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Singer who performed with Robert Plant and Bill Wyman to headline Norfolk festival

PUBLISHED: 17:12 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 20 January 2020

Singer and pianist Mike Sanchez is set to headline Dereham Blues Festival 2020. Picture: Courtesy of Mike Sanchez

Singer and pianist Mike Sanchez is set to headline Dereham Blues Festival 2020. Picture: Courtesy of Mike Sanchez

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The headline act at a festival which attracts thousands of music fans to Norfolk every year has been revealed.

Hamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBFHamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBF

Rhythm and blues singer-songwriter Mike Sanchez is set headline Dereham Blues Festival when the musical extravaganza returns to Mid Norfolk for five days from July 8 to 12.

The pianist, who spent four years playing with former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman and his Rhythm Kings band, will feature at Dereham Memorial Hall on opening night.

Sanchez was born to Spanish parents in London's East End and grew up learning piano and guitar, developing a love for 1950s American roots music in the process.

Hamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBFHamilton Loomis performing on the opening night of Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBF

In 1984, at the age of 20, he joined the newly-formed Big Town Playboys and spent 15 years with the group as they enjoyed several successful tours and recorded a number of studio albums.

The 55-year-old, who counts superstars including Wyman, Robert Plant and Imelda May among his friends and collaborators, went solo in 1999 and today performs with his band, The Portions.

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On July 8, Sanchez will be supported by When Rivers Meet, a talented blues and roots rock duo consisting of Aaron and Grace Bond from Essex.

Now heading into its eighth year, Dereham Blues Festival has become a staple event in the calendar and attracts thousands of visitors to the Mid Norfolk town.

Last year's event saw no less than 50 blues acts play in 13 different venues, which were all free to attend and remain so in 2020.

Pistol Pete performing at Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBFPistol Pete performing at Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBF

The opening gig at Dereham's Memorial Hall proved a show-stopper, with Texan blues guitarist Hamilton Loomis wowing the crowd with his supreme showmanship and blues virtuosity.

Organisers hope to see restaurants, pubs, bars and other venues brimming with music-lovers once again this summer, as they enjoy some of the world's finest blues acts.

Tickets for this year's opening concert, featuring Mike Sanchez and The Portions and organised by the Friends of Dereham Memorial Hall, will go on be sale at the end of January and can be purchased via Ticket Source.

Chicago One Zero performing at the Royal Standard during Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBFChicago One Zero performing at the Royal Standard during Dereham Blues Festival 2019. Picture: Colin Collis/DBF

For the latest news and announcements head to the Dereham Blues Festival website, where you can also register your interest in performing at this year's event. Applications close on February 14.


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