Festival of Chichester 2017 launches this afternoon!

Hear singer Alex on the Cathedral Green this afternoon
Hear singer Alex on the Cathedral Green this afternoon
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Festival of Chichester organisers are inviting you to join them this Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours of fun and music on the Cathedral Green.

Saturday, June 17 is day one of this year’s four-week Festival, and members of the Festival committee will be out and about to tell you about all the delights coming up in the month to come. The Festival will have its now-traditional launch on the Cathedral Green, courtesy of the Dean and Chapter.

At 2pm Besame Bleu will launch proceedings, playing for a few minutes to get a crowd gathered to listen.

Then there will be a few, brief speeches to open the 2017 Festival of Chichester, after which Besame Bleu will resume their jazz programme.

Also performing will be Ella and Eva, two dancers who met at Trinity Laban.

At 3pm Pzazz Choir will hand over proceedings before handing back to Besame Bleu at 3.45 who will take us through for a 4pm finish.

Besame Bleu spokesman Olly Dow said: “As the name suggests this trio/quartet cooks up a feast of Latin and French music served on a plate of jazz, bossa and the blues.

“Led by ex Digby Fairweather reedman, the band features the vocal talent of Alex with backing from Steve Evitts, Tony Ffrench and others.”

Olly added: “New to the area but picking up gigs in Worthing, Arundel, Petworth and Littlehampton, the band is keen to entertain a discerning public from Hove to Chichester and beyond.”

Festival chairman Phil Hewitt said: "It's a beautiful day ahead! We hope you will take the chance to find out more about our brilliant 2017 festival."

Barry Smith, festival co-ordinator, added: "We’re all set for take-off with the launch of the exciting fifth Festival of Chichester on Cathedral Green. Following in the footsteps of Chichester’s very own astronaut, Tim Peake, we are counting down to the launch of a stellar 2017 festival. Our box office at the city’s Novium museum even has a Tim Peake exhibition for customers to enjoy when they call in to buy tickets for the fantastic events on offer.

"And what a splendid summer of entertainment is in store, beginning with the launch which will be fronted by Sussex jazz band, Besame Bleu. Joining the party with a different style of entertaining music is Pzazz, a modern community singing group based at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester. The choir promise fun and uplifting feel-good tunes.

"This year, we’re delighted with a fantastic line-up. Kicking off on the first Saturday, we have two brilliant classical concerts with Pavlos Carvalho and Ensemble Reza at St John’s Chapel, while the ever-popular Southdowns Band will be joined by the Walton Choir for a Sun, Sea and Stars concert at the Cathedral in aid of the Snowdrop Trust.

"From then on the delights come thick and fast. Wonderful classical music concerts including the renowned Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto in the Cathedral, international pianists, legends of blues, rock and folk such as Georgie Fame, Martin Carthy and Tony Christie, top authors like Lisa Hilton, author of Maestra, brilliant poets including Frieda Hughes at the Poetry & Jazz Café, open air theatre at West Dean and on the Cathedral Lawn, stunning art exhibitions ….. the list goes on and on right up to the final day which features a picnic at Halnaker with a world music celebration by the renowned She’Koyokh band. And we must pay tribute to all the wonderful community organisations who have come together to organise special events for our delectation in a summer of festival fun."

Tickets are available from Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH; phone 01243 816525 or 775888; website http://www.thenovium.org/boxoffice; email boxoffice@chichester.gov.uk.

The festival committee is: John Ashley, Anthony Cane, Jill Cook, Felicity Course, Phil Hewitt, Barry Smith, Rebecca Robertson, Anne Scicluna and Helen Watt.

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