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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 06:59 GMT
Jazz tributes to hurricane city
Soweto Kinch performing at Brecon Jazz 2005
The festival sold 18,000 tickets in 2005
The Brecon Jazz Festival is to pay its respects to the hurricane-hit city of New Orleans this summer.

The programme will include music in tribute to the jazz city, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The festival has also announced a six-figure sponsorship deal and that it will be known as HSBC Brecon Jazz 2006.

Stars confirmed for 11-13 August event include veteran pianist Stan Tracey, Courtney Pine and US star Benny Golson.

More than 70,000 people are expected in the Powys town for the 23rd annual weekend event.

Vocalist George Melly, a long time supporter of the event, helped launch the festival at the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay on Tuesday.

He will also perform at the festival, with other names so far confirmed including US tenor sax players Golson and Johnny Griffin, as well as British stars from different eras - Tracey and Pine.

Singers Gwyneth Herbert and Iris Williams also join the diverse line-up.

Top left and clockwise: Courtney Pine, Stan Tracey,  Benny Golson and Gwyneth Herbert
Coming to Brecon - Pine, Tracey, Herbert and Golson

The three-year deal with bank HSBC will be the first time the festival's title has been sponsored.

The Welsh Assembly Government is also supporting the event, while broadcaster S4C will be filming special programmes.

'Good news'

Culture Minister Alun Pugh said: "Brecon Jazz has a growing international reputation, which I'm sure will go from strength to strength.

"I am committed to supporting events that showcase Wales on the international stage, as well as providing the people of Wales with world renowned musicians on their doorstep," he said.

Walter Dickie, festival chairman of Brecon International Festival of Jazz said: "This is a very good news story for the arts in Wales and we can go forward together with great optimism."

The full programme, under new festival director Jim Smith, will be unveiled in May.

Last year's festival sold more than 18,000 tickets, with performers including KT Tunstall and Jools Holland.


SEE ALSO:
Star line-up to play New Orleans
16 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
French boost for New Orleans jazz
03 Nov 05 |  Entertainment
Funds row clouds jazz event
08 Aug 03 |  Wales
BBC deal rescues Brecon Jazz
12 Feb 01 |  Wales


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