Conwy celebrates Christmas with gypsy jazz and 80s classics


Duncan Rieder

After an incredibly successful 2017, The Bortowski Swing are bringing their fusion of gypsy jazz and love of 80s synth back to Conwy this Christmas.

The Llanfairfechan band - formerly known as The Bortowski Trio - will add a dollop of Parisian sophistication to proceedings this Christmas, when they add their unique take on jazz to the hustle and bustle of Conwy’s Christmas ramp up in the Blue Bell on Saturday December 23.

Iwan Williams, Bortowski Swing’s rhythm guitarist, said: “We always love playing the Blue Bell. Without it, we probably wouldn’t be a band and it’s become the spiritual home of the band. It’s always something to look forward to at any time, but it’s going to be even better playing at Christmas. ”

The band will cap off one of their best years to date, after headlining a packed out Sunday Woodcutter’s stage in Festival No 6 in Portmeirion this summer, with a little help of Cerddoriaeth Eryri a’r Gogledd (CEG), a musical collective promoting artists from across North Wales.

Joining Mr Williams are double-bassist Jamie Price, lead guitarist Callum Johnstone and the most recent addition to the group, multi-instrumentalist Henry Horrell on piano, violin, melodica and organ.

The band’s style, while paying loving homage to 1930’s gypsy and Parisian jazz icons like Django Reinhardt celebrates the band’s equal passion for 80’s legends through covers of classics by bands such as Soft Cell, Human League, George Michael Lips Incorporated and Dead or Alive.

Mr Williams added: “We’re like the Happy Gilmore of jazz - if he’s an embarrassment to golf then you could say by playing gypsy jazz style covers of 80s synth, we’re an embarrassment to jazz!”

To see some of your favourite 80s anthems stylishly reworked by the jazz renegades, and get yourself ready for the big day in the process, head down to the Blue Bell in Conwy on Saturday, December 23 at 9pm. Admission is free.


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