2023's Isle of Wight Jazz Weekend has been hailed a great success by event director, Jim Thorn.

He said: "We are flattered by the number of jazz fans from all around the UK who converge on the Isle of Wight. Many of them say that it is one of their favourite UK-based festivals."

The weekend opened at Mountbatten with a rousing set from the Island’s very own Sol Grimshaw.

A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, Sol played with a quartet, drawing, amongst others, on the influences of the late Nat King Cole.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jay Phelps.Jay Phelps. (Image: Ian Mitchell.)Isle of Wight County Press: Tara Minton.Tara Minton. (Image: Ian Mitchell.)Friday opened at the Apollo theatre with Pete Long’s Benny Goodman Quintet.

The clarinetist's legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert is still hailed as one of the best jazz concerts ever.

On the Isle of Wight, the show opened with a rousing version of Flying Home and continued with highlights including a brief history lesson by vibraphonist, Anthony Kerr.

At Newport Methodist Church,  Australian jazz harpist Tara Minton in a harp, bass and drums trio enthralled the audience with a sublime performance. To hear The Girl from Ipanema and Billie Holiday’s You Go To My Head was a treat indeed.

Back at the Apollo Theatre, there was a high-octane performance by the Jay Phelps Quartet.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.The Syd Lawrence Orchestra. (Image: Ian Mitchell.)Isle of Wight County Press: Jazz Dynamos.Jazz Dynamos. (Image: Ian Mitchell.)Canadian born Jay has been a regular on the British jazz scene for over 20 years and he was joined by Birmingham born guitarist Tom Ford, who recently moved to the Island. Bassist Jon Thorne also joined them.

Saturday opened with the annual big band spot, as the Syd Lawrence Orchestra took over the Apollo's stage. There was hit after hit, including Count Basie's Jumpin’ at the Woodside and Woody Herman's Woodchopper’s Ball.

At the Methodist Church, multi award-winning Georgia Mancio made a welcome return, with a set was based around her latest album Quiet is the Star and a dedication to the late Edana Minghella.

The Jim Mullen Organ Trio entertained at the Apollo, with a superb set of jazz standards, including Billy Reid’s I'll Close My Eyes and a tribute to the late Tony Bennet, with Stairway to the Stars.

At the Methodist Church, Tubby Hayes aficionado Simon Spillett led his quartet through a powerful set that included homage to Tubby, with Grits, Beans and Greens, from a long lost and recently discovered session.

Sunday started with The Jazz Dynamos, who take well-known songs from the 1970s and 80s and give them a twist, with a mix of jazz, bossa, and samba. Their arrangements of hits by Dolly Parton, U2, Police and Wham earned them two standing ovations.

At Quay Arts, the six-piece Brass Volcanos performed a lively mix of styles and solos, interspersed with banter. 

And how better to finish with a tribute to the Gershwin and Cole Porter songbooks, by Alan Barnes and Mark Nightingale.

Isle of Wight County Press: Fellowship of Groove.Fellowship of Groove. (Image: Ian Mitchell.)Summertime, I Got Rhythm, All of You and It's All Right By Me, all featured.

Elsewhere there was a well-attended fringe, with a number of local jazz acts playing at One Holyrood, Town Choice Café, The Bargeman’s Rest, Quay Arts and Café Isola.

Jim Thorn said: “Everyone I have spoken to said how much they enjoyed the weekend.

"We will be back in September next year and will announce dates and headline acts soon."

It was a weary, but very happy, audience who made their way home on Sunday, after a stunning weekend of superb music.