From humble beginnings the Ealing Jazz Festival has grown into an extravaganza known all over the world - and like many good ideas it all started in the pub.

A gathering of eager musicians who held jam sessions in the Plough, in Northfield Avenue, Ealing, wanted to share their love of the feel-good tunes with the whole borough and, after meeting with the council's parks officer Bowles-Bevan, a jazz week was born in August 1985.

But plans to hold the event in the (now demolished) open air theatre in Walpole Park were a wash out. It rained almost all week so the musicians had to commandeer the craft tents left over from the old Walpole Festival held days before.

Despite the weather crowds turned up in droves to watch bands such as Harlem Airshaft, Jazz Junction and Paz, its popularity ensuring it's success to this day.

Co-founder and artistic director Dick Esmond explained the secret of their success. He said: "The festival is unique as it features locally-based musicians, something I don't think other boroughs can do. Other boroughs have approached me asking how we do it but I don't think they could, we've got the ammunition, the local talent."

It is perhaps a mystery why so many top musicians choose to call Ealing home but , with past legends such as trumpeter Tommy McQuater, saxophinist Bill Skeat and pianist Bill le Sage to name but a few, the borough must have the highest calibre of jazz performers in the capital and beyond.

And the concentration of talent attracts players from all over the world who come simply for the vibe.

Mr Esmond, a professional drummer for 40 years, added: "The other reason it's so successful is it's an egalitarian festival, everybody is treated equally no matter who you are, the three ps: equal payment, play-time and publicity. That's why it hasn't become too commercial and we get performers who wouldn't normally play for the money we can offer."

As the years went by comedy, global music, blues, opera and other events were added all growing out of the jazz festival's success.

After 24 years of festivals there are too many highlights to mention, but asked to pick just a few at random Mr Esmond said: "There was the time we surprised Tommy McQuater on his 75th birthday with a visit from his old friend George Chrisholm (a famous trombonist known for playing in the Goon Show and being part of the Black and White Minstrel show among other appearances) in 1989.

"And the performances by Ronnie Verrell (a world-class drummer who was one of the stars of the Ted Heath Orchestra and drummed for Animal in the Muppets), he was electrifying and received standing ovations."

Many more highlights are yet to come as the borough's talent shows no sign of dimming, ensuring the festival's success for future generations.

Mr Esmond added: "I can seeing it going and going, it's so important, it's a meeting point and the crowds are always so good natured – jazz just makes people feel good."

The jazz in Walpole park will run from Wednesday July 29 until Sunday August 2 visit to find out more.