Latitude review: Nigel Kennedy

World renowned violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy wowed the crowd at Latitude Festival last night as he took to the stage to deliver a spell-binding performance.

World renowned violin virtuoso Nigel Kennedy wowed the crowd at Latitude Festival last night as he took to the stage to deliver a spell-binding performance.

A large crowd gathered to watch the multi-award winning performer, who led a tribute to jazz icon Duke Ellington, whose career spanned more than 50 years.

The excitement was palpable before Kennedy even appeared as the crowd moved towards the festival's lake stage.

Festival creator Melvin Benn welcomed Kennedy on stage calling him 'The most extraordinary violinist anybody has ever come across'.

The violinist was accompanied by his Orchestra of Life, a new ensemble of exceptional young musicians, and his jazz outfit, The Nigel Kennedy Quintet.

Kennedy introduced the members of his orchestra and the crowd fell silent as he began to play, the soaring sounds of his violin drifting across the parkland.

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Kennedy clearly revels in playing with his orchestra and there was a great sense of camaraderie between the famous violinist and his fellow musicians.

The music was terrific - an effortless and mind-blowingly beautiful performance.

Prelude to a kiss, Duke Ellington's song composed in 1938, was among the pieces played, and it felt as if the crowd had been transported back in time as the music filled the air.

And as the sun slowly disappeared, Kennedy said he thought it appropriate to play Dusk, which revelled in floaty resonances.

It was an accomplished and classy performance by Kennedy and his wonderfully talented colleagues.

It was also an exceptional and unique show to kick-start the weekend's festivities.

Emily Dennis

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