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Thu, 19 May


Watford Palace Theatre


Our opening night gala concert at the Watford Palace Theatre has an amazing line-up! The show stars the acclaimed talents of electric bass virtuoso Shri Sriram with trombonist Dennis Rollins MBE, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra featuring sax legend Tim Garland plus the Ilario Ferrari Trio. Wow!

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19 May 2022, 19:30 – 22:15

Watford Palace Theatre, 20 Clarendon Rd, Watford WD17 1JZ, UK


Our opening night concert features an amazing gala line-up of local, UK & international talent and we can't wait!

The acclaimed Indian musician & electric bass virtuoso Shri Sriram headlines our show in a new musical parternship with funk trombonist Dennis Rollins and electro-beats multi-instrumentalist Callum Rose. Expect sounds of the Asian underground scene, drum n bass, world-music, and of course, jazz.

The Ilario Ferrari Trio will open our evening featuring Italian-born local-resident & pianist Ilario Ferrari with Charlie Pyne (double bass) & Katie Patterson (drums, percussion). They'll be presenting 3 fabulous new compositions with straight-ahead piano led jazz.


And to conclude our evening, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Mark Armstrong, will then take centre stage for a big band finale, Basie & Beyond. This fresh set from NYJO explores big band classics from legends including Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie and many more. Their set will also feature performances from our final guest star, Grammy-winner & local-resident Tim Garland on saxophone. NJYO will also be performing a world-premiere composition by Ilario Ferrari.

Expected event run time: 7.30pm-10.15pm including an interval

Tickets for this show are on sale here through the Watford Palace Theatre Box Office at just £17.50 for adults, £10 for students and £7.50 for under-16s. Early bird tickets available through this site are now all sold out.

More about our artists

Shri Sriram & Dennis Rollins MBE

Having first collaborated as part of the Ronnie Scott’s Lockdown Sessions in early 2021, Shri and Dennis Rollins are reuniting to open our festival. Shri Sriram is a BASCA British Composer Award-winning writer, musician and producer, who initially trained on tablas before developing a unique style of playing his self-made fretless bass. Jazz giant & funk trombonist, Dennis Rollins MBE joins Shri for this special set. Dennis is well-known on the British and international jazz scene and is celebrated for his versatile and muscular approach to the trombone. The performance is both playful and deeply soulful, featuring Shri and Dennis, playing a selection of pieces from Shri’s latest album, 'The Letter', as well as 'Just A Vibration', music by Black Sabbath(!) and more.

Watch Shri Sriram and Dennis Rollins

National Youth Jazz Orchestra

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, founded in 1965 by Bill Ashton, has been a professional gateway for many stars of the UK jazz scene including Guy Barker, Laura Jurd, Mark Nightingale and Amy Winehouse. Regular performances include the BBC Proms, the EFG London Jazz Festival, European tours with their German and Dutch counterparts BuJazzO and NJJO, and annual residencies at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. 

During their set NYJO will be performing songs from their new show, Basie & Beyond, exploring the impact on popular music made by Count Basie & twentieth-century Black American artists that followed: Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Tadd Dameron, Oliver Nelson, Quincy Jones, and Thad Jones. This will be a celebration of their monumental contribution to the music we love.

Watch NYJO

Tim Garland

Throughout an international career starting in the late 1980s, Tim Garland has become known as a unique polymath in the UK’s music scene. A member of Chick Corea's band across a seventeen year period he is also renowned as a composer and arranger working with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gwilym Simcock & Jean-Luc Ponty to select a few.

Watch Tim Garland

Ilario Ferrari Trio

'Childhood Memories' is the new album from the Ilario Ferarri Trio, composed by Ilario during lockdown. It is a journey through a series of musical portraits inspired by memories of the composer’s childhood in southern Italy. The Trio will perform a selection of songs from the album playing music that balances jazz improvisation with meditative atmosphere, capturing an unmistakable Mediterranean culture.

Watch the Ilario Ferrari Trio


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