MICHAELA SMITH and her jazz quintet will mark Independence Day with an afternoon concert focusing on The American Songbook And All That Jazz at the Cross Keys, Tadcaster Road, York, on July 4.

"Now in its third year, the weekly Thursday afternoon jazz session at the Cross Keys is still pulling in the crowds as one of the most popular jazz sessions in York," says organiser Alan Bramley.

"I believe that a key factor in that success is the variety of jazz bands that appear. The core theme is traditional jazz but some of the bands venture into highly accessible 1930s' and '40s' swing, plus the irresistible bounce of Bebop, all enthusiastically welcomed by capacity audiences. An early arrival is always recommended if you want a good seat."

International jazz singer Michaela Smith will be bringing her quintet to the Cross Keys for the first time. "We are promised that much of her material will be based on the American Songbook," says Alan.

Her swinging band comprises Paul Conway on piano, Stuart MacDonald on saxophone, Dave Lee on drums and Martin Coultas on bass. "All come with a high-calibre background," says Alan.

Each Thursday jazz session at the Cross Keys has free admission and food is available, "making it a very attractive jazz-lunch location", suggests Alan."Later in the year, we'll have further notable first appearances at the Cross Keys by jazz vocalist, pianist and Leeds College of Music lecturer Nicki Allan with Ronnie Bottomley’s Jazz Quintessentials on August 15 and the John Addy Band on October 31.

"Jim Wright’s Rhythm Deluxe will be playing on July 25 and Paul Smith's Jazz Collective on August 8, and they'll be appearing alongside the regular Cross Keys bands, such as the Yorkshire Stompers this Thursday, the 7th City Jazz Band on July 11,Ron Burnett’s Mardi Gras Jazz Band on July 18, along with Frank Brooker’s Happy Chappies and the Tim New Band, and all at York’s favourite price – yes, it’s free!"

The sessions run from 1pm to 3.30 pm every Thursday. Details of all the bands appearing can be found at facebook.com/pg/crosskeysjazz/.