JAZZ Jurassica, Lyme’s jazz and blues festival, is braced this year for a 'Skanda' invasion.

Equinor, a big band of 23 musicians from Stavanger, Norway, are due in Lyme Regis to perform a spectacular one-off concert dedicated to favourite swing king, Duke Ellington.

The band have performed at major festivals in Europe but rarely in the UK. The band’s spokesman, Mari Gjaever Walmsley said: “We’re really looking forward to what will be only our third appearance in the UK and can’t wait to visit Lyme Regis.

Jazz Jurassica takes place from Friday, May 24 to Monday, May 27.

“We hope to explore the Jurassic Coast as we have some professional geologists in the band who are keen to explore the legacy of Mary Anning, the town’s famous fossil hunter. So, we’re sure to be spending some time on the beach as well as the concert hall!”.

The band includes seven saxophonists, five trombonists, four trumpeters, a pianist, one on bass, guitar, percussion and drums plus two singers. Musical director Tor Yttredal is professor of jazz at the University of Stavanger and promises to throw in a couple of saxophone solos of his own.

Julie Sheppard, the festival’s organiser, said: “We’re thrilled the band’s chosen our festival as their only UK appearance this year. They’ll inject fresh energy into the much-loved repertoire of Duke Ellington. Big band concerts are always popular, but increasingly rare these days. So, this is a special treat for all of us. We just hope we can fit them all on stage!”

*Equinor Big Band, Shades of Ellington, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Saturday, May 25, 5pm. Tickets cost £10 from jazzjurassica.co.uk or from the box office on 01297 442138 or in person from Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre.