EVERY year sleepy Marlborough is suddenly compared to New Orleans at the height of the jazz era with music flowing from every pub, club, hall and even out on the streets.

Stalls spring up by magic along the High Street and entertainers bring the buzz of jazz from blues to contemporary, trad jazz to jazz funk and everything in between.

This year’s Marlborough International Jazz Festival is sponsored by Kerridge Commercial Systems and runs from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17.

Headlining on the Sunday, bringing the festival to a crescendo of a close is Clare Teal, the first jazz artist to appear at the Albert Hall Proms. This year she she makes a welcome return to Marlborough Jazz, bringing the same Big Band that played at the prestigious hall in London.

Other known artists appearing this year include Art Themen making his first visit to Marlborough, bringing a taste of sunshine are reggae jazz outfit Baraka, the Budapest Ragtime Band draw foot-tapping crowds eager to dance, while Clare Hirst the British sax player who has played alongside such greats as David Bowie and Mervyn Africa will be teaming up with Claude Deppe for the festival.

Another girl jazz aficionado is Emma Johnson, whipping up some boogie woogie, and for guitar fans Eduardo Niebla brings that fiery flamenco gipsy jazz.

Swindon’s own offerings this year include Gilmore and Jaz playing their own 1930s-style blues jazz in the Latin style of Django Rheinhardt. Another Swindon favourite is the Bob Bowles Band playing blues jazz.

Local boy Pete Allen, the master of the clarinet, who is an honorary citizen of New Orleans is also putting in an appearance at the festival.

The Jive Aces bring some swing to the carnival atmosphere and KV Brass, the 10-piece band, play up-to-date arrangements of classic jazz.

Old favourites who are jazz stomping back to the festival are Big Man Clayton, Chris Jagger, Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger’s brother, the African Bandstand and many more.

KCS, the lead sponsor this year, based in Hungerford, provides integrated business solutions for the distribution sector.

Ian Bendelow the chief executive said: “This is a great event for us to be involved with and to be a part of a fabulous weekend of top-quality live music will be truly special. We are looking forward to the festival.’’ Artists from more than 21 countries will be appearing at this year’s event held at various locations throughout Marlborough. The festival is co-ordinated by Nick Fogg who has been with the festival since it first started in 1986. Nick was mayor of Marlborough in 1985 and promised to bring a festival that would culturally enhance the historic town that earned its Royal Charter in 1204.

For tickets or more details visit http://www.marlboroughjazz.com/ Flicky Harrison