‘Jazzing it up’ in April down Devon way

The much respected 2017 Budleigh Jazz Festival is revved up and well on its way we’re told here at QuotroFest. It’ll be at Public Hall in the charming Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton, through the weekend of April 21st-23rd.

It’s something we do like here at QuotroFest … a nice Spring trip down West to the sea …. and a good ol’ Festival to enjoy alongside some harbour Fish and Chips and a  Devon clotted cream tea! This one is in Ralphy’s diary in big red letters for sure!

handed over

The Budleigh Jazz Festival was started in 2007 by Jazz fan, Tony Dealler. Tony decided to call it a day in 2015 and handed over the reins as Festival Director to local councillor and business man, Steve Hall supported by Jazz enthusiast and former journalist, Jose Northey.


Says Steve “I’m delighted we can bring the best jazz sounds around to Budleigh. Craig Milverton’s monthly Blue Vanguard jazz evenings at Exeter’s Gipsy Hill hotel keep my fingers on the pulse and the Budleigh Festival is a fantastic opportunity to Showcase top artists across a very wide jazz spectrum.”


The programme this year includes an excellent special ‘Sounds at Six’ event – an extra concert from 6pm-7pm each day of the Festival, to stir the audiences and get them well in the mood for the Saturday and Sunday evening ‘headline’ bands.


Festival President and virtuoso of the keyboard, Craig Milverton will be on stage as usual with his trio – Sandy Suchodolski and the great swinging drummer, Nick Millward. They will also be backing several of the acclaimed artists on the Festival programme.  For more on Craig’s full Festival and Musical ‘life’ – check here – https://www.budleighjazzfestival.org/craigmilverton.html

family affair

Making their debuts with Craig at this year’s Budleigh Festival are his daughter and singer Eleisha and son Ben on guitar as the Craig Milverton Legacy Band. So, a real ‘Family Affair’ at Budleigh Jazz this year!


The Friday evening Festival ‘starter top show is the renowned, much admired Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra – two expert bands to enjoy. Graham Hutton, jazz trumpeter and band leader will conduct both DYJO bands.

strong as ever

Brian Moore, musical director of DYJO says: ”Both bands will be featuring tunes from the 1930s up to the present day, with not just classic swing but Latin, rock and funk as well. This year’s two bands are as strong as ever, with already 60 players split between. Several of last year’s players have left to go to music colleges to study jazz, but that just means that audiences will get the chance to hear new jazz ‘voices’ from the many skilled soloists in DYJO.”



The Saturday 2.00pm opener is the Matt Carter organ trio. The much-respected Carter will not only have his own jazz trio in action, but will also accompany Annika Skoogh who follows on during Saturday afternoon. Then its the Bateman Brothers’ Louis Armstrong tribute and the ‘very special’ in demand  Julian Piper Blues Band who has played Woodstock Festival and local area lead venues, the Millbridge Inn, Plymouth, the Watchet Festival and then teamed up with Johnny Mars to play the Bronx Bar at the Teignmouth Jazz and Blues Festival. 


Sunday opens with the very stylish Milverton legacy band featuring Eleisha May (vocals) and Ben Milverton on (guitar). Then for the third 6.00pm ‘Special’  – the Helen Rimmer quartet leading in the Sunday headiner, a Special  ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ remembered Event.


For those who don’t know, Jazz at the Philharmonic was the title of a series of legendary jazz concerts, tours and recordings produced by jazz impresario Norman Granz, from 1944 until 1983. He featured many of the greatest names in Jazz, in particular the showmen and virtuoso musicians, as well as favourite singers Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

2017 style

On show for Jazz a la Philharmonic Budleigh 2017 style, will be Alan Barnes (alto sax) Ian Bateman (trombone); Martin Dale (tenor sax); Enrico Tomasso (trumpet) Lee Gibson(vocals) and The Craig Milverton Trio. Not to be missed and a great Festival finale!

Tickets online very shortly here and at www.visitbudleigh.com. You could have a day at the sea and book in person at the Box Office or by telephone on 01395 445 275. Telephone bookings can be paid for by credit card.