From the Bard to Bessie - a world of song at Buxton’s Fringe

The 37th Buxton Festival Fringe this July (6-24) features a strong programme of song and music – much of it coming from jazz and blues roots.

New Orleans-style pianist and singer Dale Storr won an award at last year's Fringe and he's back with two two-hours sets – promoting a new album - to give you every chance to see what all the fuss is about. You can also expect an evening of standards expertly played and sung – with a twist – by the Basin Street Jazz & Blues.

The 20th-century Blues legacy will be further explored by Annette Reis, singing a programme drawing on the songs of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone. Bluesman Mike Francis has been touring for 40 years and plays in Buxton as part of the European Blues Award weekend and he promises something special.

For sheer fun and the joy of making music, the Herding Catz Blues Band will take some beating – as those who heard them last year will testify. Will Hawthorne and Band will surely include some Blues in their intriguing show Keeping Up With the Joneses – in which all the songs feature Mr or Miss Jones.

Darren Poyzer loves the Buxton Fringe and has become a great friend in recent years. This year's show – Bloody Love Songs – focusses on the joys and heartbreak that we feel as we fall in and out of love. Hojo (back in Buxton after 10 years) and and flautist Richard Jurgens will probably be a bit more restrained – but just as heartfelt – with songs that may put you in mind of Nick Drake or Roy Harper.

Club Acoustic meets twice a month at The Old Clubhouse providing local singers and musicians with the opportunity to try out new songs and reworkings. You can expect a stimulating mixture of the familiar and original when Club regulars take to the stage in a free show.

Local trombonist Sam Slide has charmed people in recent years with his musical autobiography – and he is back with a new playlist and new tales. The Sovereign Saxophone Octet can be relied upon to deliver an eclectic programme of intriguingly arranged tunes – some written long before the saxophone was invented, others more obviously associated with the instrument.

The enigmatic Project Adorno makes a welcome return to Buxton with a programme of songs about the life and career of playwright Dennis Potter, electro-pop in style, witty and charming in delivery. Another intriguing programme from a similar era is Spies, Stories and Songs in which Stephen Roberts will be singing and talking about the Cambridge Spies and the Cultural Cold War.

The Fall's Mark Smith called Arthur Kadmon a genius. The singer and guitarist is now playing as Egriega and his acoustic set 're-invents jazz, tango and funk into original music for this decade.' Also acoustic, but more traditional in style, are the Raintown Seers who have built up a strong following on the folk circuit with their mix of intelligent originals and covers.

You can also hear the Ordsall Acappella Choir – probably 20 or more singers – perform with energy and sensitivity. Join them after the show for cake! Buxton's own Kaleidoscope Community Choir – led by Carol Bowns – meets regularly and will be sharing the results of recent workshops. Carol will also be singing as part of Les Trois Amies – accompanied by a piano duet – with songs from Shakespeare through to Gershwin.

The massed-ranks of the Ladybrook Singers and the Chapel-en-le-Frith High School Choir – joined by recorder player Alison Bletcher – offer a rich and varied programme from Elgar to Les Miserables in the wonderful acoustic of St John's Church.

The Fringe wishes to thank its sponsor The University of Derby as well as financial supporters The Trevor Osborne Charitable Trust and High Peak Borough Council, its Fringe Friends and the town’s many Fringe supporters and venues.

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