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


Buddy Greco

Here’s your chance of a lifetime to see Buddy Greco – a living legend – in the flesh. He will be appearing at the Circus Casino, Star City, Birmingham on Friday 8th August at 7.30pm where you can enjoy a three course meal and full show including the fantastic tribute act “The Rat Pack is Back”.

For booking information call 0121-327 8008 or 01268 440082
e-mail: streetwize@blueyonder.co.uk
Website: www.buddygrecolive.co.uk

If you live nearer to Leamington Spa you can also see Buddy at the Royal Spa Centre on Sunday 27th July. Box Office 01926 334418 or visit www.royal-spa-centre.co.uk


Andy Hamilton with his MBEChris Gumbley is a saxophone player who currently hosts one of the most popular jazz shows on BBC radio. He has been hosting the weekly show for nearly two years, since taking over from Mel Hill.

As director of the Stafford International Jazz Festival and organiser of Gumbles Jazz Club in Stafford, Chris definitely knows his jazz, and his informed comments on the show have made the programme popular across the world. Messages are received from as far afield as the USA and Japan.

Playing classic jazz from across the twentieth century as well as contemporary jazz, Chris will also find obscure tracks requested by listeners. Chris’s ‘Jazzbeat’ is available on the BBC i-Player listen-again service. For all details, check:


If you’d like a break in Vienna, one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, you may well be interested in the self-catering accommodation advertised on this page There’s plenty of jazz to be enjoyed there and we’re sure you would have a wonderful holiday.

OR PHONE: STAFFORD (01785) 226950


Edgar MacíasThe Scarlet Pimpernel, Tennal Road, Harborne has free mainstream jazz on a Sunday afternoon from 3pm, often featuring pianist Edgar Macias (left), and a variety of other exciting musicians. Landlady Gill Coyne is a great supporter of jazz and all types of music, and also brings delicious, beautifully presented food out of the kitchen. This venue is heartily recommended for a Sunday afternoon. For all enquiries phone 0121-426 0930.


Chicago Teddy Bears

A holiday in the beautiful, scenic Isle of Man would certainly set you up for the Autumn, and you can enjoy excellent bands including The Chicago Teddy Bears, The 2nd Line Jazz Band (Sweden), Jim McIntosh and the Jazzoholics, and musicians such as Bruce Adams, Julian Marc Stringle, Roy Williams, Art Themen, and many more. The Festival is held at the Hilton Hotel, Douglas. For Steam Packet Holidays phone 08457 585833. For Travel Services and for the Hilton Hotel Accommodation and Travel Package phone 01624 661177

Manx Jazz Club helplines: You can call Alan on 01624 861095 or Brian on 01624 676735, website www.freewebs.com/manxjazzclub

Matthew FordWIGAN FESTIVAL 11th-19th JULY


Organisers of the 23rd Wigan International Jazz Festival have lots of good ideas about getting people involved in jazz. In the run up to and during the Festival a team of teachers will be on the streets introducing people to jazz music and encouraging them to have a go at playing an instrument.

‘There will be trumpets, saxophones and percussion instruments available to try out’, explains David Little. Artists appearing at the Festival include Elkie Brooks, Matthew Ford, The Guy Barker Jazz Orchestra, Synthesis Big Band, James Morrison, bassist Avishai Cohen, Dennis Rollins, Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra, Liane Carroll and Ian Shaw.

All tickets are available from Wigan Tourist Information Centre, 01942 825677, or visit www.wiganjazz.net.


Sticky Wickett

The Brewin Dolphin Marlborough International Jazz Festival 2008 is expected to be the biggest yet, with a true carnival atmosphere throughout the town. Organiser Nick Fogg says ‘We have never had so many sensational acts on the bill.’

Highlights for 2008 include the BBC Jazz Star of the Year Clare Teal, Australian virtuoso trumpeter Bob Barnard, Synthesis, one of the three best college big bands in the USA, Australian sensations Red Hot Rhythmakers, The Red Stripe Band, Big Man Clayton, Chris Jagger, Sticky Wickett, Pete Allen, African, Latino and Acid Jazz Bandstands and nearly 100 more events.

Artists have been booked from 23 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Senegal, UK, USA, Ghana, Dominica, Germany, Cuba, Spain, Zambia and Zimbabwe. On Sunday there will be a recreation of Benny Goodman’s spectacular 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall, in the 1000 seater Awdry, Bailey and Douglas marquee.

For any further information visit www.marlboroughjazz.co.uk or phone the box office on 01672 515095

The Temperance Seven

The Temperance Seven

The band that’s still delighting audiences with their own special brand of trad jazz will be appearing at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Sat 19 July, 7.30pm.
Tickets £15 (£14 concs) - Box Office 01584 878141

40 Years at the Trumpet
for Reg Keirle

Reg KierleIn celebration of the fact that Reg has been playing at the Trumpet for 40 years there will be a special Tribute to Reg on Sunday 13th July, 1.30 - 11.00 pm.

The whole afternoon will be Reg’s kind of music. All Reg’s friends are invited to bring along their instruments and make it a memorable day. For sustenance there will be a BBQ and hot pizzas, and for lubrication Holden’s beer.

Becky Brine will be perfoming somewhere every day throughout the Birmingham Jazz Festival, even on the train up from London!

Becky Brine
Jazz Festival



This summer, jazz performers and fans fromacross the world will be in Birmingham to attend one of the best events of its kind, a combination of jazz, blues, great food, art, photography and cinema.

Mellow HarmonyWith ten days of unmissable summer entertainment the 24th Birmingham International Jazz Festival has a special ingredient – 90% of the shows are free to the public.

This unique event, Europe’s Biggest Free Jazz Party, takes place through 73 venues with 200 performances in hotels, pubs, clubs, parks, museums, city squares, shopping centres, and even on a canal boat and a train (Becky Brine does them both)!

Bourbon Street Stompers

Mellow Harmony (above right), The Bourbon Street Stompers (left) and Micael McQuaid's Red Hot Rhythm Makers (below) are just three of tha acts taking part.To make sure you don’t miss out, pick up the festival brochure or visit



Casy Greene's Quiver

Residents and visitors alike know that Shrewsbury, the town is known for many things – St Chads, The Castle, even the floods, but few people are aware of the thriving local jazz scene. The best example to showcase the wealth of talented musicians who live in or around this historic town is a 6-piece Latin Jazz band known as Quiver.

Quiver is led by local Musician and Composer, Casey Greene. Originally from Australia but now delighted to call Shrewsbury his home, Casey has been performing with his band throughout the UK including London's Watermill Jazz and Birmingham Synphony Hall.
Shrewsbury Jazz Network is delighted to present “Quiver in Summer” at the Hive, 5 Belmont Shrewsbury on Saturday 12 July 8.00pm £8.00. Bookings 01743 234970 or 01743 281281

yrna Hague & Sonny BradshawSonny Bradshaw and Myrna Hague will join Andy Hamilton on Thursday 10th July as Bearwood Corks Club's contribution to the Birmingham Jazz Festival (Photo Russ Escritt)


It was advertised in the magazine that Tom Hill’s band Riding Hard appearing at the Pillar of Salt on Thursday 17th July.  This has been switched to The Old Cock Inn, Friar Street, Droitwich Spa,  on the same date.

Ralph Allin

Ralph Allin will be at Bearwood Corks Club Thursday 17th July.

Also Jazz Connection in Ruyton-on-Dunsmore, Nr Coventry Wednesday 3rd September


Jazz on The Water
from Gas Street Basin, Birmingham


Mike TurnerTrad Jazz and Swing Clarinet maestro, Mike Turner brings his Quartet to Jazz on The Water this Saturday.

Line-up includes Brian Casson (trb), Phil Probert (gt), Derek Brown (bass) and a vocalist.

Saturday 30th August, 2.30-5.30pm - £7.00

Contact Sam on:
0121 236 7057 or 07931 648 239

Casey Greene

Late additions to listings include Casey Greene's Quiver and more:

Sunday 3 August 8.00pm. QUIVER, 6 piece Latin Jazz band. Edgmond Lion Hotel, Edgmond TF10 8HH 07904 553125
Friday 8 August 8.00pm - Laura Higgs Trio. KHI Coffee, Ironbridge TF8 7AD     01952 433394
Sat 23 Aug 8.00pm - Camelion Trio .KHI Coffee, Ironbridge TF8 7AD     01952 433394


George Melly

We’ve just returned from a media day at the Gardens, where we were treated to a dramatic and very moving account of the life of Jane Loudon, wife of John Loudon, who founded the Gardens.

We also had a lovely lunch and a tour of the Gardens with the very knowledgeable Head Gardener. We would certainly recommend a Summer day out at the Botanical Gardens, and there’s music – often jazz – from the bandstand on Sunday afternoons. Telephone 0121-454 1860 for any information.

Linda and Barry


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It’s a great opportunity to hear many varied jazz bands and musicians and to enjoy the friendship and very special atmosphere of a Festival.

HumphKirkcudbright Jazz

Festival, June 12-15, held in the picturesque harbour town, promises a feast of musical entertainment. For details phone 01557 330467 or visit www.kirkcudbrightjazzfestival.co.uk

Wavendon Festival

June 21-July 20, is held in the delightful Summer Gardens of Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo, near Milton Keynes, over a series of weekends.

Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz and Blues

June 26-29, covers jazz from Swing to Boogie-Woogie and Big Band,

Ludlow Jazz Festival

June 27-29, includes a tribute to the late, great Humphrey Lyttelton (left) by his band.

Upton Jazz Festival

June 27-29, has many treats for every type of jazz fan. It’s a whole world of jazz in a weekend, and a total ‘experience’. We had a great time there last year and we thoroughly recommend it.

Birmingham InternationalJazz Festival July 4-13 will feature in our next issue.

Festival contacts in Listings


Budapest Ragtime Band

The Budapest Ragtime Band will be appearing at Sutton Coldfield Trad Jazz Club on Wednesday July 9th at 8.30pm, £3 entry, as part of the Birmingham Jazz Festival.

The band was established in 1980 by jazz and classical musicians who created a brand new outstanding musical style. Subsequently, they broadened their repertoire with jazz and Dixieland evergreens and humorous adaptations of world famous tunes.

The band has recorded 11 CDs and regularly tours throughout Europe, America, Mexico and the Canary Islands. They perform at prestigious Festivals all over the world, often appearing on stage in the concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and on European television. Budapest Ragtime Band’s objectives are to promote the enjoyment of ragtime music and to provide high-level entertainment to audiences of all ages. For more information phone Clive on 0121-308 4660.



Humphrey Lyttelton received many tributes in the press, and it has to be said that most of them gave more importance to his association with the BBC comedy quiz shows he hosted for many years.

Yet, I believe that in twenty, fifty, even a hundred years and more from now, his place in the cultural history of this country will undoubtedly be linked with his pioneering work as a jazz trumpeter and bandleader. He would undoubtedly have been expected to take up a career that fitted in with the expectations of the “Establishment”. This he manifestly did not do, but followed his passion and considerable abilities as a jazz musician to be the leading promoter of the music he loved. In conjunction with this, he used his wide ranging skills as a journalist, critic and author, not only to promote jazz, but also de-bunk some of the considerable snobbery, ignorance and prejudice against it at that time.

In a conversation I had some years ago with Bruce Turner, one of his leading side-men, he told me that he believed that Humph’s greatest achievement was his tireless and unrelenting industry in taking his band all over the country in the post-war years, playing in village and town halls from Cornwall to the north east of Scotland. This, along with his ability to spot talented musicians and give them a start, must be his most enduring legacy.


Andy Hamilton with his MBE


On Friday 16th May Andy Hamilton went to Buckingham Palace to receive his MBE. Here he is pictured at the Symphony Hall where he played the following day.

The Book and the Clock were presented by the Notebenders Big Band in recognition of all he's done for them. Eagle eyed observers may also spot our very own Linda Semp in the background!

Jadie CareyPete KingPeter King (right), one of the great names of Jazz, makes a welcome return to the West Midlands at Bearwood Corks Club on 19th June SEE LISTINGS

Jadie Carey (left) plays cello in Ralph Allin trio who will feature at the Botanical Gardens on 22nd June (See article below).


George Melly

The annual Midsummer Big Band Music Evening will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston on Sunday 22nd June 2008 from 6.30 to 10pm.

The N C Big Band and Singers perform in uniform and the audience are invited to dress in 1950s style if they wish. The supporting act is the acclaimed Ralph Allin Trio led by virtuoso violinist Ralph.

The whole event is a wonder fully relaxing evening in a beautiful setting.

Bring your friends, a picnic and chairs or blankets to sit on, and a great evening is guaranteed. Phone 0121-454 1860 or visit
for tickets.

Our lucky competition winners are John Howell, Ron Eadie and Sam Waller, who will each receive two tickets.

Cuban singer, Yusa, live at the Drum Sunday 1st June


Jazz Salon Rouge

Jazz Salon Rouge is a group of people who thoroughly enjoy their music. The band presents a fresh traditional treatment of New Orleans and Classic Jazz (i.e. Traditional Jazz and Blues). Some tunes are borrowed from Dixieland or Duke Ellington. This band of 'young' old Jazzers from the Warwickshire area have been entertaining locally since 1974. It was a venue where the band played many moons ago which gave rise to the name of the band. The room that the band played in, at The Half Sovereign, Charter Avenue, Canley, was predominantly red in colour. So the band became "The Red Room Jazz Band", Jazz Salon Rouge!!

They play theWestwood Club, Coventry on Sunday 1st June, 12:30 - 15:00 with Special Guest, Richard Leach. £3.00 admission & Raffle. All Welcome.

Chancery Cruising Jazz Party at Sea


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


CAsey greene

Birmingham’s own hot international Latino-jazz-funk-fusion band, Quiver, appears at Rush Hour Blues, Symphony Hall on 30th May at 5.30pm. An eclectic repertoire of Casey Greene’s original compositions, inspired by icons such as: Weather Report; Santana; Tito Puente; and Pat Metheny, will deliver inspiration and groove. The band comprises Casey Greene, Simon King, Edgar Macias, Roger Inniss, Eddie McGuire and Carl Hemmingsley. Don’t miss it!



The Earlsdon Cottage has launched a Jazz night which promises free Jazz every Thursday night in Coventry. Up-and-coming acts include John Bartram and Danny McCormack on 8th May and the wonderful Gypsy Jazz band Fret & Fiddle on the 15th.

Contact 02476 670 123


Vic Evans has started a regular Sunday afternoon slot at the Red Baboon in Ludgate Hill, Birmingham. If you fancy some smooth Jazz with your Sunday lunch or just a few afternoon drinks then that's the place to be; in the company of one of Birmingham's very best singers and his friends.

The music is from 2-5pm, so, in the words of Vic Evans, "Bring your friends and bring your enemies too"

Contact 0121 236 7562

Cuban singer, Yusa, live at the Drum Sunday 1st June


UPTON UPON SEVERN – 27th 28th 29th JUNE 2008

Angelo DeBarre

Musical fun and mayhem ideal for all the family comes to the Upton Jazz Festival, 27-29th June, in the shape of the Bob Kerr Whoopee Band (pictured) 2008.

On the Saturday and Sunday Bob Kerr and his Whoopee Band, more than just a funny band, will amaze festival goers with their musical ability and split second timing. They are a cross between Spike Jones, the Marx Brothers and Monty Python.

Bob served his apprenticeship with Temperance Seven, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who had a No 1 hit with “The Urban Spaceman” in 1968 and The New Vaudeville Band who had a hit with “Winchester Cathedral.

Special star guest joining Bob at the festival is multi-talented Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell, also a former member of The Bonzo Dog Band, who will surprise audiences with his antics and vocals. Another exciting band, who give high-level entertain ment in a similar style for all age groups, is The Budapest Ragtime Band from Hungary, and you can see them on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about Upton visit www.uptonjazz.co.uk


Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra appear at the Warwick Arts Centre as part of the Coventry Jazz Festival, 22-26th May.

Other big names at Coventry include Jazz Jamaica, Randy Brecker,Hugh Masekela,
and the BBC Big Band with Liane Carroll and Alan Barnes.
02476 553055 (Box Office)


Paul Munnery's Harlem, a very popular big band, will be performing a Cotton Club show at Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival, 12-15th June. Harlem are also appearing at Ellington 2008, a spectacular Festival and Conference in London, 23-26th May.

Paul Munnery's Harlem


From Friday May 23rd to Monday 26th 12 bands will play in honour of the greatest master of jazz, Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington at London’s Ellington Festival 2008 at the Royal National Hotel, WC1. Duke began musical life as a ragtime pianist to become America’s leading 20th century composer.

Duke EllingtonThroughout, three stillplaying members of Duke’s Orchestra, Art Baron, Buster
Cooper & John Lamb, will make special appearances.

The first night welcomes John Law (solo piano), and the Orchestra of Britain's pre- eminent jazz composer Michael Garrick with the premiere of his extended
portrait, A Life of Duke. Saturday 24th features two English regional Big Bands recreating Ellingtonian sounds through the years, and on Sunday 25th, two groups play earlierstyle Duke accompanying a sumptuous Banquet.

Holiday Monday 26th sees a marathon 12-hour Festival Session with 6 bands: 3 Small and 3 Big. Brian Priestley presents The Ellingtonians, Martin Litton plays & Val Wiseman sings, and Alan Barnes & David Newton explore Ellingtonia in duet. Birmingham's own Harlem kick off the Big Band side, the Guildhall Jazz Band plays the Queen's Suite and Echoes recreate the Newport ’56 programme which almost sparked a riot.

Don’t have the BLUES TO BE THERE – plan to be there! For details: 0208 270 1061,

Kinda Dukish

Kinda Dukish at Ellington 2008

Birmingham based big band Kinda Dukish (above), who specialise in original Ellington arrangements, will have the opportunity on May 24th to share the stand with some of their music’s original interpreters when they play at Ellington 2008, a 4-day international conference in London organised by the Duke Ellington Society UK to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Duke’s British debut in 1933.

Guests of honour, and sitting in with the participating bands, will be ex-Ellingtonians Buster Cooper & Art Baron (trombone) & John Lamb (bass). The 15 piece band, whose repertoire covers all parts of the Ellington spectrum, will be previewing their conference programme at Northfield British Legion on Thursday May 15th.

Red Stripe band


The scene is now set for the 11th annual Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival. A programme of bands has been confirmed playing a varied selection of hot, swinging, toe-tapping music which will appeal to a wide audience. Held in the picturesque harbour and artists’ town, the festival will feature a record number of top-line bands and performers, promising a real feast of musical entertainment.

The Festival show cases the talents of some of Britain’s top “traditional” jazz performers together with the sensational rhythm and blues Red Stripe Band (above), a “Cotton Club” show from Paul Munnery’s Harlem, with Gypsy Jazz and Swing from Keith Stephen’s Hot Club Trio and from Tam and Tom of Swing Guitars. Other great bands include Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band, Millennium Eagles, Martin Bennett’s Old Green River Band, Dave Donohoe Band, Yorkshire Stompers, Papa Joe’s All Stars, Sheila Fawkes and the Guys, Bill Salmond’s Louisiana Ragtime Band, Dave Kei r Hot Five and Sulwath Syncopators. On Saturday morning the Kirkcudbright All Stars Band, marshalled by Sheila Fawkes, will lead a decorated Brolly parade through the town.

Building on the success of previous festivals, this year’s event promises to again provide Kirkcudbright with an exciting, vibrant weekend of superb music and musicianship in an extravaganza of entertainment for all.

Tel 01557 330467

JUNE 26-29th


If you are looking for soulful searing saxophones, electrifying drummers, pulsating pianists and wonderful guitarists then Lichfield Arts have all of these plus more at this years’ exciting Lichfield Real Ale, Jazz & Blues Festival to be held at Lichfield Rugby Club.

Festival Director Brian Pretty said “After 18 years of this Festival I am still surprised at the magical, wonderful innovative music created by British musicians”. He added “We have many regulars who come back each year to enjoy the excellent music, relaxed atmosphere and fine beers”.

Tickets are available from the Box Office 01543-262223, or book online at


George Melly

You can win a pair of free tickets to the Midsummer Big Band Music Evening at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Sunday 22nd June featuring the N C Big Band and the Ralph Allin Trio.

We have three pairs of tickets for prizes. This wonderful evening, listening to music from the bandstand and dancing if you wish, comes highly recommended by your editors.

To win a pair of tickets send your name and address, or you can either phone us on 0121-241 6751 or e-mail us at jazzwestmids@yahoo.co.uk
mentioning the Botanical Competition. Names will be put in a hat, first three out win.


“SO WHAT!” . . .

. . . THEY’RE BACK . . .

. . . THAT’S WHAT!

Mike Beaumont’s excellent “So What” Big Band reformed and live at Bearwood Corks Club on Thursday 8th May

Following their extremely successful gig when, together with the Steve King Big Band, they raised £600 for the Selly Park Hospital in memory of the late Steve Francis “So What!” are taking to the road again.

After a four year break prior to their reunion for the Steve Francis concert this exciting 18 piece have decided to re-unite again for one or two concerts each year and the first venue is “Corks Club” in Bearwood on Thursday 8th May.

With all of their music arranged by leader Mike Beaumont, their unique sound swings effortlessly with many fine soloists including Linda Washington, Charles Wright and Martyn Brown. All are given ample space to express themselves as you would expect in a true jazz ensemble.

The inclusion of French Horn and Tuba within their ranks adds substantially to this very special sound. Standards like ‘Over the Rainbow’, Jazz standards such as Clifford Brown’s ‘Joy Spring’ and Mike’s own compositions are all given a very special twist of his pen making this a concert not to miss. Why wait another year!



Acoustic Blues duo Kirsty (Vocals) and Kenny (Resonator Guita) will be entertaining the crowd at The Scarlet Pimpernel on Thursday 8th May. Starts 8pm, admission free - full details in listings

Blackbyrds at the Drum


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UPTON UPON SEVERN – 27th 28th 29th JUNE 2008

Angelo DeBarre

French guitarist Angelo DeBarre is one of the artists appearing at the Upton Jazz Festival this year with his current band of UKbased musicians, guitarist Dave Kelbie, violinist Chris Garrick and double bassist Andy Crowdy.

DeBarre is one of the most versatile guitarists of our time and he is the recognised master of the style originated by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli at the Hot Club of Paris. He has been stunning audiences wherever he has played and his sessions at the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, will be held in Jazz Garden - Tommy’s Bar Marquee on Fish Meadow.

Shine, Ralph Allin and James Evans Incredible Four are also appearing over the weekend playing in the same Django musical style.

For further information visit or tel 01684 593254 www.uptonjazz.co.uk.

Digby Fairweather @ Stratford

“On The Road With George Melly” - Sunday 20th April

Digby's book coverDigby Fairweather is at the Stratford-upon-Avon International Festival of Literature, Sunday 20th April, where he'll talk about "George Melly 'n' Me"

For all of you who loved George Melly, and know the work of British jazz trumpeter Digby Fairweather (who is considered to be amongst the world's top 100 jazz trumpeters), then you'll not want to miss Digby's lecture "George Melly 'n' Me" at The Stratford-upon-Avon International Festival of literature on Sunday 20th April, 2008, at 1pm.

Any of you who are familiar with Digby's written work will also know what a superbly humorous writer he is - as he is a broadcaster - not least with his latest book, On The Road With George Melly: The Final Bows of a Legend.

Digby's 'lecture' promises to be an emotional, very affectionate, and undoubtedly very funny tribute to one of Britain's finest and most loved blues singers, art experts and writers.

Tickets are £12.50 adults, £6 for children under 12, and can be obtained by telephoning the festival directors Steve & Hilary Newman on 01789 209172, or by sending a cheque - made payable to 'Stratford Literature' - to:

Steve & Hilary Newman
The Stratford-upon-Avon International Festival of Literature
8 Henley Street
CV37 6PT

Alternatively they can be obtained from The Mercure Shakespeare Hotel.

Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band

Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band

Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band (pictured above) are a very entertaining Dixieland band. You can see them at the JazzWeekend in Llandudno on April 18th, tel 0151-520 1633. The Kirkcudbright Jazz Festival, June 12th-15th, also boasts many fine bands including the Teddy Bears.

If you wish to catch them somewhere more local then they're playing Jazz Connection at Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Nr Coventry on May 7th (see Wednesday Listings).


Nicholas Payton

The Westwood Club, Westwood Heath, Coventry welcomes the jazz fraternity with fortnightly Sunday lunchtime sessions from 12.30 until 3pm, starting on April 6th with the Millennium Eagle Jazz Band. The band will perform a lively and entertaining programme of traditional jazz with their latest recruit, young drummer
Jack Cotterill of the famous family of drummers.

The next session will be Djangology on April 20th featuring sensational young violinist Ben Holder who really has to seen (and heard) to be believed. Future attractions include George Huxley and the Antique Six. The venue has many attractions, including large car park, friendly atmosphere, good bar prices and hand-pulled ales. As with most ventures of this kind it will only survive if it is well attended so it needs your support.

Randy Brecker at Coventry Jazz Festival
(22nd-26th May 2008)

Randy Brecker

Philadelphia born Randy, winner of two Grammys, has played and recorded with most of the big name artists including James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan and many more. He has helped to shape jazz and R’n’B over the last three decades. Randy will be performing at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry on Sunday 25th May at 8pm. The Coventry Jazz Festival has become a firm favourite in the jazz world over the last decade. For further information log on to www.coventryjazzfestival.com

Nicolas Meier

Nicolas Meier Plays Stratford 6th April

Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier is one of the rising stars of a vibrant British jazz scene, his trademark sound a mixture of Methenyesque jazz and spicy Turkish and world music rhythms. Already well known in Europe, where his Meier Group have toured extensively and shared the bill with such illustrious names as Elvin Jones, Brad Meldau, Trilok Gurtu and Bill Evans. Meier and his band recently won the enormously prestigious Grand Prize Of The Jury and 1st Prize Jazz Guitar at Jazz a Juan Revelations 2006 a competition for the finest new jazz musicians and bands in Europe run by the legendary (Antibe Jazz Festival).

He plays for Stratford Jazz at The White Swan Hotel, Rother St, Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 6th April as part of Nic's "Silent Talks" tour sponsored by Jazz Services. Nic made a stunning debut appearance at the White Swan during April last year. His music draws on a multitude of influences: jazz, flamenco, Latin and Middle-Eastern music are all explored in a series of acoustic modern jazz originals.

The full line up is Nicolas Meier (glissentar: acoustic fretless guitar, fretted acoustic & synth guitar, Turkish saz) with Gilad Atzmon (sop & ten saxs, clarinet) Asaf Sirkis (drums) Tom Mason (acoustic bass)

The 21st Isle of Bute Jazz Festival: †1stñ5th May 2008

The 21st Isle of Bute Jazz Festival:  1st–5th May 2008

Fancy a real treat?  We think The Isle of Bute Jazz Festival will be just that!  This year marks the 21st anniversary for what has become Scotland’s premiere Traditional Jazz Festival, now including blues and swing.  With bands like the Deep River Quartet from Holland, Phil Mason’s New Orleans All Stars, Jazzin’ Babies from Norway and the Juggets Marching Band plus many more, and the whole festival taking place in beautiful surroundings, we think you can’t go wrong.  Further details and tickets from the Tourist Information Centre, tel 01700 502121, or visit www.butejazz.com



Musician John Sanderson sent us the following item which we think is an interesting basis for a discussion.  Whether you agree or disagree with John, we'd be interested to hear your comments:

In a recent article in Jazzwise, Jazz guitarist John McLaughlin argued that Jazz was becoming too conservative. I think I know what he means. Nowadays, many players are harping back to previous musicians in an attempt to gain some sort of kudos and, perhaps, because it is easier to play music which has already been mapped out.

Tribute bands,once largely confined to pop music, seem to be springing up all over the place. The Revivalism of the late ‘Fifties that helped to create the Trad Jazz boom was something different. It was an attempt to recapture the raw elements which had been lost or eclipsed in the syrupy big bands of the previous two decades. What could be termed Roots or Blues revivals seem to have happened periodically in the history of Jazz, giving it a new lease of life.

However, what is taking place now is more like a process of retrenchment or regression. One week, it’s a tribute to Mingus, the next to Sidney Bechet, then to Britain’s Tubby Hayes, and so on. Not that those engaging in this aren’t good players. Unfortunately, the Tribute path seems to indicate a fear of trying something new.

There is,of course, nothing intrinsically wrong with reviving compositions by great past players, providing that the interpretation is one in which the musician’s own musical strengths and personality come through.Ultimately, it should be remembered that the music of the Jazz “greats” came about precisely through their attempt to break away from the musical constraints of the past.

Chancery Cruising Jazz Party at Sea


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Fabulous Devon-based band Ellingtonia will be one of the major attractions at Roysters Jazz Weekend beginning Thursday 27th March.

The Band was formed in 2004 by bandleader and baritone player Ian Wellens. Their big, colourful sound comes from their 8-piece line-up, with the added bonus of stunning Swedish vocalist Annika Skoogh.

Reper toire ranges from quirky 20s numbers like East St Louis Toodle-oo, through swingers like Perdido and In a Mellotone to classics such as Take the ‘A’ Train, Mood Indigo, and I’mBeginning to See the Light.

If you’re looking for a terrific weekend by the seaside in the lovely resort of Paignton with great jazz at the AA 3 Star Redcliffe Hotel phone Roy on 01803 311291.

The awards keep rolling in in the run-up to Andy Hamilton's 90th Birthday. On top of Andys MBE in the New Years Honours he has been awarded the title of Fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Andy and Scott

The next episode in the amazing life of Andy Hamilton will be his 90th Birthday Celebrations in late March. His Birthday Party at Bearwood Corks on the 27th will be sizzling, and here Andy will be joined by US Sax Star, Scott Hamilton. The day before on the 26th (his actual Birthday) Andy will be honoured with a concert at Birmingham Town Hall (tickets on sale now) which will feature some of the musicians who guested on Andy's classic Silvershine LP. We advise putting your life on hold for two days and joining Andy for two must see gigs.

More news will follow as it arrives.


Nicholas PaytonNicholas Payton and his band will be appearing on board the M/S Norwegian Dawn as part of the fantastic Jazz Party at Sea organised by Chancery Cruising, de - par ting on November 14th 2008.

Taking up the trumpet at the age of 4, by age 9 Nicholas was playing in The Young Tuxedo Brass Band in New Orleans. By age 12 he was playing professionally with The All Star Jazz Band throughout the USA and Europe. He has made numerous CDs and is a man of class, style and technique. Other artists on this cruise include James Moody, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Joey De Francesco Trio, the Harry Allen Quartet, the Junior Mance Trio and many more.

We have it on good authority that Chancery Cruises of fer you a wonder fully luxurious experience with excellent food, many social events and the thrill of visiting exotic ports of call, plus the opportunity to listen to and meet some of the biggest names in jazz in an intimate setting.

So if you think you deserve a treat call 0207-405 7056,


Special Extra Event for 2008 • The Sage Gateshead presents BENNY GOODMAN – KING OF SWING – Thursday 10th July at 7.30pm

Benny GoodmanBy the mid-1930’s, Swing was the Thing – and Benny Goodman was the King of Swing. Benny decided to pro mote a spectacular jazz concert at Carnegie Hall and it was a brilliant success.

Keith Nichols, BBC Jazz Heritage Award winner, pianist and bandleader has assembled a stellar 14-piece band from the cream of Europe’s jazz artists, with the role of Benny played by Matthias Seuffert. Add Chicago’s Joan Viskant to provide the vocals, and all is set for the King of Swing to ascend the throne for one more night, here in the seventieth anniversary year of the Carnegie Hall Concert. The Sage concert will include many tunes played at the 1938 event but it will also contain Goodman band numbers that have not been heard live for seventy years, specially transcribed by Keith Nichols.

Don’t miss this very special event. Contact The Sage Gateshead: 0191-443 4661 or book online: www.thesagegateshead.org

Chris BowdenSam Brown


Photographers Garry Corbett (photo left) and Russ Escritt (photo right) have Photography Exhibitions running throughout March at the Central Library 1st floor and Symphony Hall Level 4 Foyer Bar respectively.



Also The Chicago Teddy Bears Society Jazz Band

2 Nights Dinner B & B plus Jazz – 3 Star Hotel - Good Food & Bar – Raffles & Brolly Parade with Prize of A Further Free Weekend for Two All of this for a mere £80.00 p.p.

To Book – £10.00 p.p. DEPOSIT with SAE for reply (Cheques payable to Chatsworth House Hotel) To Harry Swinburne, 10 Green Park, Netherton Village, Liverpool L30 7PP. Tel: 0151 5201633


The New Milton All Star Big Band Concert organised by Brian Earwicker at Hoburne Bashley on Sunday 2nd March is proving very popular – not surprisingly with a band of top ranking musicians and star vocalist Elaine Delmar.
To book phone Brian on 01425 618196 or 07719 741169.


Tony Fisher

Renowned trumpeter Tony Fisher, who has lived in south London for the past 30 years, is the leader of The Ber t Kaempfert Orchestra and a regular musician on The Michael Parkinson Show.

His website reads like a Who’s Who including pictures of him with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Count Basie and many other household names. Very much in the
‘Kenny Baker’ style of trumpet players you can see Tony playing with the Fat Chops Big Band at the Tasco’s Club, Hazelwell Lane, Stirchley on Sunday 9th March at 12.30pm.

For fur ther information about Fat Chops and MYJO concerts please phone 01675 442050.


Julie Edwards and Kevin Dearden
Once again at the Bolehall Club, Tamworth on Mon 3rd March Julie Edwards (vocals) and Kevin Dearden (guitar, sax) from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, will be joined by their midlands ‘A Team’: Al Gurr, piano; Bill Coleman, double bass and Alan Savage on drums.


The biggest ever line-up of international musicians has been signed to appear at the Coventry Jazz Festival 2008.

The five-day programme will feature old favourites as well as new performers as the show celebrates its 10th anniversary under the organisation of CV One. Charismatic South African star Hugh Masekela will be performing at the Belgrade Theatre on Thursday 22nd May at 7.30pm.

There will be a triple treat for jazz fans when the BBC Big Band performs with Lianne Carrol and Alan Barnes at the same venue the following night. Other highlights include the return of award winning Jazz Jamaica with their much anticipated new set Tighten Up!

For information and ticket details log on to www.coventryjazzfestival.co.uk

Olrg KireyevOleg Kiriyev in town from 28th Feb to 6th March

Unquestionably Oleg is one of Russia’s, and indeed Europe’s top jazz performers. His return to the UK after almost two years absence is a real treat and not to be missed.

While he is here Oleg will be joining Tim Amann’s Xtet on a number of dates:

  • Sunday 2nd March – The Trumpet at Bilston;
  • Monday 3rd March – The Yardbird;
  • Tuesday 4th March – The Church Inn, Great Hampton St., Birmingham;
  • Wednesday 5th March – K2, Alcester Rd, Moseley

Please check the venues to see if the gigs are going ahead


Oleg Kireyev, the ever popular "revolutionary reedsman from Ufa in the Urals" is back is due to join Tim Amann’s Xtet on a number of dates. Unfortunately he's having trouble getting a visa, so it would be advisable to contact the venue to see if the gig's going ahead. The scheduled dates are listed below.

More news as we get it

Friday 14th March:

Ben Waters

From the age of 14 when he discovered he could play piano it was apparent that Ben possessed a phenomenal talent. He “went profess ional” from the age of 17 without the convention of a musical training. Ben has had a baptism of f ire, playing in every venue imaginable – clubs, arts centres, theatres and festivals all over the world, working with such names as Jools Holland, Shakin’ Stevens, Ray Davies, Chuck Berry and Chris Jagger. Ben is privileged to have in his band a group of hand-picked musicians who are stars in their own right, Ady Milward, drums; Clive Ashley, sax and Richard Hymas on bass.

In Richard Ben has found a musica soul-mate. For the last two years they have composed some of the most original and ground-breaking mat erial that has been heard for years. Ben’s natural rocking exuberance combined with Richard’s sensitive lyrics have given a new slant to the boogie genre.

Also at the Guildhall, Sat 15th March, is the acclaimed Zoe Rahman trio. Peter Bacon from the Birmingham Post said. “The trio music was superb. There is joy in all of Zoe’s jazz.” Box Office:– 01543 262223 or visit www.lichfieldarts.org.uk

Barrie Pitt Remembered

Barrie Pitt

Regrettably in December another veteran of the big band scene passed away. 79 year old saxophonist and clarinettist Barrie Pitt had been active in the West Midlands dance band scene since the early 1950s. In recent years he had primarily been lead alto with both the Phoenix Big Band and the N C Big Band.

Having been made redundant fromBIRMID in his fifties he started a new successful career as a peripatetic music teacher for Dudley and in a wide variety ofmusical situations.

Due to his heart condition in the last fewmonths he could notwalk formore than a few paces and needed to have his cases carried to and from the stage. However once he sat down and started playing the old magic was always there. One of my fond memories of him was last summer when he drove his small invalid carriage down the path at the Botanical Gardens bandstand to the applause of the rest of the NC Band. He was a very amiable man and will be much missed.

Roger Bruton


We have received this email about what's going on at the Corner Pocket Jazz & Blues Club:

Just to let you know we are still hanging in there.

In January we had Alan Barnes and John Hallam with the Roger Heeley Trio, it was a special after the club reaching its third year . It was a great turnout, a fullhouse in fact.

Next Tuesday the 11th March we have two very good trombonists Richard Baker and Lee Hallam backed by Roger's Trio. April 8th we have Phil Bond and the 44's May 13th Edgar Macías. Looking ahead to November4th Steve "Big Man" Clayton and the 44's are appearing.

Also we are doing another "special" on Thursday 27th March with an up and coming pianist/vocalist Carl Sinclair with Al Nicholls on Tenor sax. Adrian Litvinoff bass and Marcus Ingham drums. Al plays in the style of the "Texas Tenors" he played for many years with King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys and also with Ray Gelato. He now has his own band "Blue Harlem"

Google Carl Sinclair and Blue Harlem for more details.

“Hanging in”; Sounds like they’re rocking to me!


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


Andy Hamilton

West Midlands Jazz Legend, Andy Hamilton has been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours for services to music in Birmingham. The award recognises Andy's achievement not just as a great musician, but also as a promoter and a teacher who has brought students through in the Blue Pearls Big Band project where Alvin davis and Luke Shingler both started, and currently the Ladywood Community School of Music and the ever improving Notebenders Big Band.

This award is the latest in a series of accolades which include an MA from Birmingham University and The Prime Minister's Medal for services to Jamaica, and it makes a fitting tribute to the great man in the run-up to his 90th Birthday. Andy has come a long way since his birth in Port Antonio while the First World War was still raging in Europe and stories of how he built his first Saxophone from bamboo and worked as Musical Director on Erroll Flynn's Yacht the Zaca are legend, but for now we'd just like to say congratulations Andy and thankyou for the music.

Andy receives his fellowship
And He’s a Jolly Good Fellow

The awards keep rolling in in the run-up to Andy Hamilton's 90th Birthday. On top of Andys MBE in the New Years Honours we can now announce that he has just been awarded the title of Fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire (above).

The next episode in the amazing life of Andy Hamilton will be his Birthday in late March. His Birthday Party at Bearwood Corks on the 27th will be sizzling, and here Andy will be joined by US Sax Star, Scott Hamilton. The day before on the 26th (his actual Birthday) Andy will be honoured with a concert at Birmingham Town Hall (tickets on sale now) which will feature some of the musicians who guested on Andy's classic Silvershine LP. We advise putting your life on hold for two days and joining Andy for two must see gigs.

More news will follow as it arrives.

Matt Ford Advert

2007 was quite a year for Matthew Ford. As well as beginning the year with a Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Award Nomination, he performed with the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dublin. During the summer months Matt sang at the wedding of Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard, and recorded his second album titled ‘On the Other Side of the Tracks’. Autumn saw Matt in the company of Royalty as he sang for HRH Duchess of York and the Sultan of Pannang. Matt finished the year with another sell out concert in Dublin’s National Concert Hall, broadcast live on radio throughout Eire.

Matthew is now touring with his quartet in a show celebrating the songs of the legendary singer Tony Bennett. Joining Matt on his tour is jazz legend John Horler.

Feb 1st - Spa Centre, Royal Leamington Spa - £15/14 01926 334 418
Feb 15th - Guildhall heatre, Derby - £14/13 - 01332 255 529
Feb 17th - Artrix, Bromsgrove - £12/10 - 01527 577 330


Esther Miller

South African born Esther Miller tours this Spring. She plays several venues in the West Midlands.

19 Jan - Arts at large touring scheme Steeple Aston Village Hall, Bicester, Oxfordshire
8 Feb 17:30pm - Rush Hour Blues Birmingham Symphony Hall
9 Feb - Oxfordshire Community Touring Scheme Great Hasely Village Hall, Nr Thame, Oxfordshire
22 Feb - Arts at Large Touring Scheme Broughton and North Newington Social Club, North Newington, Banbury
29 Feb - Ludlow Assembly Rooms Ludlow
2 Mar - Jagz Ascot
8 Mar - Arts at Large Touring Scheme Fritwell Village Hall, Nr Bicester
14 May - Scarborough Jazz Club Scarborough Jazz Club
25 May - Stratford Jazz The White Swan, Stratford Upon Avon
29 May - Grimsby Jazz Club Stamford Club, Grimsby


The Fireside Sessions” at The Church Inn, Great Hampton St, Birmingham are set to start on Tuesday 5th Feb and continue on alternate Tuesdays.

They will feature Tim Amann on piano, Adam Gilchrist on Bass, a Drummer (TBA) and a headline Artist.

The first session on 5th Feb features Ray Butcher on Trumpet and Sam Rogers will headline the second session on 19th Feb

Southport Melodic Jazz


Howard Sheldon

A sad start to the year as we report the loss of one of the popular and highly respected pianists on the Midlands music scene – Howard Sheldon. Howard died on 18th December following a short illness.
In his early teens Howard helped form the West Side Jazz Band with whom he performed for many years alongside local legends such as Val Wiseman and Brian Ford.
His ability to play piano and keyboard in a variety of styles drew him to play with many local bands and over the years he has appeared with and accompanied numerous musicians. His musical abilities, which were considerable, did not get in the way of others of lesser talent. He gave much to many by encouraging and facilitating their performances.
Latterly, Howard concentrated on performing with his own jazz ensemble and was most comfortable playing his kind of gentle jazz with a pint of beer close to hand. Members of his band fondly remember him as a “Gentleman of Jazz, a kind, helpful, lovely man of great talent.”



Oleg KireyevOleg Kireyev, the ever popular "revolutionary reedsman from Ufa in the Urals" is back in the UK.

In a late addition to their published schedule his first stop will be Bearwood Corks Club, where he will join Andy Hamilton & The Blue Notes for a one off reunion (0121 429 2091)


Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra


In a late addition to their published schedule The award winning MIDLAND YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA with special guest BBC OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD 2007 JULIAN SIEGEL (Saxes).

The venue is the Westley Hotel, Westley Rd., Acocks Green; and the concert is Sun lunchtime 24th. Feb. at 12,30 pm. Tickets £9.00 from 01675 442050"

Chris Bowdwn

Chris Bowden will be joining Edgar Macías at the Scarlet Pimpernell in Tennal Road, Harborne on Sunday 16th February. Starts 3pm admission free.

Chancery Cruising Jazz Party at Sea