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All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:
Sara Colman, Jacqui Dankworth and Liane Carroll in harmony at Wavendon

Festivals Galore

Wavendon Festival

Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine open their garden to jazz enthusiasts and invite them to six musical weekends beginning on Friday 9th June. The Festival raises money to assist worthwhile musical projects in the UK. For further information on Festival events telphone: (01908) 280800.


The Oliver Cromwell International Jazz Festival at Upton-upon-Severn celebrates its 21st year on the weekend of 24th-26th June. 'Sir' Alan Buckley, Festival Organiser from year one and still going strong, could hardly have foreseen the continuing success of the festival in those early tentative days.

The festival is now over ten times bigger than in 1986 and over 5000 loyal fans are expected to descend on Upton during this year. Headline bands are George Melly with Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen on Friday, The Big Chris Barber Band on Saturday and a return for the ever popular Pasedena Roof Orchestra on Sunday, over fifty bands in total appearing during the weekend.

Festival favourites Lamarotte feature in the festival parade on Saturday morning alongside The Jubilee New Orleans Brass Band and newcomers the Azaad Digby Fairweather and George MellyDhol Group (Indian Traditional Drumming) - must be a first in a New Orleans Parade - nice one Alan! New bands include The Bourbon Street Stompers from Germany and Lollo Meier from Holland Hot Club Quartet.

George Melly...

...and Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen (pictured) are one of the top attractions at the 21st Upton Jazz Festival, Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th June. The Big Chris Barber Band (pictured) will be headlining on Saturday 24th. Phone for details: 01684 593254, email info@uptonjazz.co.uk or visit www.uptonjazz.co.uk

Ludlow Jazz Festival

Now in it’s 18th year hosts a top line up including Alan Barnes and Roy Williams, The Alex Welsh Reunion Band, The Compaq Big Band from the USA and Midland’s favourite, Val Wiseman among many others. It all takes place from Friday 30th June to Sunday 2nd July at the Bull Hotel. Phone 01584 873611

Chris Barber Band
Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival...

...June 22nd to June 25th, features the Big Chris Barber Band (pictured) on Thursday 22nd June among many other fine artists. Phone for details on 01543 262223 or visit www.lichfieldarts.org.uk

Burnett’s Bandits...

...are putting on a charity event on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June at The Malthouse pub, Cambridge Street, Birmingham City Centre in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice. Entitled The Malthouse Jazz and Booze Jam Festival and sponsored by The Acorns Trust the weekend will include raffles and other fundraising activities all in aid of Acorns.

Although the band line-up has not yet been finalized you can be sure of hearing lots of terrific music and having a great time. Entry is free and the whole event will run from 12.30 to 11pm on the Saturday and from 1 to 10.00pm on the Sunday.



Congratulations to Tony Dudley-Evans and his team for yet another excellently organised Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Renowned for encouraging new and young jazz musicians Tony has a wonderful ear for selecting new talent and whilst many of the names might not be familiar, trust his judgement. A mere stone’s through away from the JWM region this event is a must for those wishing to seek out emerging stars, remember Jamie Cullum was featured here a couple of years ago.

Guitarist Jonny Phillips’s sextet ‘Oriole’, which included Cello, mixed Spanish folk with North African scales to great effect. Claire Martin swung like mad to a capacity audience wit a brand new big band including ex MYJO stars Andy Wood, Mark Nightingale and Martin Williams whilst Gwilym Simcock is a young pianist with tremendous potential. The manner in which he backed alto legend, Lee Konitz, was a delight.

The highlight for me was the New Orleans trumpeter Abram Wilson’s ten piece group. Presenting music specifically commissioned for the festival as part of the ‘Jerwood Rising Stars’ sponsorship programme the music told the story of his voyage to London via ‘The Big Apple’. An exuberant, eclectic, mix of New Orleans, Delta Blues, Be Bop, Hip Hop, Free Form and Rap. Theoretically it should not work, but it did, and the audience loved every magic moment. Tony, ‘B’ham Jazz’ must book this one.
Mike Beaumont

10th Avenue Jazz Band...

...from the USA present the music that has made them popular worldwide at two venues in the JWM region during June. The first is the Jazz Connection, Rytonon- Dunsmore, on the 7th (see ad) followed on the 9th by the Tamworth
Jazz Club at the Castle Hotel. Included in the ticket price is one of Castle Hotel’s three course dinners. Advance tickets £ 20. Box Office Tel: 01827 317700.



All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:

Jacqui Dankworth (above) will be starring at Huntingdon Hall, Worcester on Saturday 6 May as part of a series of Jazz Legends. The series continues with Snake Davis (ex-M People) and Acker Bilk. For more details see advert page11.

Bryan Corbett

Coventry Jazz Festival

from 25th-29th May has  become one of the country’s best Jazz events. Top jazz artists Courtney Pine, Georgie Fame with the Alan Skidmore Quartet, Susheela Raman and The Soft Machine Legacy have already been signed up.

Local heroes, Bryan Corbett (above) and Soweto Kinch are just two more of the fabulous acts appearing. Concerts will be held throughout the city including the ruins of the old Cathedral, St Mary’s Guild Hall and the Herbert Arts Gallery as well as Warwick Arts Centre and the University of Warwick.

A giant 4 metre helium filled HSBC balloon will light up the Cathedral Ruins for the duration of the Festival, a dramatic first for the HSBC Coventry Jazz Festival and Cathedral.

Upton Jazz Festival parade


As the Upton Jazz Festival builds up to it's 21st Anniversary JazzWest
Mids is also building up to the event with a series of photos from last year, including this one by Robert Coles. Upton takes place in late-June (weekend 24th-26th) and topping the bill are George Melly, Chris Barber and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra

The famous Dutch Swing College Band

will be performing in Bromsgrove on Friday 12th May as part of the 2006 Bromsgrove Festival. The concert takes place at the Spadesbourne Suite, Council House, Burcot Lane. For tickets and further information telephone 01527 876 504 or visit www.bromsgrovefestival.741.com

Dutch Swing College Band

Carole Westwood at the Prince of Wales Carole Westwood,

pictured singing at the Prince of Wales in Birmingham (photo Dick Jones) will be appearing at the Bonded Warehouse, Canal Street, Stourbridge on Friday 26th May with the Archie Cotterell Trio. Venue organiser, Simon Deeley says “This very popular singer with her effortless, smooth but vital singing style continues to captivate audiences.”
For more information about the Bonded Warehouse phone 01384 395 216
Also on 11 June you will get the chance to see Carole perform in front of a Big Band when she will be the special guest of Garry Allcock’s All Stars at the David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Great Barr, B’ham - 0121 475 7524 for info.


On Sunday 16th July the beautiful Birmingham Botanical Gardens host a wonderful picnic featuring the NC Big Band and the Ralph Allin Quartet. Last year’s event was memorable both for the magical quality of the music and the amazing DIY gourmet picnics on display. This event comes highly recommended by your editor.
For tickets ring 0121 454 18


Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues Festival, from June 22 - 25 features the Ralph Allin Quartet, Gilad Atzmon Quartet, The Big Chris Barber Band, TJ Johnson, the Steve King Big Band, Dennis Rollins Badbone and Co and many more exciting artists.

Festival Patron, Ken Mosson from Tamworth M&M Club is looking forward to seeing the trumpeter Harry Beckett and sax player Theo Travis.



The International Music Festival being held at Bath from 19 May to 4 June gives visitors the opportunity to soak up the historic atmosphere of the Roman city, while listening to  Jazz acts such as Dennis Rollins, Tomasz Stanko, Polar Bear and Karen Street.

For more information and bookings phone 01225 463362 or visit bathmusicfest.org.uk


 Readers living within striking distance of Bromsgrove are very fortunate in having the new Artrix Theatre on their doorstep.

Singer songwriter Ola Onabule (pictured above) will appear at the Theatre on Friday 26 May. Ola has opened for artists such as Gladys Knight, Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle & Diane Reeves. His music is a blend of soul, jazz and African influences and the strength of his melodies is opening doors on to other worlds. Ola is an artist who has created his own identity and continues to forge his own destiny-an incredibly talented musician who demands to be seen and heard. For times, prices etc ring 01527 577 330 or visit www.artrix.co.uk.


Kirsty and Kenny, seen here performing at the Prince of Wales are just one of the great local acts performing at the Women in Music Festival held in Digbeth on the 2nd and 3rd June at the Irish Centre and South Birmingham College.
Other acts include Laura Ige, Yaz Alexander and Maria Patrick. For more info visit their website at www.womeninmusic.co.uk


Chancery Cruising offer a once in a lifetime holiday, sailing in the Western Caribbean, visiting Costa Maya, Guatemala, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico and listening to some fabulous Jazz featuring Joe Segal, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Heath and Bud Shank plus a host of other big name musicians.

The holiday begins with a three night stopover in the home of Jazz, New Orleans. It all starts on the 30th November 2006. To send for their brochure and find that prices may be more affordable than you expected and excellent value call 020 7405 7056 or visit www.chancerycruising.com or www.ajpas.com

April 2006 FEATURES

All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:

at Rush Hour Blues

Tony Dudley-Evans writes:
On April 21st Sara Colman (right) will be performing at the second anniversary of the start of the very popular Friday Rush Hour Blues commuter jazz session at Symphony Hall.

Sara is the winner of the Audience Poll for 2005 and her victory is richly deserved. She is an amazing singer and we are all lucky that Birmingham is still her base and that we have the chance to hear her at different times of the year.

One or two special guests are promised for the session, which should be a real celebration both of Sara as a singer and band leader and of the success of Rush Hour Blues. The sessions are run by Birmingham Jazz and Symphony hall.


To win your 2 tickets to see top vocalist and entertainer Dave Chance with Garry Allcock's All Stars Big Band on Sunday 7th May at the David LLoyd Leisure Centre, Great Barr, B'ham answer this question: When was the Garry Allcock Big Band first started? Nearest answer to the month and year wins. Contact us by phone on 0121 241 6751 or by post at JWM, 90 Beeches Drive, Erdington, B’ham B24 0DT

The fabulous Sticky Wickett Swing Band, above, tour the Midlands in April. See Band Listings


This Year the 21st Upton Festival swings into action with George Melly and Digby Fairweather on Friday 23rd of June. On Saturday and Sunday The Big Chris Barber Band and The Pasadena Roof Orchestra head up a magnificent line up.

Taken from last year's Festival the colourful parade this photo by Paul Dunleavy evokes the joyful spirit of Upton. For more on this years line up see advert opposite

Top Australian vocalist, Anita Wardell (left) will feature in a special concert in aid of The Campaign to Protect Rural England, which will be held in the magnificent setting of the Great Hall of the historic Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick on Friday 12th May. For tickets call 01926 494597


Don Reynolds writes:
A new initiative has been started by a group of promoters and the International Jazz Alliance has been formed to create a national network of promoters of all styles, to initiate tours of the UK by American, European and British artistes for whom no current facilities exist.

Members are asked to nominate artistes for whom they would like the Alliance to create a tour, and upon their acceptance, all members will be notified of the tour dates and if they wish to feature the artiste in their club they will reply to the Alliance who will arrange a tour, should numbers make it viable.

The membership fee is £25, to cover registration and the first year's subscription(Sunsequent years will be £10)To obtain full details and benefits contact donreynolds@internationaljazzalliance.com or phone 01283 762120



All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:


Andy Hamilton Andy Hamilton (left) celebrates his 88th Birthday this month with a big party at Bearwood Corks Club on Thursday 23rd March.
Special guest attraction will be US Sax legend, Scott Hamilton, with the Tony Richards Trio and of course the Blue Notes. Admission £7(£6 concs) Info: 0121 429 2091

The Gateshead International Jazz Festival...

...now in it’s second year takes place 17-19 March at the breathtaking new music venue, the Sage, on the banks of the Tyne. The multi-award winning building will host a rare UK appearance by American jazz diva Dee Dee Bridgewater (right) and much more. There's more on their site at www.thesagegateshead.org

We put in this wonderful picture of the Sage from accross the Tyne (below) just to let you see what it's like


Aberdeen Jazz Festival...

...from 8-12 March features star Israeli Bass player Avishai Cohen (right), Mulgrew Miller, Tim Garland, Tommy Smith, Julian Arguelles, Tina May and many other big name artists. More at www.jazzaberdeen.com.

Isle of Wight Jazz Divas Festival...

...takes place from 7-9 April. Artists include Claire Martin. More info in advert on page 7. If you’re planning to visit the beautiful and scenic isle you may like to contact the Burlington Hotel on 01983 852 113 at www.burlingtonhotel.uk.com


UK Jazz superstars Acker Bilk & Kenny Ball will appear at Walsall Town Hall on Wed 29 March. An unmissable evening of great Jazz. See their advert on page 9



Dubbed “the revolutionary reedsman from Ufa in the Urals” Oleg Kireyev’s exciting brand of playing has become one of the biggest draws on the West Midlands Jazz scene. Oleg will be doing a series of gigs throughout the region during the end of March and the start of April.

He will be playing with the Tim Amman X-tet at the Bonded Warehouse on 31st March and again at Bearwood Corks Club on 13th April. At the Stage on 9th April he will be playing with Paul Sawtell. Info at www.ostrichmusic.fsnet.co.uk.


Born in Birmingham, classically trained virtuoso violinist Ralph Allin first turned his talents to folk music before developing his passion for Gipsy Jazz.
You can see Ralph and his Quartet at Bromsgrove Artrix Theatre on Sat 1st April. At the concert is Ral;ph launches his new CD, "A Fine Line"

Tel. 01527 577330 - www.ralphallin.com


Most wannabe jazz players long to be able to solve the mystery of how to play by ear and improvise. Finding a book that explains this so that ordinary folk can understand it is another matter. Well, take heart, because at last there is a book; published by C and G Publishing; that solves this mystery. What is unique about this book is that it is written in plain language and very easy to understand.

It explains how to play by ear correctly, how to play blues and several methods of improvisation used by experts. It includes how to fit chords to melody, chord progression, how to play basic and advanced chords and much more. This book gives a good grounding for teaching yourself to play jazz.

Tel 01543 490 927 / 493 758


All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:

Tina Law (left) will be at Scruffy Duffy's, Broad St, B'ham on Sunday 26th Feb. 5pm.



The Old Brown Jug are moving their "Modern and Mainstream" Jazz Night from Wednesday to Tuesday, and their Special Opening Night on 7th February features two giants of British Jazz, Stan Tracey (above) and Peter King. Stan Tracey recorded Under Milk Wood, one of the best selling UK Jazz albums. Peter King, a sensational BeBop artist, is a top British alto player. To find out more check the ads on pages 11 and 19 (Tel: 01782 711 393)

By Digby Fairweather

ARISE SIR JOHN By Digby Fairweather Although MBEs - and even the odd CBE - have been floating round the British jazz scene for two or three decades the arrival of the first authentic jazz knight - in the form of Sir John Dankworth (left) - is a true cause for celebration. It may be a little late -in a popular culture that's already hastened to confer the honour on musical juniors like Elton John and Mick Jagger - but welcome nonetheless. And in my view it may do a great deal for the longterm status of jazz in our society.

Strangely enough, the same thing happened to the acting profession until the early years of the last century. It was only when Sir Henry Irving - the first-ever actor to be knighted - accepted his title in l895, that his profession achieved its first public acknowledgment.

Sir John Dankworth has, I believe, conferred the same favour on our jazz scene. Nowadays actors are superstars, whose performances are feted and whose work is subject to serious critique.

Perhaps one day jazz performers will achieve the same public status. And if so Sir John Dankworth -jazz's Sir Henry Irving -will have had quite a bit to do with it.

Many thanks to Digby for this article.

We congratulated Sir John on his knighthood and he replied "I have spent a lifetime listening to and performing music of many different kinds, and it was wonderful to receive an honour for 'services to music'.

Jazz has played the leading part of my musical life, and I'm proud to have been the recipient, on behalf of jazz musicians everywhere, of this special accolade". You can see Sir John in Bournemouth on March 26 and then with Cleo Laine at St GeorgeÕs, Bristol April 8, Newbury Corn Exchange April15, and Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon April 22.

THANKYOU FROM SHAINE DORSEY to Andy Hamilton, Vic Evans, Frank Leadon, Malcolm Gibbons and Andy Peate. Thank you for the wonderful music you played for our father, Warren Dorsey at the wake. Super! Wonderful musicians.


One to watch out for is the Aberdeen Jazz Festival 8-12 March. It features one of the giants of US Jazz in Mulgrew Miller (above) and ScotlandÕs very own Jazz great, Tommy Smith. For info see the ad on page 3, ring 01224 619 770 or visit www.jazzaberdeen.co.uk


The Plough at Trysull near Wolverhampton is well worth a visit on a Wednesday evening for fans of Modern and Mainstream. They have a top quality programme. For details see ad page10 or phone 01902 898 273. The Crown at Alrewas is the place to see the New Washboard Syncopators, starting from Monday 27th Feb. Enquiries to 01283 790 328

Southport Sizzles in February

Joyce DiCamilloSouthport Melodic Jazz is presenting the Club's second jazz weekend following a hugely successful event in 2005.

Over the course of three days visitors will be entertained by big name artists including Martin Taylor, US pianist Joyce DiCamillo (left), Ti Kliphuis, Anita Wardell, Bruce Adams, Alan Barnes and more. Styles range from Gypsy to Mainstream to Big Band All this, along with tuition sessions from top musicians, and events and exhibitions on Jazz in the visual and literary arts, will take place in the luxury of the Royal Clifton Hotel (above) from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th February. For more info see the ad (centre pages), ring 01704 541790 or go to www.jazzinsouthport.co.uk and click on JAZZ WEEKEND

Enter our prize draw to win a pair of tickets to see Judy Collins at the Alex in Brum!

JWM have a couple of superb tickets to a Judy Collins Concert on Wednesday 15th February at B'ham's Alexandra Theatre to give as prizes. If you're keen on Folk Music and would like to win these tickets phone us on 0121 241 6751 or write to JWM, 90 Beeches Drive, Erdington, B'ham B24 0DT and we'll put you in the prize draw. To book: 0870 607 7533 www.aeglive.co.uk


All the latest news, views and developments in the jazz world:


Birmingham Diva, Gwen King (above) has been invited to sing on New Years Eve at the Riflemans Arms, Moor Lane, Wilmslow by promoter Graham Brook, affectionately known as 'Mr Monday Night'.
Graham, who is a regular supporter of the Birmingham Jazz Festival, is now booking talented artists from the Midlands region, with Carole Westwood set to play there on Jan 25. Graham's "Show of the Year" is on Monday Jan 23 when brilliant reedsman, Gilad Atzmon will be the star guest with Laura Fowles (vocals/alto) and the Steve Moore Trio. This gig is at at the Wilmslow Conservative Club, Grove Avenue.


One of the UK's top Jive/Swing acts, the spectacular Jive Aces (below) will be performing at Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Friday 13th Jan. More details on this and other great gigs at Tamworth are THE BLUES BAND, Thursday 26th January and SOULED OUT TO FUNK, Friday 27th January.


This is our "lucky" 13th issue as Editors at JazzWestMids and we'd like to thank everyone who has supported us by advertising in the magazine. Also our thanks and good wishes go out to musicians, club organisers, music fans and subscribers; in fact all of you who help to keep Jazz alive.

Stafford Jazz Society ran a highly successful fundraiser which raised £1306 for New Orleans musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. Bands taking part included Martinique (above),the Antique Six, The Red Dragon Jazzmen, and the Swing Kings.

David ‘Fathead’ Newman (below left) and Russell Malone (below right) are just two of the wonderful musicians who will entertain guests at Chancery Cruising’s 6th annual Jazz party at sea leaving for New Orleans on 30th Nov.

For  info: 020 7405 7056 - bookings@chancerycruising.com - www.ajpas.com or www.chancerycruising.com

 David 'Fathead" Newman and Russell Malone


8 Sept 1933 - 6 Nov 2005

Frank Leadon writes:

Warren Dorsey, christened Warren Frederick Theniger, emigrated from Calcutta to Birmingham in 1954.
Warren was the featured vocalist with the Sonny Rose Orchestra at the West End Ballroom and then with Ken Rattenbury's Band. Radio, TV and club dates followed, and he led his own jazz combos over many years.
A stylish and personable singer with a fine voice, he will be sadly missed.


Although not officially launched until April 1st at the Artrix Theatre, Bromsgrove, Ralph Allin's excellent new CD, "A Fine Line" can be purchased at his gigs. This album is a must for all fans of Jazz Violin. www.ralphallin.com

Ralph Allin live


Jazz violinist Ralph Allin's recent front cover article (Nov Jazz WestMids) inspired me to visit two local venues featuring his quartet during November. 

THE BONDED WAREHOUSE, Stourbridge on the 18th saw around 100 people braving a cold night to hear Ralph's band cast their magical spell; nobody wasdisappointed - some dazzling music here, warmly appreciated.

BOLEHALL MANOR, Tamworth on the 28th suffered a disappointing turnout -doubtless the ice and snow discouraged many, which was a pity. Nevertheless, the quartet pulled out all the stops for the lucky fans there, who all went home a lot warmer than upon arrival! We even had a brief banjo solo - on VIOLIN!

Full marks to the dedicated promoters - SIMON DEELEY at Stourbridge and KEN MOSSON at Tamworth. Ralph's band well merit wider recognition. See them at Lichfield (venue, date, time, price).

Buy their terrific new CD "A FINE LINE", excellent value at £12.00
Check out www.ralphallin.com


With regret and due to circumstances beyond their control, the Walsall Deaf People's Centre have cancelled their musical events until further notice. Further info 01922 614 794