This year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival, taking place from 1-6 May, features vocalist Emilia Mårtensson and Sam Lasserson in her band on bass, both Trinity Laban alumni. Also performing is current student jazz pianist Reuben Butler and the Reuben James Trio.
Swedish singer-songwriter Emilia Mårtensson spent her teenage years listening to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Anita O'Day, and playing music in her parents' local restaurant. Since graduating from Trinity Laban in 2007 she has been making her mark on the UK jazz scene, with critically acclaimed performances and a recent album with Barry Green, "And So It Goes…"
Sam Lasserson began playing the double bass aged 16, taking classical lessons and teaching himself jazz. At Trinity Laban he pursued both classical and jazz bass simultaneously, and since graduating has performed professionally in jazz venues in and around London, alongside a variety of notable musicians including Malcolm Earle-Smith, Martin Speake and the Emilia Mårtensson quartet.
Reuben Butler, stage name Reuben James, is currently in his second year at Trinity Laban, studying jazz piano on the BMus course. Raised on an eclectic mix of jazz, gospel, hip hop and classical music, Reuben is an exceptional pianist who has already performed with the late Abram Wilson and Birmingham's Jazzlines quartet.
The Cheltenham Jazz Festival was started in 1996 and has since established itself as one of the UK's most popular jazz festivals. Consisting of a broad range of jazz in many guises, the Festival has presented a range of star names over the years, including Van Morrison, Jamie Cullum, Herbie Hancock and Ray Brown.
The Reuben James Trio will perform at the Parabola Arts Centre on Sunday 5 May at 3pm: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/jazz/whats-on/2013/reuben-james-trio/
The Emilia Mårtensson quartet performed at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival on Wednesday 1 May. Their next concert is at Kings Place on Saturday 11 May: http://www.kingsplace.co.uk/whats-on-book-tickets/music/emilia-m-rtensson-quartet-featuring-the-fable-string-quartet-plus-specia#.UYKTFUqtbTo