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Acts for the 2017 Burton Agnes Jazz & Blues Festival

We are delighted to announce the headline acts for the 2017 festival. We will celebrate our tenth anniversary with swinging jazz from Claire Martin OBE and Ray Gelato, and powerful blues from Northern Ireland’s star, Kaz Hawkins.

Claire Martin and Ray Gelato - 'A Swingin' Affair'

‘Jazz Artistry’ The Observer

Join internationally renowned vocalist and BBC Radio presenter, Claire Martin OBE, and legendary saxophonist and singer, Ray Gelato, for their first show together: 'A Swingin’ Affair'.

Celebrating the release of their album ‘We’ve Got a World That Swings’, described by The Observer as 'Jazz Artistry', these much celebrated and respected artists take to the stage to explore the Great American Songbook.

Alongside a world-class trio of musicians, Claire and Ray revisit classics such as 'Let's Call the Whole Thing Off', ‘They Can’t Take That Away from Me’, 'They all Laughed' and 'Can’t We Be Friends’.

If you like your music sassy, sharp and swinging, this is the show for you. A swingin’ affair indeed!

‘Hugely entertaining and beautifully performed’ The Observer

‘Strikes all the right notes, played and sung with real joie de vivre’ Jazzwise

Claire Martin OBE:

‘Our finest jazz singer’ The Sunday Times

‘She ranks amongst the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet’ Jazz Times USA

‘A consummate jazz singer with old-school virtues … she wins plaudits everywhere she works’ The Guardian

Ray Gelato:

‘Not for nothing is Gelato known as ‘The Godfather of Swing’’ The Telegraph

‘Gelato’s dapper mixture of swing and Louis Prima jumping jive remains as invigorating as ever’ The Times

Kaz Hawkins

‘...terrific vocal performance’ Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2

Northern Ireland's very own blues and soul darling, multi-award winning Kaz Hawkins has been compared to Etta James and Janis Joplin. Kaz, already a hugely popular blues artist in the UK and Ireland, is now wooing blues fans all over the world with her powerful, deep, soulful voice and superb original song writing. Her high-energy shows, 1950s style swing dress-meets-Dr Marten's look and ability to connect closely with her audience combine to create a unique performance that's not to be missed.

Kaz's recent haul of accolades includes being invited by BBC Radio Ulster to take part in a special Van Morrison 70th birthday broadcast in Northern Ireland August 2015; Best Studio Album 2015 (Blues Matters); Best Emerging Artist (British Blues Awards 2015) and Winner of Female Vocalist Pure M Awards (Northern Ireland Industry Award); Winner of Best Music Video 2016 with Pure M Awards; and a nominee for the UK Blues Challenge 2016.

Lisa Mills

A Mississippi native, Lisa is one of the greatest singers you'll ever hear, and she's no mean guitar slinger either! With blues, country, gospel and soul influences (and adding the occasional dollop of jazz inflection) Mills takes the best of each genre in self-penned pieces and carefully chosen covers, and transforms them utterly. Her defiance of description is what makes Lisa Mills a singular talent: Mills serves up her own savoury-sweet mix that goes beyond the expected. Holding an audience, breathless, in her hand with barely a whisper one second, and a soaring crescendo the next - Mills is at once thrilling and mystifying. She is on of those rare artists that, once you've heard her, cannot possibly be mistaken for anyone else.

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