Lichfield Arts’ 30th Jazz and Blues festival started with a bang with a performance by Some Kinda Wonderful.

Some Kinda Wonderful

All of the ingredients for a successful concert were in place – a near-capacity audience, some of the finest musicians on the live circuit and some of the most feet-tapping and ear-grabbing songs committed to tape by the legendary Stevie Wonder.

The ensemble – led by the soulful vocals of Noel McCalla and the saxophone virtuoso Derek Nash – was completed by keyboard player Neil Angilley, bass player Jonathan Noyce, drummer Nic France and guitarist Tim Cansfield.

Starting with a lively Signed, Sealed, Delivered, and You Are The Sunshine of My Life, they soon grabbed the audience’s attention.

Sir Duke showed the band to great effect, before things slowed down for an acoustic version of Inner Visions and Another Star.

A quick change to the setlist found Mr Know It All incredibly well played and sung, giving the band the first of its many standing ovations.

The funk of Higher Ground and For Once in My Life closed the first set and left a high standard for the second half to follow. This set was peppered with Stevie Wonder classics.

Local jazz musician Nick Dewhurst lent his trumpet talents to Isn’t She Lovely, while hits such as Don’t You Worry About A Thing turned the evening into a disco. Superstition and Ma Cherie Amour closed the concert.

Some Kinda Wonderful is an exciting, musically excellent show. It is well worth seeing, and it is touring around the country soon.

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