By Hugh John
Jamie CullumJamie Cullum: 'get more people playing'Yamaha Music has partnered this year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival to offer thousands of music lovers and their children the opportunity to get hands-on experience with a range of the latest musical instruments at 'Have-A-Go' stations during the course of the event (April 28-May 3).

Run by tutors and professional jazz musicians it is hoped the 30-minute sessions on keyboards, bass and drums will inspire festival-goers to take up playing as they absorb the wonderful live music on offer at the event. This year's festival director is Jamie Cullum (left) who is keen to inspire more people into playing and hopes that, "Offering free taster sessions in a live music setting, alongside some of the world's best jazz music, will surely combine to get more people playing."

The event will also host the inaugural final of the national 'Yamaha Jazz Experience Ensemble' competition, the culmination of a year's educational activity introducing teachers and young players to improvisation with top artists including Julian Joseph, Neil Cowley , Richard Michael and Tim Garland. Jazz ensembles from all over the UK – from Shetland in the north of Scotland, down to Devon on England's south-west peninsula entered the competition to win an opportunity chance to perform at the Festival, Ronnie Scott's,The 606 Club and The Bull's Head Jazz Clubin South-West London. Finalists can also win £9,000 worth of Yamaha prizes for their school, college or community centres.

Yamaha Jazz Experience

Yamaha Music Education UK

Cheltenham Jazz Festival

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