May 2012 sees the return of the ever-popular and ground-breaking Cheltenham Jazz Festival, one of the country’s most celebrated musical events and an absolute highlight of the arts calendar for spring this year.

Always a hit with both audiences and artists, the Cheltenham Jazz Festival prides itself on offering a wonderful range of musicians from across the world of jazz and related music, and 2012 is no exception. Audiences will be treated to the exceptional guitarist Bill Frisell, making a welcome return to the festival; jazz, funk and soul from master bassist Marcus Miller; the classic New York jazz sound of drummer Jeff Williams; world-class piano playing from the UK’s own John Taylor; and American sax sensation Chris Potter unveiling his collaboration with the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Cheltenham also welcomes back both Jamie Cullum as Guest Director - his involvement with the festival in recent years has proved an unparalleled success - and Paloma Faith as Artist In Residence. As well as performing a special one-off concert with trumpeter Guy Barker, Paloma will also be inviting some of her favourite artists to perform and exploring the link between film and music with a range of personally chosen film noir screenings. And of course, no Cheltenham Jazz Festival would be complete without BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night, broadcast live on Friday 4th May and celebrating the life and music of the great Ray Charles.

This is just a small taster of what’s to come at the 2012 festival, with more names from the full line-up to be announced in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on the Festival’s official website for more details:

Booking for Cheltenham Festivals Members opens on Monday 13th February.