Nantwich Jazz Blues & Music Festival

The Legacy

The Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Music Festival is the brainchild of the late Phillip Martin, proprieter of The Crown Hotel. Phillip spent his working life in hospitality and entertainment. He was also an established music promoter and, after a visit to Howth, Ireland in 1996, a town which held a music festival incorporating their many pubs and bars he saw a massive potential for a similar enterprise in Nantwich.

Bearing in mind that in the mid-nineties Nantwich at Easter was not exactly thriving, in fact it was almost deserted, Phillip’s idea was met with very little enthusiasm and comments such as “You want to do what ?” and “It’ll never work” were often heard. However, undaunted in his determination to fill the town with live music, with the support of a few venues and with an evening line-up in The Civic Hall the Festival was born.

This proved to be a winning formula and one which grew and prevails 24 years later. A fitting testament to a man who saw an opportunity to bring us live music and made it happen. Starting with mainly Jazz Artistes, hence the festival being known to present day as “The Nantwich Jazz”, the event grew year on year with more participation, better bands and more visitors. Phillip saw the benefit of adding the Blues Music genre to the line-ups which not only broadened the Festival’s appeal but started to gain it national recognition. Eventually the Festival opened the doors to bands from all persuasions thereby growing into it’s current incarnation of “something for everyone” .

The Festival has also been instrumental in giving the stage not just to large well established bands, but local artistes who relish the opportunity to perform to a large “home” crowd and it is quite often the highlight of their year.

Totally dedicated to the project and  despite ill health, Phillip was working on the 2018 festival right to the end.  What you see in Nantwich every Easter is the legacy of his work. Taken on by his daughter, Abbigail and with help from the long established organising team it’s success is assured.  So, perhaps when you are enjoying a band and maybe a drink please reflect on Phillip. The man who made it all possible.

Just some of the bands and artistes that have appeared at The Festival since the beginning.

John Etheridge  The Sensational Alex Harvey Band  Soul’d On Blues  Hamilton Loomis  Lightning Willie  The Swing Commanders  Sandi Thom  Marcus Bonfanti  Sherman Robertson Band  Dave Arcari  The Blockheads  The Move  The Animals  The Red Stripe Band  Ben Waters  3 Sops From Suffolk  Rumours Of Fleetwood Mac  Steve Cropper  Bruce Foxtons From The Jam  Big Wolf Band Thea Gilmore  Marmalade  China Crisis  Ex Simpleminds  Alvin Stardust  Paul Larcombe  FM  Claire Martin & The Montpellier Cello Quartet   Shakatak  Tony Christie  Sad Cafe  Cast Mike Peters  The Wonder Stuff Acoustic  Swinging at the Cotton Club  Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack  Tom Doughty & Graham Bellinger  Courtney Pine  Deborah Bonham  Jacqui Dankworth  Cleo Laine  Pasadena Roof Orchestra
Red Butler The Climax Blues Band  King Pleasure And The Biscuit Boys  Don Weller  George Melly Rebecca Downes  The Blues Band  Kenny Ball  Erroll Linton  Boogie Brothers  Alan Price  Nearly Dan  Blozone  Snaky Jake  The Blue Shoes  Spencer Davis Group  Jake Field  The Goosehorns  David Newton  Alan Barnes  Chris Farlowe  The Norman Beaker Band  The Big Bill Basey Band  Geno Washington And The Ram Jam Band  Bob Geldof  Rick Payne  Tina May  Bruce Adams  Snake Davis And The Suspicions  Zoot Serious And The Bellyful Of Bop  Kiki Dee  Carmelo Luggeri  Vavoom  The George Formby Ukelele Society  Big Blue House  Edwin Starr  Kit Holmes  The Tommys  The Fortunes  Chris Jagger  Humphrey Lyttlelton  Slim Papas  Zena James  Pauline Black  The Hamsters  Connie Lush  The Big Chris Barber Band
Real Thing  Jacqui Dankworth  Terry Lightfoot And His Band  Paul Jones And Dave Kelly  The Yardbirds  Pete Price  The Drifters  Claude Bourbon  The Foundations  The British King Of Swing  Digby Fair-Weather  Roy Williams  Ruby Turner  Lou Pride  The Stumble  Andy Fairweather-Low & The Low Riders  James Wheeler  Danny Bryant  Red Eye Band  Ian Siegal  The Roach Twins  Dictionary Soul  The Mustangs  Roy Hemmings  George Fame  Dr Feelgood  Cadillac Kings  Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel  Mike Sanchez And His Band  Bernie Marsden  Steve Gibbons  Ian Parker  The Jive Aces  The Jalapenos  Jim Kirkpatrick  The Commitments  Madeline Bell  Syd Lawrence Orchestra  Slack Alice  Acoustic Unlimited  Tom Doughty  Sean Webster Paul Lamb And The Kingsnakes 

Plus over 2000 fantastic bands who played in Nantwich Pubs and venues from all around the country.