COMPOSER Emma Johnson, one of the rising stars of British jazz, will be one of the headline acts for May's Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival.

An impressive line-up of music awaits visitors to the Clitheroe jamboree, with musicians and jazz enthusiasts from all over the world heading to the town over the May Bank holiday weekend.

Band leader Emma, who fronts her own ensemble, Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat: “I’ve been lucky enough to play all over the world and although I live in Yorkshire now it is a bit like coming home as I was born in Lancashire."

Previously, the festival has attracted international stars, trombonist Dennis Rollins, Courtney Pine, James Taylor, Arun Ghosh, Jacqui Dankworth and Norwegian Jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft.

Gary Ward, festival programmer, said: “We’ve some of the brightest new talents in jazz performing this year and many of the performances are free admission.”

He added: “It is astonishing the international names who’ve performed at the festival. Clitheroe has become an important regional centre for emerging musicians to play concerts and the work of the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival has played a huge part in this."

This year, the Saturday jazz party, will feature violinist and composer Olivia Moore. Olivia’s ensemble - Unfurl - melds jazz, Indian and the pulse of Arabic rhythms, inspired by nature and Buddhist ideals.

corto.alto is the moniker of Glasgow-based composer and producer Liam Shortall, who has risen through the ranks of the Tommy Smith Jazz Orchestra and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as a trombonist. corto.alto challenges the boundaries of contemporary jazz, fusing a heady mix of improvisation, electronic production, broken beat bounce and bass-heavy dub.

On the Sunday, the Ancient Infinity Orchestra will provide the headline act at the Grand theatre.

Led by bassist and composer Ossy Moysey, the 14-piece ensemble are signed up to Matthew Halsall’s Gondwana music label.

Jazz musician and producer Halsall provided the spark for a regionally distinct, Northern English sound in which spiritual jazz is the primary ingredient.

And the latest beneficiary of Halsall’s energy is Ancient Infinity Orchestra, who have recently released their debut album River of Light to rave reviews.

The Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra headline on Bank Holiday Monday, with an all-star cast of jazz guitarist Mike Walker and ace saxophonist Andy Schofield.

Nikki will also be directing a workshop with jazz pianist Trish Ferrarin and local musicians Elbow Room during the day.

The festival runs from May 3 to May 6. Tickets are on sale – including the festival freedom pass - from the Grand, 01200 421599 or