THIS summer’s Usk Festival gets under way today and runs for ten days, with a packed schedule that sees jazz legends Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball in town next Thursday.

It is 50 years to the month since Bilk became the first British performer to top the American charts with his classic smash hit Stranger on The Shore.

Musically, the festival covers everything from choral and organ recital to country and western and rhythm and blues.

The fun kicks off today with a duck race, a favourite with both young and old.

It will see around 2,000 rubber ducks spared bath time in order to race along the town’s waters, while spectators line the route to cheer them home.

On Sunday, the Big Garden Party will see R&B masters The Mystery Room play, while classic jazz aficionados may be tempted by Lounging About, who are playing the Summer Solstice Party at the Rural Life Museum.

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