Going Dutch (& German) at Upton Jazz!
June 30, 2010

This year the sun well and truly shone on the 25th annual Upton on Severn Jazz  Festival. 25 years, where do they go? Having relocated to Upton in 1984 I remember visiting the very first Oliver Cromwell Jazz Festival, an altogether much smaller affair, the following year.

It has now grown beyond recognition and every year little old Upton bursts into life, for the last weekend in June, welcoming internationally renowned trad jazz bands and the colorful, vibrant crowds that flock to see them. 

Over the years I have always tried to sample some of the jazz and soak up the atmosphere but, unfortunately, with school reports high on the agenda at this time of year the conflicting demands on my time have usually weighed in favour of work over pleasure. Not so this year – in my first summer of retirement I was able to indulge myself !   

Chris, having managed her time well, had finished her school reports before I got back from Africa (she must have been at a loose end!) This allowed us to invite friends, from the cold wastes of the north, down for the weekend to share the whole Upton Jazz experience.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves listening to some top quality musicians, sipping  a few too many ice cool beers and even eating al fresco at our local Bangladeshi restaurant, Pundits, on a balmy English summers evening!

Two jazz sets we all particularly enjoyed were provided by Lamarotte, a Dutch band, and the Bourbon Street Stompers, from Germany. Both bands have appeared at Upton before and Lamarotte are old favourites at the festival with their delightful blend of jazz and humour always goes down a storm.  Our friends were even moved to buy their latest CD, which features Upton Church on its sleeve!     

I’m looking forward to next year already! But before that there will be a weekend of Blues  starting 16th July, the Water Festival with its stunning firework display, over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and the annual Upton Folk Festival next May Day weekend.   

We do very well for a sleepy little Worcestershire town!