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The 2014 Deal Festival gets under way this weekend

By KentOnline reporter

The beach is alive with the sound of music in one seaside town.

The annual Deal Festival will this year be headlined by versatile cellist Guy Johnston, a previous winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year award and First Night of the BBC Proms soloist.

Guy Johnston will perform in place of Julian Lloyd Webber at this year's Deal Festival Town

Other highlights during the 10-day celebration of classical and contemporary music will include Harry the Piano, described by Jonathan Ross as ‘the best damn piano player in the civilised world’, and the seven-piece KD Jazz and Dance Band. Both will appear on the opening night party this Friday, June 27, from 8pm until late at the Astor Theatre.

The week’s programme will play out across venues including Deal Castle, the pier, St George’s Church, St Andrew’s Church and the Lighthouse pub, plus out-of-town venues including Dover’s Nye Hall and Sandwich’s St Mary’s Arts Centre.

Pether Trio will be performing at the Deal Festival

It will feature a commemorative First World War drama by the Astor Youth Theatre, and a musical journey into the war years with the Ragtime Parlour Band. There will be jazz from David Rees-Williams and Trish Clowes, and folk from Gentlemen of Few.

Grammy Award nominees the Heritage Blues Orchestra will share their blend of traditional blues, soul and gospel, and European brass band champions The Cory Band will demonstrate what makes them one of the brass world’s finest and most innovative music ensembles.

And it’s not all music-based – TV news and political presenter Gavin Esler, a Deal resident, will chair a panel talk entitled The War That’s Still With Us, considering alongside three experts the lasting legacy of the First World War. It will take place on Sunday, June 29, at the Astor Theatre at 4.30pm.

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