After more than 20 years since it was founded, the Mill Hill Music Festival will return this weekend.

In a recent update to the festival programme special guest Lee Thompson, Madness saxophonist, will join nine-piece ska band The Silencerz with covers of favourite ska tunes along with a selection of originals.

Over the years, the festival has played host to many well-known British artists including jazz musician and BBC Radio presenter Humphrey Lyttelton, known for chairing I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, British soul band The Foundations, frontman of Kat Kool & the Kool Cats Paul Young, singer and songwriter Gwyneth Herbert, jazz musician, washboard player and radio presenter Campbell Burnap and clarinettist Acker Bilk.

Their offering extends further than Britain, with notable names from America also appearing on the bill in past years such as jazz musicians Warren Vache and Scott Hamilton and Grammy nominated singer Stacey Kent.

“In the lead up to each Festival, we as always find ourselves in something of a dilemma,” organiser Roger Tichborne tells me. “Which artists do we book?

“The astonishing problem we have, is that are so many wonderfully talented musicians to choose from. Whether amateur or professional, just starting out or long established, local or international, the Mill Hill Music Festival simply bursts with gifted musicians.”

This year’s events will begin on Friday, June 16 at 7.30pm with the brass ensemble of more than 40 members, The Hendon Band of the Salvation Army.

Formed in 1882 the band has since performed all around the world and their upcoming concert will feature their repertoire of brass, contemporary swing and classical pieces, conducted by Stephen Cobb.

Elsewhere on the same night Mick Jaguar will bring his alter ego Natalie Cooper, who has had an international career in girl groups, jazz and covers bands before going it alone with a retro chanteuse who sings and plays ukulele in a variety of genres such as jazz, blues and soul.

The festival will continue until the following weekend, concluding on Saturday, June 24. Other events include Showtime with The BBC Elstree Concert Band, featuring some of the most successful stage shows and films ever written, on Saturday, June 17.

Formed in 1984, the band has a repertoire of light classics, show music and contemporary wind instrument arrangements. Their performances have been broadcast both nationally and internationally through the BBC World Service and they have given concerts in aid of The Voice of the Listener Trust and North London Hospice.

Details at