Jazz Weekend

Start Date: Friday 21st September
End Date: Monday 24th September

Jazz Weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 21st, 22nd & 25th 2018

THE JOHN SHILLITO BAND with TREVOR RICHARDS. Veteran trumpeter John is also your host for the weekend and he and his lively band will open and close the party. By September 2018 John will have turned 80, but he’ll be here, playing fine strong trumpet and leading his popular, talented, and energetic septuagenarians. John Wurr, Bobby Fox, Jim Douglas and Pete Furnish are top musicians who seem to have been around, playing jazz in the best places, for ever, and this weekend we will have the drumming of TREVOR RICHARDS to drive along their already vibrant music. Trevor is probably the greatest living exponent of the New Orleans drumming style born outside of New Orleans. Although born in the UK, Trevor moved to New Orleans as a young musician, to study and play there.  He now lives in Germany, where he leads bands and gives drum workshops, and “commutes” to New Orleans for performances. He has absorbed all the finer points of his exciting art and he’ll swing and drive the band along as he delights listeners and dancers with his rhythms.

SPATS LANGHAM’S HOT FINGERS. Tom “Spats” Langham and his delightful band were a great success with our 2017 audience and here they are, back again by unanimous demand! Spats is an ever-popular virtuoso performer on a variety of string instruments. With a stunning repertoire of melodies on the guitar, banjo and ukulele, his playing evokes the spirit and skills of musicians like guitarists Django Reinhardt and Eddie Lang or legendary banjoist Harry Reser and others. He’s also a great raconteur and his seemingly limitless flow of informative, interesting and amusing anecdotes adds background and colour to his choice of music, as well as spell-binding his audience. But Hot Fingers is much more than an individual performance, you will delight in the playing of Danny Blyth and Malcom Sked and find the vocals and personality of Emily Campbell charming and irresistible.

DAVE MOORWOOD’S BIG BEAR STOMPERS. Here’s a rarity! The Big Bear Stompers are the flag wavers of the “Frisco” style of Traditional Jazz that evolved on the West Coast of the USA during the revival of interest in the origins of jazz in the 1940’s. The bands of Lu Watters (Yerba Buena) and Turk Murphy established a world-wide following with their interpretations of Classic Jazz melodies and repertoire of vaudeville songs. You don’t get to hear examples of this era very much nowadays – so here’s a big opportunity. Dave Moorwood was a co-founder of the band in 1989 and the Bears have been blowing up a storm ever since. They’re always popular at jazz clubs and festivals – right in the centre of the traditional jazz scene – but unique in their own way. It’s an eight-piece band with Andy Woon and Tony Davis on trumpets, Mike Wills on reeds and Chris Gower on trombone. The four rhythm men are Dave Moorwood on banjo and guitar, John
Arthy on Sousaphone, Perry Lock on piano and Andy Crisp on drums. Vocalist, Judy Eames, is the ninth member, enhancing the performance with selections from her extensive repertoire of blues, jazz, vaudeville, and standards.

THE SUNSET CAFÉ STOMPERS and HAMISH MAXWELL are also returning in response to popular demand. Show stoppers in 2016, they were not available last year, so we chased them and secured them for 2018. The Sunset Cafe was a top night-spot on Chicago’s infamous South Side. Al Capone owned it and Louis Armstrong and many other early jazz creators starred there. The Sunset Cafe Stompers do play the music of that period… great tunes from Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller… but the band’s wide repertoire also features songs made famous by artists as diverse as Patsy Cline, Marilyn Monroe, the Inkspots, Fats Domino… even Elvis. Beneath it all, it’s possible to sense the elusive, shifting, pulse which defines the sound of New Orleans. Ever since the 1900s, bands have been hired in that city to attract a crowd, or to add spirit and generate excitement for all kinds of occasions. The Sunset Café Stompers do that very well, assisted by the presence and individual vocal talents of Hamish Maxwell who delivers his songs, blues, hymns or risqué with zest and feeling. Mike Denham treats us to informative introductions, and leads, on piano, the outstanding line-up of Steve Graham – trumpet, Trevor Whiting – Reeds, Pete Middleton – trombone, Eddie Edwards – banjo, Pete Ward – bass and John Coad – drums.

THE JB JAZZ and BLUES BAND are making a welcome debut to St Audries Bay. Hold on to your hats! The good times will roll!  Formed in 1995, the band claims to have one aim – to have fun! And that policy has gained them popularity throughout the UK at clubs, theatres, and festivals. Always bright and breezy, John Beckinghamleads on piano, sings and presents a fast-moving programme of favourites.  Phil Probert plays guitar and banjo, Andy Loveridge is featured on saxes, Tony Capaldi plays the bass and Paul Holder completes the line up on drums. The band’s sound is reminiscent of the “jump” bands of the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, with the influences of the small groups of Louis Jordan, Louis Prima and Fats Waller revealed in their repertoire. The band has appeared on Simon Pegg’s “Spaced” series on Channel 4 and has three times been voted “Band of the Year” by Stafford Jazz Society.

SIMON BANKS is last on our list, but certainly not least! The ever-popular pianist will be delighting us all with his boogie, blues, stride and shuffle playing in the Sundowner Bar at lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday. He’ll have a few songs for us – and a tale or two, no doubt

Well, that’s what we’ve got lined up for you so far. An attractive line-up of first class, entertaining, musicians who play their music with affection and integrity and a regard for their audience, and who don’t “just go through the motions”. You’ll enjoy the environment too. We’re right on the cliff top of the West Somerset coast. Our chalet and caravan accommodation is of a very high standard and extremely comfortable.  The restaurant food is mouth-watering and always elicits spontaneous compliments: and the bar, recreation facilities and musical acoustics make St Audries Bay a great location for a relaxing holiday with some very fine jazz.