Pee Wee Ellis, China Moses, Andy Sheppard and leading ladies boost Bristol Jazz Fest return

The popular south-west jazz weekender returns with a strong line up of jazz, blues, funk, folk and more in 2020

L-R: Tricia Boutté, Pee Wee Ellis, China Moses and Andy Sheppard
L-R: Tricia Boutté, Pee Wee Ellis, China Moses and Andy Sheppard

The Bristol Jazz Festival returns from 26 to 29 March 2020, following a successful crowdfunder appeal to ensure its continuation after two financially-challenging years that threatened its future. The festival will be centered around the city’s Park Street, with its main concert hall programme at St George’s alongside jazz, blues and folk events at the intimate Folk House venue.

The opening Friday features an exciting showcase of Bristol-based female jazz talent under the moniker What She Said, with keyboardist Rebecca Nash leading a trio of vocalists – Sara Colman, Ruth Hammond and Katya Gorrie – all performing songs by Joni Mitchell, Esperanza Spalding, Nina Simone and more, ahead of a headline set from the indefatigably funky local sax don Pee Wee Ellis. Saturday’s line up begins with MOBO-winning saxophonist/composer Adam Waldmann’s Kairos 4tet, playing new music from their forthcoming album, ahead of fiery altoist Gilad Atzmon’s Charlie Parker tribute and a concluding 1960s bossa jazz celebration from jazz singer Claire Teal and guitarist Denny Ilett’s Large Ensemble that will feature interpretations of classic latin-jazz albums by Doris Day and Sinatra/Jobim.

The closing Sunday continues with gigs from New Orleans chanteuse Tricia Boutté (daughter of Lillian), acclaimed saxophonist Andy Sheppard’s love-themed project, Bump 5250, impassioned jazz diva China Moses and a Grant Green-inspired finale from artful Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley. A further programme films, talks, music workshops and additional gigs will be announced in the coming months.

For full line-up and tickets visit

Subscribe from only £49.50 per year

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.


View the Current

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more