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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 August 2005, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Rain fails to dampen jazz spirits
Georgie Fame
Georgie Fame's Birthday Big Band plays on Sunday
Heavy downpours failed to dampen the spirits of music-lovers at the Brecon Jazz Festival on Saturday.

Festival spokesman Lee Collins said ticket sales were better than ever, with "stroller" tickets selling out for both Saturday and Sunday.

Music fans have travelled from across the UK for the 22nd festival, which opened on Friday.

Highlights on Sunday include Georgie Fame and the Count Basie Orchestra, which is flying in specially.

The fact that the festival is attracting such major figures from the jazz hall of fame is some indication of its growing reputation on the circuit.

Others taking part this year include the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band, Jools Holland, KT Tunstall, and Lucie Silvas.

Organisers revealed they have plans for a new winter jazz festival, which is expected to take place for the first time in November 2006.

Jools Holland
Tickets to see Jools Holland sold out

By Saturday evening, more than 20,000 people had bought tickets - an increase of 2,000 on last year.

"It's fantastic news," Mr Collins said. "But the final total will undoubtedly be higher, as a lot of people tend to turn up on the day.

"Despite the weather, everyone is having a tremendous time. It's not dampened their spirits at all."

The curtain-raiser to the festival was a concert on Thursday by Neath-born Jenkins performing with the National Chamber Orchestra.

The singer, whose CDs have been topping the classical charts, is the latest big name from outside the jazz world to perform at the gala show. First Minister Rhodri Morgan officially opened the festival on Friday, ahead of gigs by Holland and Tunstall.

The Welsh Assembly Government contributed 90,000 to this year's festival.

During the festival, several acts paid tribute to US saxophone legend Charlie Parker, marking the 50th anniversary of his death.


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