Founder of Original Ealing Jazz Festival to Hold Rival Event

Dick Esmond condemns 'destruction' of thirty year old festival he established

Drayton Court Hotel

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A new jazz event is to take place in Ealing this month organised by the founder of the original Ealing Jazz Festival.

Dick Esmond established the Ealing Jazz Festival over 30 years ago and had programmed and compered it until the changes made this year by Ealing Council. He says that the new festival has been set up following cuts and a change of ethos to the event and in response to demand from local enthusiasts and musicians in the area.

This new festival has been organised at short notice and will take place on Sunday 21 August at the Drayton Court Hotel in Ealing. While just for one day in 2016, plans are afoot to expand it to a three day event from 2017.

Dick Esmond, said “Having witnessed the Council’s wilful destruction of a highly successful jazz festival established for 30 years, we are delighted to have secured the funding and support for a new jazz event which takes us back to the values we lost under Council control: namely, locally led bands, a focus on popular and accessible jazz, and free admission. It is not long since Ealing Jazz Festival was an eight day event, funded by major sponsors and free to the public. This is the first step back to what we always aimed for – a community based jazz festival that Ealing can be proud of.”

Critics of the Council-run festival have been unhappy with the reduction from 5 days to 2, a big increase in ticket prices, poor advertising of the event plus a move away from the largely locally-led bands that had previously made up much of the line-up. In addition there was annoyance at the shift in artistic direction away from jazz with, for instance, a reggae act headlining on the final Sunday. It is claimed these changes were all made by the Council without consultation with Mr Esmond, the public or the many musicians who have appeared at the festival over the years

The Jazz in the Garden Festival at the Drayton Court Hotel will run from 12pm to 8pm and features five West London bands that all opted not to play at the Council run Festival. These include:

· Andrew Butcher and Butchers Brew
· Winston Morson’s Off the Cuff
· Liz Fletcher and Marc Parnell Collaboration
· Ken McCarthy’s Jazz Friends
· Dick Esmond’s Sound of 7

Admission is free. The performance will be in the large pub garden but inside if weather is bad. The pub will be running an outdoor bar, BBQ and hog roast.

August 9, 2016

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