Lesley Garrett, Ben Okri and more big names lined up for Dankworth festival in Wavendon

The Dankworth Family Festival returns in July for three days of music and to celebrate the 90th birthday of Dame Cleo Laine.

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 2:44 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 2:38 pm
The festival runs from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16

Taking place at The Old Rectory in Wavendon, the line-up includes Lesley Garrett, clarinet virtuoso Emma Johnson, classical guitarist John Williams, the internationally acclaimed Brodsky Quartet, Natalie Williams and Booker Prize winner Ben Okri.

This year the festival will be donating all profits after costs to the Beds and Northants MS Therapy Centre, a charity close to the family’s heart as Dame Cleo’s son Stuart suffers from the condition.

Since its inception by John Dankworth, the Dankworth Family Festival brings together the extended Dankworth family - Cleo, Jacqui and husband Charlie Wood, Alec and daughter Emily - plus special friends each year for a weekend of world-class performances.

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The Old Rectory in Wavendon, a romantic Gothic Revival greensand and limestone vicarage built in 1848 by architect William Butterfield, has been home to the Dankworth family since the late 1960s.

In the 1990s it was the late John Dankworth who thought the garden would be the perfect setting for his own music festival.

Over the years John and Cleo have played host to a diverse range of performers including Eddi Reader, Fenella Fielding, Darius Brubeck, Alexander Armstrong and numerous others from the worlds of music, theatre and the arts.

This year, the festival takes place from Friday, July 14 to Sunday, July 16.

On the Friday, doors open at 6.30pm for an apératif and canapé reception.

At 8pm there will be performances by Lesley Garrett and Emma Johnson accompanied by Andrew West.

The following day, doors open at midday with performances by Craig Ogden and Jacqui Dankworth, Charlie Wood and Ben Okri, The Brodsky Quartet and Natalie Williams.

On Sunday, doors open at midday with performances by Alec Dankworth & The Million Dollar Band and Peter Fisher and The Chamber Ensemble Of London.

From 6pm to 8.30pm, Dame Cleo Laine - compered by jazz vocalist and radio presenter Todd Gordon - will be joined by special guests include Earl Okin, John Williams, West End and cabaret star Lorna Dallas, Peter Fisher and jazz violinist Chris Garrick.

There will also be duets by Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood and songs from Emily Dankworth.

Admission for children is free.

Tickets cost £130 for all three days or £45 for Friday and £55 each day on Saturday and Sunday.

Admission for children is free.

For full details and to book, visit www.perdido.co.uk/dff