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Jamie, Paloma and Puppinis

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 07, 2012

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THE line-up for this year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival has been unveiled, with singing starlet Paloma Faith named as Artist in Residence.

Legendary gospel diva Candi Staton, who has been thrilling audiences for over 50 years with hits including Young Hearts Run Free and You've Got the Love is also on the line-up.

The festival will also see the return of jazz superstar Jamie Cullum as guest director.

And the life and music of Ray Charles will be celebrated with an exclusive live broadcast of BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night.

Held over the May Bank Holiday, from May 2 to 7, the 2012 festival promises to be bigger and better than before.

This year sees the festival move to its new location in Montpellier Gardens.

With a brand new Big Top venue – a purpose built 1,200 seat venue – a free outdoor stage, boutique cinema, interactive Music Lab and a host of bars and cafes, the gardens will offer the perfect backdrop to some of the world's greatest jazz performers.

Also appearing at the festival will be Grammy-nominated singer Melody Gardot, who will be performing material from her hotly anticipated new album.

The undisputed queen of rockabilly Imelda May returns to Cheltenham to deliver an electrifying blend of 1950s rock 'n' roll with rhythm 'n' blues and The Puppini Sisters promise a sprinkling of 1940s glamour with their sweetly charming vocal harmonies.

On the Friday evening, the Big Top will play host to the Guy Barker Big Band and the BBC Concert Orchestra for the unique live edition of Friday Night is Music Night, featuring vocalist Gregory Porter and other special guests.

Over the weekend The Big Top will also play host to soulful singer Gregory Porter, who will be joined by Jamie Cullum as his special guest in a groove-driven set, superstar bassist Marcus Miller with his own blend of soul, funk and R'n'B and guitar supremo Bill Frisell who will perform a mix of jazz, folk and blues alongside more up-tempo and infectious rhythms with his Beautiful Dreamers Trio.

It will also showcase some of the UK's finest rising talents as Juan Zelada and Miss 600 perform in a double bill of jazz-tinged pop.

And, in addition to a series of concerts at The Daffodil, the art deco restaurant in the heart of Cheltenham will be transformed into the town's first Speakeasy.

To see the full line-up, visit the website at www.cheltenhamfestivals.com.

Cheltenham Festivals members can book online from Monday and in person and on phone lines from next Wednesday.

Public booking opens online from February 20, and in person and on phone lines from February 22. Call 0844 880 8094.

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