THE 2018 Ilkley Jazz Festival is underway - and being hailed as 'the biggest ever'.

This year's event runs from Wednesday, August 15 to Sunday, August 19 and is the fifth since it began as a 'day of jazz' at Ilkley's Summer Festival.

The day of jazz was itself initiated by a performance vocalist Beverley Beirne had given at the summer festival in 2011.

She has gone on to become the festival’s artistic director, overseeing its expansion over succeeding years.

This year the festival has 30 events, 13 more than last time, which are being held at a variety of venues, large and small, across Ilkley.

The major concerts are ticketed but many performances are free, while some ticketed events combine music with dining.

Both of this year’s headline acts will perform in the Winter Gardens.

World class singer Anita Wardell appears on Friday, August 17 when she will perform in The Winter Gardens from 8pm with the Anita Wardell Quartet.

Jazz harpist Alina Bzhezhinska meanwhile - nominated best life act by Jazz FM - is making her first visit to Yorkshire to play at the festival.

Her show takes place in the same venue from 8.30pm on Saturday, August 18.

Performers at the music and dining events will include vocalists Esther Bennet, Zoe Gilby and Kate Peters, while other acts include the Paul Edis Octet, Sam Watts, the Paradise Trio and Swing Manouche.

Jazz pianist and composer Jamil Sheriff has written a special piece of music, The Ilkley Suite (see separate story), for this year's event and will perform it live before the Bzhezhinska concert.

Sheriff is also set to give a free masterclass at 10am on Sunday, August 19 at the Black Hat.

Weekend tickets, which cover all events in The Winter Gardens, cost £50 while Saturday tickets are £35.

Tickets can be purchased from Ilkley Visitor Information centre - call (01943) 602319.

For more details and the full programme visit .