Jazz fans from all across the world descended on Marlborough for acts including a special appearance by New Yorker Daryl Sherman at the opening of the town’s annual music festival.

But the weekend started on a sombre note, with a minute’s silence on Friday in memory of festival supporter Robert Hill, head of the Hills Group for more than four decades, who died last Thursday.

The Hills Group has sponsored every Marlborough Jazz Festival since its inception 28 years ago. His widow, Rosie, and other family members were at the opening ceremony on Friday.

Festival organiser Nick Fogg told the audience: “A very dear friend of myself and many people here, and also a very dear friend of the festival, Robert Hill, died yesterday. And we’re very, very deeply upset by that and pleased to say some of his family are here.”

This was followed by a round of applause in Mr Hill’s honour, before The Rabbit Foot Spasm Band started the music.

The audience was treated to tunes from Sara Spade and the Noisy Boys before South West MEP Ashley Fox officially opened the festival.

He said: “These festivals do not organise themselves, so I want you to show our appreciation to Nick and his team of volunteers.”

On the second day, thousands braved a brief storm as Sticky Wicket kicked off the day in the Priory Marquee. Then the heavens opened during the Bratislava Hot Serenaders’ set, as children danced outside in the rain.

Peter Frost, who had arrived from Newcastle with friends, said: “ When I heard the thunder and saw the grey sky gradually making its way over the town, I thought that was it.

“But everyone stuck it out, the music kept playing and before long the sun returned.”

In the Castle and Ball lounge, Artie Shaw band vocalist Daryl Sherman made her second appearance, in a set with a chilled-out vibe, and sang in Japanese.

Back at the Priory Marquee, festival newcomer AJ Brown mixed well-known songs such as Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise with his own tracks, including a reggae number.

Chris Jagger and the Atcha Band had the Brewin Dolphin Bandstand crowd on their feet with blues, country, and rock before the festival came to a close on Sunday with Clare Teal and her Mini Big Band.