30 years of Teignmouth Jazz Festival is an incredible achievement. Tamsin Mendelsohn, Jazz South Manager spoke to Ian Roberts, Chair of Teignmouth Jazz & Blues Club.

TM: I imagine that many people have given their time and passion over the years to the festival?

IR: Yes, we have always been run by volunteers. We’ve recently welcomed new faces to the committee, and  are changing the way we will work. We’ve undergone a re-brand from Teignmouth  to Teign Jazz and Blues, a small change but one which gives us a wider geographical remit to achieve our charity’s aims. We are keeping fresh and forward thinking by creating new ventures in our anniversary year.

Image:We Are Leif

TM: That sounds inventive, what are your plans?

IR: We are developing other club promotions throughout the year, including a new series called Ladies Sing in partnership with The Pavilion in Teignmouth, in order to profile more female musicians.

TM: Tell me more about the festival this year – how are celebrating your anniversary?

IR: Firstly we have moved it forward by several weeks to mid-October to enjoy more autumnal weather! This means we have outdoor events for the first time to feature more local bands and up-and-coming young musicians, and of course to create a great atmosphere in the town.

We have refreshed the ticketed programme. It includes younger, contemporary bands including Johnny Mansfield’s Elftet and Sur Ecoute Quartet.

We have committed to celebrating  female artists – 40% of this year’s programmed performers are led by or include women. Our printed programme  includes  six special articles by musicians  including Kate Westbrook and Lilli Unwin who write on the changing role of women in Jazz.

Image: Sara Colman

TM: You have booked three Platform South bands

IR: Yes, we are very proud to be a beneficiary of Jazz South’s new scheme and delighted to host Kate Westbrook’s Granite Band, Bristol-based We Are Leif and award-winning Sara Colman Band.They are all bands who were on our radar and Jazz South reminded us just how good they are.  The subsidy support meant we could take a leap and bring them into the festival programme introducing our festival audiences to these excellent artists based in the South.

Image: The Granite Band

For full details of the programme and tickets visit www.teignmouthjazz.org