Halesworth Arts Festival returns for 16th year of jazz, folk, and culture

Folk singer Chris Wood. Photo: Douglas Robertson.

Folk singer Chris Wood. Photo: Douglas Robertson. - Credit: Archant

A market town is readying itself for a busy fortnight as a popular arts festival begins.

Band leader Chris Barber. Photo: Olav B. Hansen.

Band leader Chris Barber. Photo: Olav B. Hansen. - Credit: Archant

Halesworth Arts Festival (HAF) will be returning for its 16th year from tomorrow, October 7 to Sunday, October 22.

This year's event will be taking place at The Cut Arts Centre, in New Cut.

A spokesman for the festival said: 'Now in its 16th year the festival has surprised everyone, not least the organisers.

'Not only is it still here but it continues to go from strength to strength.

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He added: 'Many festival events are complete sell-outs and our loyal audience returns time and again, often supporting new and upcoming acts.'

Organisers highlighted the positive effect the HAF has had on the town since its inception.

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They said: 'This all has had an immense impact on the town of Halesworth, its traders and whole area.

'It's not unusual for people to rent holiday accommodation in order to attend several events.'

Sponsorship this year comes from no less than 41 local businesses.

The 2017 festival will open with a blast as The Big Chris Barber Band hits the stage tomorrow night.

Mr Barber is celebrating 68 years as a band leader and will be putting that experience to good use as he brings a show inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band.

The Sunday evening will see British folk legend Chris Wood finally make his long-awaited appearance at the festival with a songbook that weaves traditional folk with his own contemporary parables.

Heath Quartet, one of Britain's most exciting chamber ensembles will be appearing on Monday, October 9.

The group became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award and will be showing off their talents to lucky festival goers.

Across the festival there will also be an array of classical, jazz and folk concerts from the likes of Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa and Grammy nominated vocalist Stacey Kent.

The HAF will also be hosting the finals of the Suffolk Poets Competition.

You can find out more information about the festival and what's on by visiting www.halesworthartsfestival.org

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