Music In The Gardens: Courtney Pine blows away crowd

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BRITISH jazz hero Courtney Pine captivated the crowd at the third night of the annual Sheffield Music in the Gardens festival.

Playing on the Botanical Gardens stage, the 47-year-old saxophone and clarinet player entertained a gathering of converts and more casual fans.

The show was part of a national tour to showcase new album Europa, which is a celebration of the continent of his birth.

Courtney’s been at the top for almost 25 years and proved why with a wide-ranging set covering almost his entire career.

He’s always been keen to take jazz to a wider audience - and what better way than playing a show in a relaxed setting like the gardens, attracting a very varied audience.

His performance showed his calibre as a true entertainer with selections which had everyone’s feet moving.

Pine showed just why he has achieved considerable international acclaim and has remained an inspirational figure to many young, upcoming black British musicians.

And there was ample evidence of a more recent ambition to integrate modern British music styles like drum and bass and UK garage with contemporary jazz styles.

The short season of shows comes to a close tonight with a classical performance featuring many of the works that have been made famous through the last night of the Proms.

The Sheffield version, with tickets costing just £8, features the Dodworth Colliery Band.

Topping the bill will be the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra.