This month marked 30 years of Stratford Jazz. I was delighted to be invited to perform at Stratford Arts House, the home of Stratford Jazz with Neil Hunter, Tom Haines and The Birmingham Jazz Orchestra. It was a fantastic and very well attended night …. the drinks flowed, the music played and we ate a lot of cake!
Again, it was a great privilege to be invited to perform at Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival, now bigger and better than ever as it expands across the region to incorporate Solihull as well as Birmingham. Now into it’s 32nd year, the Festival continues to go from strength to strength as it expands, not only geographically, but also in terms of the wide range of activities and entertainment on offer. I was delighted to be offered two dates, the first of which was at the Touchwood Centre in Solihull with John Hodgetts on keys and the second at the delightful El Borracho De Ora restaurant in Birmingham, again with John Hodgetts on keys and Wayne Matthews on bass. Photography by Merlin Daleman, courtesy of Hortons.
Leamington Rugby Club in Warwickshire is the home of the ever popular Leam-Jazz Club and annual Leam-Jazz Festival. It was my second time to perform at the Festival, joined on stage this year by Ian Hill (saxes), David Williams (guitar), Wayne Matthews (bass) and Spencer Hedges (drums). A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all! Photography by Henryk Delong.
I have had the pleasure of seeing many great acts at The Silvershine Jazz Club in Bearwood so it was a huge honour to perform there with my trio this month. John Hodgetts (keys), Mike Green (bass) and Ian Beestin (drums). It was Andy Hamilton MBE who first started a Jazz club in Bearwood in the mid ’80s and it has continued, though the venue has changed; Dirty Betts, the King’s Head, the Bear Tavern and finally Bearwood Corks Club where the club has been for over a decade. The club has been re-branded as the “Silvershine Jazz Club” after Andy Hamilton’s best selling album. Congratulations to the Jazz Club for keeping Jazz alive in Bearwood and establishing and maintaining a legacy for the great man! Photography by Russ Escritt.
It was a delight to play at The Daffodil in Cheltenham, located on the beautiful Suffolk Parade in The Cotswolds Regency spa town of Cheltenham. The Daffodil restaurant is a hidden gem, tucked inside a beautiful 1920’s cinema. The building has many unique period features; the sweeping staircase, art deco features, projectors and beautiful entrance reception, the venue has been sympathetically adapted in keeping with the Hollywood glamour and art deco style synonymous with the venue since the 20’s. A most enjoyable gig with Graham Dent on piano and Mike Green on bass.
I quiet few months over the Autumn period in terms of live performances, however, a very productive period in the studio – I have several projects nearing completion and look forward to sharing the music!
This month I was invited to perform at Chung Ying Central as part of Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival, accompanied by an extremely talented and versatile rhythm section in the shape of John Hodgetts (keys), Wayne Matthews (bass) and Ian Beestin (drums). The festival coincided with what would have been Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday so we decided to pay tribute to the Jazz great with a selection of songs Billie performed over her 30 year musical career.
Work on my home studio has been completed! I’m so delighted with the end result and look forward to spending many creative/recording/rehearsal hours in there.