Winchester Jazz Festival

Winchester Jazz Festival 2017 will take place throughout the city from 21-24th September. Audiences can expect four days or performances by major Jazz and Swing acts from across the UK, as well as showcasing some of our best local musicians.

Weekly Jazz Nights at Incognito


Winchester Jazz Festival has teamed up with Incognito Winchester to offer live jazz in the city centre every Friday and Saturday night. A visit to Incognito is a truly indulgent experience oozing with old-fashioned glamour and sumptuous decor, serving Cocktails, Prosecco and a multitude of Gins. Sample their extensive range of cocktails or explore their Encyclopedia Gin & Tonica which contains a bastion of over 50 gins & 10 tonics, each perfectly paired with complimenting botanicals and garnishes. 

Live music runs from 9.30-11pm every Friday and Saturday, or for your chance to take part join us for our monthly Jazz Jam which is held on the last Wednesday of the month. Visit our event page for full listings.


Tickets £21
Friends £18
Under 26s £15


Opening night of Winchester Jazz Festival 2018

10 years ago, YolanDa Brown was studying a PhD in Management Science and a career in music came calling.

10 years later, Double MOBO Award winner, YolanDa Brown is the premier female saxophonist in the UK.

Known for her unique fusion of reggae, jazz and soul.

This evening features music from her critically acclaimed albums, plus many crowd favourites.

YolanDa has toured with Diana KrallThe TemptationsBilly Ocean and collaborated with artists such as Snarky Puppy’s Bill Laurance, reggae legend Bob Marley’s son Julian and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

A real renaissance woman, set to reach new heights, join YolanDa Brown for a fantastic evening of sunshine music as she celebrates 10 Years in Music.


Monday 24th - Sunday 30th April 2017

Winchester Jazz Festival present a week of educational opportunities for all ages!

Winchester Jazz Festival

Once again WJF are thrilled to be working with The Cabinet Rooms, who are hosting two workshops; a FREE Vocal Harmony Workshop with The Spitfire Sisters, and a Vocal Masterclass with Guildford School of Acting’s Katie Crooks. The bar will be well stocked so you can enjoy a gin and tonic or two to warm up those vocal cords!

We are delighted to welcome back Simon Allen who is hosting two workshops - An Introduction to Jazz Improvisation for Grade 3 Musicians and above, and Jazz Improvisation for Grade 6 Musicians and above.

After a successful performance at WJF Thursday Jazz Night at the Corner House, Andy Nowak brings Jump Start Jazz for ages 8+, an engaging and comprehensive jazz improvisation workshop specifically aimed at beginner improvisers looking to improve their jazz vocabulary, soloing confidence and ensemble playing.

WJF are thrilled to be working with Brigitte Beraha for the first time, who will be hosting An Introduction to Jazz Singing, which will focus on technique, performance skills, song interpretation and improvisation.

We finish the week with our Charity Jazz Jam at the St James Tavern on International Jazz Day, where we will be raising funds for Help Musicians UK. Come along, pick up an instrument and have a jam with us!

Tickets are available at Booking is essential!



Thank you to everyone to helped to make Winchester Jazz Festival 2016 such a roaring success! Special thanks go to our wonderful volunteers and to our exceptional sponsors. Stay tuned...

For more images please see our 2016 Gallery

An Interview with J. Fashole-Luke

We thought it was time we interviewed some of our acts to find out a bit more about them in the run up to the festival! Today, we're talking to J Fashole-Luke, who is performing with his trio at The Railway Inn on Sunday 25th September. 

WJF: Where are your favourite places to go in Winchester?

JFL: One of my favourite venues in Winchester is The Railway, for its grass roots approach to programming and support of live music. It's a great space and run very well by people with good intentions for the local music scene. St James Tavern is regarded as a jazz beacon of the area, where musicians regularly socialise at jam sessions and professional relationships are built. People often underestimate how important venues and events like St James' jam session are for the musical community.

WJF: Which other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Winchester Jazz Festival?

JFL: I have a really high regard for Empirical, their dedication to the art and innovative approach to both performing and composing is a real inspiration. I remember jamming with some of them in London on the odd occasion years ago before the group started.

Claire Martin is a really talented and authentic performer and I am sure her show will be brilliant as well. I've been very impressed with her in the past.

I missed out on tickets for Simon Allen's sold out show, which is a real pity as he is an incredible talent and I have really enjoyed playing with him a few times in the past as well.

WJF: Why is performing at Winchester Jazz Festival important to you?

JFL: This is an important show for me because it is an opportunity to reveal a more personal side to my music - I am well known locally as a performer but on the whole I have been keeping quite quiet as a jazz composer so this is a great opportunity for me to share my open my mind and see what people think of what's inside!

WJF: What are you up to over the next few months? Are you working on new music?

JFL: My Hiphop band Route2Roots very recently released an original album, and we have several shows coming up in Southampton supporting KRS One, Akala and Talib Kweli. We will also be working on some new material and have a few radio appearances on the way.

During Black History Month in Southampton I will be performing solo piano set at the launch event, as well as accompanying a gospel choir which has a full concert at Above Bar Church on October 15th. I am curating a student festival at Clowns in Southampton on October 22nd so have plenty to organise booking local acts. I have also planned another jazz trio event at The Art House in Southampton on October 28th.

WJF: Who are your favourite jazz artists? What songs/albums/artists would you recommend?

JFL: Favourite jazz artists would take too long to list! But in terms of the pianistic influences that are evident in my music I would recommend the Herbie Hancock's acoustic projects, McCoy Tyner and Keith Jarrett, along with more recent artists Esbjorn Svenson Trio and Hiromi Uehara. I am also very fond of other pianists who listen to a lot of jazz but play other styles such as Stevie Wonder and Jools Holland. Bill Evans, Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson are also artists whose work I adore. I find inspiration from a lot of different styles of music but jazz is something that I find able to encompass all genres in some way.

WJF: Where can we follow what you are up to? 

JFL:  Twitter @jfasholeluke
Instagram @jayefel
YouTube J Fashole-Luke

An Interview with Arabella Sprot

We thought it was time we interviewed some of our acts to find out a bit more about them in the run up to the festival! Today, we're talking to Arabella Sprot, who is performing at The Railway on Saturday 24th September. 

WJF: You live in Berlin - where are your favourite places in Winchester to go when you come and visit? 

Arabella: My favourite places to visit when I am back in Winch are the Cathedral grounds, the Antiques market, and the watermeadows.

WJF: Which other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Winchester Jazz Festival? 

Arabella: I am very much looking forward to seeing Empirical on Friday night! Great players so not one to miss!

WJF: Why is performing at Winchester Jazz Festival important to you? 

Arabella: It's important because I grew up in Winchester and it is where I started playing music. It is also important to me because there were never many platforms for performing in Winchester when I was starting to play so I think it's really fantastic that a festival has been started. It will create a new source of art and entertainment in the town, and increase the number of cultural activities on offer.

WJF: What are you up to over the next few months? Are you working on new music? 

Arabella:  In the next few months I will be focussing on my Berlin-based band 'Earshot', writing new music, putting together a tour after the upcoming concerts in Berlin (see my website for details!) and recording an album in 2017.

WJF: Who are your favourite jazz artists? What songs/albums/artists would you recommend? 

Arabella: I am big Stan Getz fan - he is fantastically melodic. But I also take a lot of inspiration from Wayne Shorter, Joe Lovano, Paul Desmond, Mark Turner, Brian Blade and the fellowship, Pat Metheny and many more! There is also a fabulous Michael Brecker album called 'Wide Angles', which has compositions for large ensemble and I can highly recommend that.

WJF: Where can we follow what you are up to? (Social Media links etc)

Arabella: I have a website with all my gig dates in the UK and abroad, and a new Facebook page for my new project called 'Earshot', which I will be working on most in the near future.

Director's Choice: Hannah Castleman

Looking for recommendations for WJF16? Let us help you with our Director's top 3:


I’ve been a fan of J Fashole-Luke for a long time and I’m excited to see what magic his trio will create on stage! The Railway Inn is a fantastic and atmospheric venue, and for them to open on a Sunday afternoon for us is amazing. I think it’s going to be the perfect afternoon gig on Sunday before the Jazz Jam at St James Tavern.

 J Fashole-Luke

J Fashole-Luke


Singing some of the greatest songs ever written, Claire Martin (who has won LOADS of British Jazz Awards) is bringing her show ‘Hollywood Romance’ to the Theatre Royal. This is absolutely not to be missed - but tickets are moving quickly so get in there while you can!

 Claire Martin & The Tippet Quartet

Claire Martin & The Tippet Quartet


Arabella Sprot is originally from Winchester but currently lives in Berlin, and we’ve managed to persuade her to fly back especially for this gig! She’s an incredibly talented saxophonist and we’re delighted to have her on board for WJF.