Beat the Winter Blues – With Jazz & Blues Festival

November can seem a long month, with dark nights, grey days and still a long wait for any Christmas presents or festive celebrations. So three cheers for the Brakspear Jazz & Blues Festival, returning for a fifth year to offer entertainment from a raft of talented musicians and give us another reason to go to the pub.

The Jazz & Blues Festival runs from 10-19 November in Brakspear pubs across Oxfordshire, Berkshire and further afield. Once again, it is set to showcase a diverse range of jazz and blues music, performed by soloists and bands including a number of local artistes. Most gigs are free entry, though some pubs are hosting special ‘meal and music’ events. All performances are listed on the dedicated website

Some of the acts appearing during the Jazz & Blues Festival are:

  • Friday 10 November: kicking off the festival at the Hare & Hounds in Sonning Common, Marco Ferris performs R&B on his harmonica, with a sidekick adding vocals and guitar.
  • Friday 17 November: ‘steampunk’ band Curious Sounds perform at the Catherine Wheel in Goring. The winners of last year’s ‘Has Reading Got Talent’ contest are the first of a weekend of jazz & blues at the pub, with gigs also taking place on the Saturday and Sunday.
  • Friday 17 November: Tom Michell (above), a popular musician in past Festivals, brings his distinctive style of blues guitar to the Angel on the Bridge in Henley.
  • Saturday 18 November: Niall Kelly, another Jazz & Blues Festival veteran, appears at the Saracen’s Head, Henley, fresh from playing support for Jacqui Abbott & Paul Heaton, formerly Beautiful South, at a series of concerts in his native Ireland.
  • Sun 19 November: John Cee Stannard, an acoustic blues trio playing good old fashioned foot tapping blues, perform at the Horns at Wargrave. Tickets cost £25, including a southern style buffet

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “Pubs have a proud history of providing a platform for musicians and we’re delighted to be staging the Jazz & Blues Festival again, with a great line up from talented performers across the jazz and blues spectrum.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming music lovers into our pubs and are confident they’ll all have a wonderful time listening to some brilliant music, enjoying a beer or two and maybe even getting onto the dance floor. What better way to spend a dark November evening?”