (Pebble Mill, The Generation Game, Talking Telephone Numbers…), he was a winner on Opportunity Knocks, the first resident bandleader at the Tower Ballroom for 25 years and he was packing theatres across the UK. All this at a time when big band music was deemed unpopular! He was the first and only performer to tour with a show celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra whilst the great man was still alive. Ol’ Blue Eyes even endorsed the show! The tour was an outstanding success, playing to capacity crowds at the London Palladium, Bridgewater Hall, Symphony Hall, St.Davids Hall….the list goes on. After Sinatra’s passing in 1998, tribute shows began to flood the market but Andy Prior stayed true to himself and was rewarded for this when, in 2002 he was invited by the legendary Billy May to front his Orchestra in the world-famous Stardust Hotel, Las Vegas. Billy had been a hero of Andy’s since childhood- a soloist with Glenn Miller and later, Sinatra’s musical arranger. In Vegas, Prior was celebrated not only as possibly the last great bandleader, but also as the torch-bearer for the future. What gives Andy Prior a unique place in history is the fact that although all the great bands had star vocalists, this bandleader is the star vocalist. In July 2004 Andy’s 20th year as a band leader was celebrated when Granada TV featured him in his own series broadcast in July 2004. The guest list alone is testament to his standing in the entertainment world- Peter Kay, “Corrie” star Bill Tarmey, jazz diva Jacqui Dankworth, Sony Music Artist and British Jazz Award Nominee Clare Teal.


Sunday July 10th at 8.00pm


The NATO Jazz Orchestra (NJO) is the largest ensemble of the SHAPE International Band, and performs throughout Europe representing Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The NATO Jazz Orchestra is a classic big band with a contemporary flair. The group's diverse repertoire includes selections ranging from Count Basie, Glenn Miller and the "old standards" to present-day composers like Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul. Since their inception in 1985, the NJO has performed throughout Europe and North Africa, establishing a reputation of excellence by bringing experienced, talented and enthusiastic musicians to the stage. The band has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, Leiden Blues & Jazz Week, the Brussels Jazz Marathon, Aix Jazz Festival, JaazKaar in Estonia, The Cork Jazz Festival, and the Bansko Jazz Festival. The band has also performed concert tours throughout Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland & Italy.






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