THE weekend went with a swing for the Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival’s 10th birthday celebration.

Despite initially disappointing tickets sales, the sun shone on Saturday and hundreds of people thronged Clitheroe for the annual street party where nine-year-old Southport vocalist Astrid Smith was the youthful star.

Earlier celebrated singer Claire Martin and pianist Liane Carroll, held a special workshop for dozens of keen jazz enthusiasts who wanted to learn more about making the music.

The night before they had packed out Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre, which on Saturday swayed to an Africa party beat.

Another sell-out evening concert saw West African, Moussa Dembele playing with The Rail Abandon supported by South African influenced Ubunye in a night of joyous music soaked with the continent’s grooves backing inspirational vocals and horns.

The event kicked-off early with an extra session on Wednesday night of ‘Women in Jazz’ at Clitheroe’s Holmes Mill which on Thursday night hosted the Victor Brox Blues Train.

Geoff Jackson , director of the festival which finishes tomorrow evening with Paul J Rigby’s Northern Jazz Orchestra featuring Mark Nightingale at The Grand Theatre, was delighted with the final result and performances spread across venues in Clitheroe and the surrounding villages.

He said: “Initially tickets sales were a bit slow and disappointing but the sun came out and people turned up and paid cash on the door.

“Castle Street was packed for the big outdoor party and young Astrid really showcased her vocal talents.

“Claire Martin and Leanne Carroll produced an amazing concert and Saturday night’s African party at The Grand demonstrated the vibrancy and diversity of jazz music.

“By Saturday night we must have had more than 3,000 people at various performances and events so the 10th birthday party has turned out to be a great success.

“It was a lot of hard work but well worth it.

“Next year I shall be taking a break from organising the festival and just doing a few bits on the side.”

Yesterday saw the Manchester Inspirational Voices gospel choir play Clitheroe’s St Mary’s Church and an afternoon Trombone Spectacular at its United Reformed Church.

In the evening, Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset brought his jazz quintet to The Grand .