Wood Street Jazz Festival 2023!

Written by Lucy Hill

On the very windy Sunday 16th July, Challengers and Guildford Jazz were delighted to host our 9th Annual Wood Street Jazz Festival!
We are delighted to announce that the Wood Street Jazz Festival raised an amazing £22,853.55 for Challengers! This could fund many joyous days of play, fun and laughter at Challengers! This is the most we have ever raised at our Wood Street Jazz Festival so we are truly grateful for your support. 

We welcomed Yameem Deedar, Proprietor of the multi-award winning Tandoori restaurant the Shahin in Guildford to our Wood Street Jazz Festival for a third year! Deedar Established the Shahin over 30 years ago and has been active in helping charities and other good causes ever since. Deedar generously donated all the proceeds from the sales of his curry to Challengers. 

If you weren’t in the mood for Curry, we also had the wonderful Howe and Co Fish and Chips, and Mantio Ice Cream was there to cool things down! We also had our Challengers’ bar with beer, wine and Pimm’s (with fresh mint and cucumber grown in our own Challengers Playgroup vegetable garden!) 

£3 for every meal sold at the Fish and Chip van and 10% of all proceeds from the ice cream sales were donated to Challengers.  

To open our fantastic festival, Marianne from Guildford Jazz gave a warm welcome, and then the Somethin’ Else Big Band kicked off on the mainstage at 12:30. 

During our first interval we had an introduction to Challengers and how important our work is by our lovely CEO Gen Dearman, and then mum and parent ambassador Danae shared her story and her son Luke’s wonderful relationship with Challengers.  

On the Acoustic Stage we were introduced to talented young band the Noah Chiriari Quintet, followed by some jazz funk and soul from Redtenbacher’s Funkestra featuring Jana Varga on the main stage. 

During the second interval, Challengers’ Becky and Helena drew the Raffle winners – we sold a fantastic 379 tickets and had some incredible prizes. Thank you to all who donated and congratulations to the lucky winners! 

Afterwards, The Emily Windham Quartet brought us back into the jazz mood on the acoustic stage and then on the Main Stage we had Pete Long & Ryan Quigley. 

Wow! What a line up! 
The lovely David Hypher of Wood Street Village closed our 9th Annual Jazz Festival at 17:30.

We are so grateful to our friends David & Pam Hypher, Ali & Steve Johnson and Belinda Baker of Wood Street Village and Marianne Windham and the Guildford Jazz Team, who have been spectacular in organising the event.

And of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t give a special shout out to all our wonderful volunteers and our amazing sponsors: NFU Mutual, Burns & Webber, Worplesdon Parish Council, Surrey County Council, University of Surrey, Rydes Hill Preparatory School, Ultimate Stream and The Shahin Restaurant. 

Photos from the day have been uploaded on our Facebook album and can be accessed by clicking the link below! 

Wood Street Jazz Festival 2023 

If you would like to contact us regarding our Jazz Festival, please contact Helena (HelenaBurke@disablity-challengers.org) from the Events Team.