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Jazz & Science Festivals

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JAZZ FESTIVAL

This year Cheltenham Jazz Festival introduces an all new allpay Fringe programme, which runs from Thursday 22 April to Monday 3 May. The programme offers a host of great music to compliment the main festival programme, and best of all – it’s all FREE! Here’s your indispensible guide about how to get the most out of your fringe experience…

This year the Fringe has got bigger and better than ever before, and now stretches out into three distinct areas, each with its own unique flavour: Fringe on the Town, Fringe on the Square and Cheltenham Untapped.

For the first time ever Fringe in the Town takes the festival action out into town the week before the main festival. Pubs, bars and venues across Cheltenham will be buzzing with a host of varied acts. Acts such as the Django Reinhardt inspired Swing from Paris in Montpellier Wine Bar, live DJ sets in Slak, jazz quartet Strayhorn in D’Fly and a very special jazz quiz at the Exmouth. This is the perfect way to dabble in jazz and get ready for the main festival.

Fringe on the Square is an entirely new concept for 2010, and forms part of the Jazz on the Square festival hub in Imperial Gardens. Fringe acts will perform on the Budvar Stage throughout the festival from 29 April – 3 May. The fun starts with a grand opening and special guest performance at 5.30pm on the Thursday.

Just some of the talent taking to the stage over the weekend includes festival favourites 8-fold, students from the Birmingham Conservatoire and the schools project Jazz It Up! – a brilliant show case for emerging local jazz talent. Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the jazz village whilst in Imperial Gardens – CD signings, eclectic food stalls and family activities will make sure there is much more than the music to stay for!

Cheltenham Untapped will take over the jazz arena for or the final day of the Festival. This is an unprecedented celebration of the region’s talent. Look out for the Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra, and collaborations with local record labels. Plus keep your eyes peeled throughout the Jazz Festival for jazzy antics on the streets including the fabulous JazzJive Swing, Cleeve School samba band and a host of local dance groups.

This is just a taster of what you can enjoy at the Jazz Fringe – pick up a programme, or visit:

www.cheltenhamfestivals.com

SCIENCE FESTIVAL

A Feast of Decadence

The full programme for The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 2010 has just been announced – and with the theme of decadence as its inspirations it promises five exciting days of debate, discovery and experiments from some of the world’s greatest thinkers. We spoke to the organisers to find out what not to miss in this year’s impressive programme…

For the first time the festival is led by not one but two Guest Directors – and they’re an impressive pair! First up is superstar chef Heston Blumenthal. Heston is the Michelin-starred culinary alchemist behind award winning restaurant The Fat Duck, as well as an international cooking sensation thanks to his scientific style of cooking.

Heston has been involved with the Science Festival for years, and can’t wait to come back: ‘I’m really thrilled to have been invited as Guest Director for the 2010 Cheltenham Science Festival. I’ve been to the Festival four times, including the first in 2002, and it’s been great to see it grow and become so popular since then.’ To celebrate he has programmed two mouth-watering events on the Thursday of the festival which include an interview with his culinary inspiration Harold McGee and the opportunity to taste Heston’s exquisite confectionary in his Sweet Shop event. This promises to be a truly decadent way to enjoy the festival!

The second Guest Director is Professor of Particle Physics, BBC science specialist and one-time top 10, rock star, Brian Cox. Brian takes to the helm for the festival weekend, and is bursting with the wonders of science: ‘Science really is for everyone,no matter what your knowledge or experience, and I think this Festival programme really shows that. For me the Large Hadron Collider is genuinely the most exciting scientific experiment of the last few decades - there’s something incredibly profound about the amount of our Universe that we simply don’t understand yet.’

Brian splits his time between the University of Manchester and CERN in Geneva, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research, where he works on the Large Hadron Collider. He is no stranger to the scientific spotlight following the enormous success of BBC 2’s new series: The Seven Wonders of the Solar System. Brian will treat festival audiences to a behind the scenes look at the wonders of the solar system, a peak at our universe and the LHC as well as bring a very special broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage to Cheltenham with comedian Robin Ince. All in all, Brian is not your standard physicist!

Heston and Brian lead an extraordinarily varied line-up of outstanding scientists, and big thinkers. Look out for award winning writer Bill Bryson as he celebrates 350 years of the Royal Society; presenter Tony Robinson as he reveals the secrets of Blitz Street and Alice Roberts as she explores the UK’s Coast. For a great night out, don’t miss The School For Gifted Children – an evening of debate and glorious comedy, this year featuring Robin Ince, Ben Miller, Ray Tallis, Kate Lancaster and Steve Mould. This is the science they didn’t teach you at school!

For the full exciting line-up pick up a brochure around town, or visit:

www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science

And look out for the next issue of The Cheltonian for our top festival picks.