This year's Snape Proms brings yet more diversity to Snape Maltings Concert Hall with a programme that is both exciting and innovative. Maceo Parkerbrings the audience to its feet on the first weekend, Sunday 1 August at 7:30pm with one of the greatest ever exponents of funk. He navigates between James Brown's 1960s soul and George Clinton's 1970s freaky funk while exploring mellower jazz and the grooves of hip-hop in some blisteringly tight funk.
For jazz lovers, there is Django Bates' Beloved Bird on 6 August at 7:30pm - eclectic, anarchic and innovative. Bates' virtuosity and peerless reputation as a composer, arranger and band leader have made him a pivotal figure on the British jazz scene. Bates was a leading light in the legendary Loose Tubes, and subsequently successful with his own bands Delightful Precipice and Human Chain. Bates' first recording as part of the classic jazz trio combination pays homage to the great Charlie Parker. For all radical bop piano fans, Django Bates is a real treat.
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, alongside the wonderful guest vocalist Georgina Jackson, portray a dedication to the genius of Duke Ellingtonon Tuesday, 10 August at 7:30pm. Ronnie Scott's, renowned as a world's leading jazz venue, comes to the Maltings with its own exceptional house band. Led by Pete Long, this superb big band presents iconic standards with a verve and style worthy of the biggest names in jazz. This is classic big band jazz at its best.
Gospel, jazz and soul and the blending of influences creates a sound that is both unique and which celebrates the very best of South African music with the South African Gospel Singers on Thursday, 12 August at 7:30pm. Soulful, joyous and uplifting: they embrace township and traditional harmonies, whilst drawing on Xhosa, Zulu and Suthu vocal traditions.
The Neil CowleyTrio, one of the most dynamic groups to have emerged in recent years, bring infectious piano-led jazz-pop to Snape Maltings Concert Hall on 17 August at 7:30pm. With hypnotic ostinatos, awesome piano power and achingly beautiful melodies they are a real blend of beauty, wit and rhythmic verve. As Cowley himself puts it, this is music for the heart and feet.
Saxophonist Courtney Pinecomes to the Snape stage on 24 August at 7:30pm with a superb line-up that draws on influences from South America and Europe as well as the Caribbean in a celebration of fascinating musical heritage. One of the finest jazz musicians this country has produced, he is also a passionate devotee of musical history. His latest album, acclaimed by many as his very finest work to date, pays tribute to the first great saxophone star, Sidney Bechet.
Alex Wilsonreturns to Snape with a fantastic weekend of music and dance. His solo performance on 28 August at 2pm in the new Britten Studio features his new piano album and returns to his first love with inventive, thoughtful playing and melodic soulful jazz. His mesmerizing virtuosity melds with mellow lyricism in a set that is suffused with the spirit of many of his most successful collaborations from Cuba to Colombia, Jamaica to Mali.