Playing in the Jazz Garden alongside the British bands are seven purveyors of smooth jazz - which is the sensible child of jazz fusion, a languid amalgam of West Coast jazz, limpid soul, light R&B and glossy production values. Stars such as David Sanborn and Marcus Miller from the 1980s made classic smooth recordings such as Maputo with veteran Bob James, who has since been dubbed the "father of smooth jazz". He opened the music up to people who struggled to love bebop, Coltrane or jazz's more experimental and challenging corners.
First up, is the keyboardist and producer Nate Harasim who led the house band at this year's inaugural Smooth Jazz Awards, and his debut album, Rush, is released on the Trippin 'N' Rhythm label, mixing Latin, funk, brassy grooves and the sultry vocals of Maxine Hardcastle. Next, the soul-jazz flautist Althea Rene, who studied classical music at university, displays her unique improvisational style of flute playing. She works with top-name producers such as Michael Broenig and her latest album, No Restrictions, mixes urban, jazz and R&B styles into a latte-smooth whole.
The new urban jazz of the pianist Bob Baldwin is paired with British singer Cleveland Watkiss on the Thursday - Baldwin's latest release Never Can Say Goodbye, a tribute to Michael Jackson, has just been Grammy nominated, while in-demand Canadian sax man Darren Rahn, sporting two top-five Billboard hits, including the title track of his latest album, Talk of the Town, doubles up with Soweto Kinch on Saturday.
The 19-year-old soprano saxophonist Elizabeth Mis is another new signing to Trippin 'N' Rhythm records, with Nate Harasim (see above) in the producer's chair. She makes her first live appearance outside America at the Jazz Garden alongside the Neil Cowley Trio on Sunday.
And for the closing concert in the series, bass addicts will flock to see solo virtuoso Julian Vaughan. A native of Kansas City, he has absorbed his home's rich jazz history and added a youthful, soulful style. His album debut, The Purpose Project, features the sax of Darren Rahn - who may well be on hand for a guest spot in the Jazz Garden's closing festivities.