A very short post to confirm to all who might be reading that Beaufort Jazz continues this evening under the new stewardship of Paul Dennis. Tonight Paul has put together a band specially to launch the new era which will feature some new faces along with some more familiar Beaufort regulars.
The outgoing Paul (Paul Budgen) has asked for a special announcement to be made. It can be found by clicking here.
Hopefully Paul Dennis will continue to receive the support that has enabled Beaufort Jazz to survive thus far and that tonight will be a good turnout.
A very brief post to upload some photos of last month when we welcomed Toe Rag as our featured guests. It was another excellent evening giving us the opportunity to see musicians that we would not normally be able to catch locally in West Lancashire. Toe Rag are a fine outfit with a very different approach to Gypsy Jazz. If you have tickets for Kendal Calling (this coming weekend) then be sure to see them on the Riot Jazz stage.
Next month we are very pleased to welcome a trio of great musical distinction. Billed for the evening as Galway Ormesher and Owens these three musicians will be no doubt familiar to those who follow the local music scene, but this will be a rare appearance for them as a trio. More details to follow shortly.
Having made a name for themselves on the Manchester music scene over the last few years we are delighted to welcome Toe Rag to West Lancashire as our featured band for Monday 2nd July. Starting as an informal university music project 3 years ago Toe Rag probably had little idea that their unusual take on Gypsy Jazz would prove so popular in the North West. The first indication that they had something special was in 2010 when they shared a stage with the legendary Blues singer Victor Brox who described their music as “really refreshing to hear”. Coming from an artist who has worked with some of greatest names in music the compliment encouraged Toe Rag to take their music to a wider audience.
Following numerous appearances at Manchester’s premier jazz club Matt and Phreds, Toe Rag brought the curtain down on a successful 2011 by playing the New Year’s eve party at the venue. Earlier in the year they had played the Riot Jazz stage at the sell-out Kendal Calling festival and were promptly invited back to perform the same stage at this years festival, which as expected has also sold out well in advance.
Their travels eventually took them to Djangology where they joined the mass afternoon jam along with twenty or so other like minded musicians. Paul Dennis the founder of Toe Rag tells us “We really enjoyed jamming with Beaufort regulars at Djangology and are looking forward to featuring at Beaufort Jazz in July. Our Gypsy Jazz set will be a mix of standards and originals with some Charlie Parker numbers for good measure”
Normally an eight piece band, Toe Rag will perform our Beaufort gig with six band members including double bass, guitar, accordion and percussion. In addition to Paul Dennis on lead guitar, Beaufort regular Tom Sykes will feature on violin. Expect something a bit different.
As usual the evening will start promptly at 8pm so please arrive in good time to take your seats in the Ellerbrook Suite. Newcomers are most welcome with the entry being a miserly £1 payable at the table. It’s unlikely that you will find a better evening’s entertainment for such a modest sum so why not join us. The usual jam session will follow the featured performance.
Look forward to seeing you on the 2nd.
A very brief post in advance to let everyone know that we will be back in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall for the forthcoming Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday the 2nd of July. Our featured band for the evening will be the Salford based Toe Rag who will be making the journey down the M62 to open the evening in their own very distinctive style.
One Beaufort regular described Toe Rag as “Gypsy Jazz with attitude” and definitely a band to catch if at all possible. It sounds like a very good recommendation so we are hoping for another full house in the Ellerbrook Suite to welcome these fine musicians. A full announcement to follow in the next few days.
When musicians take the trouble to venture across Europe to play at our monthly evening it is hoped that everything will run smoothly and that the event is a success. Our May Beaufort Jazz evening welcomed the excellent Diminuita who made the considerable effort of traveling from their native Greece to embark upon their first UK tour. A full house in the Ellerbrook Suite gave them a very warm reception and were rewarded by an hour of Gypsy Jazz with a distinctive Mediterranean influence. A mixture of standards and own compositions from their album a-rhythmology made for a very entertaining and well composed set.
Diminuita certainly deserve a wider audience and hopefully their european tour will give them just that. Even though this was a whistle stop visit, the band still managed two high-profile gigs at ourselves and Le QuecumBar. Venues that missed out will no doubt hope that they are able to tour the UK again in the near future. Even with such a hectic schedule some sightseeing was possible and they managed to take in the Lancashire coastline including Antony Gormley’s Another Place before returning to the continent. Hopefully they enjoyed their trip to the North West and that they will visit us again some day.
Whilst much of the UK watched the Diamond Jubilee concert on television a good number of us caught the smaller but equally enjoyable musical event at our June Beaufort Jazz evening. The splendid Lost Cause Association were our featured musicians who were joined on stage for the later part of their set by violinist Don May. This evening was very much Beaufort Jazz “on the road” as a wedding at the Briars Hall Hotel gave us the opportunity to explore a new venue at the Arts Centre on the Burscough Wharf.
The Lost Cause were in good form putting together a very enjoyable Gypsy Jazz set with a nod to their country roots. A number of Beaufort regulars were impressed and hope they will be back at future evenings. Whilst somewhat smaller than the Ellerbrook Suite, the Wharf is a very tidy venue with good facilities for small to medium events. With a bit of luck it will develop into a valuable local facility for musicians and artists. Thank you to all at the Wharf for making us most welcome.
On a final note it was time to say goodbye to Paul Draper who looked after the sound at our Beaufort Jazz evening for the very last time. Paul has recently taken on other business commitments and felt that it would be difficult to continue at our monthly gathering. Best wishes to Paul for the future.
Our featured musicians for our next Beaufort Jazz evening on July 2nd will announced in the near future. See you then.
Very Important Notice: Due to a wedding at the Briars Hall Hotel this Beaufort Jazz evening will be held in the Arts Centre at Burscough Wharf. Could Beaufort regulars please pass this message on to anyone who might not have Internet access.
The opening performance for our June Beaufort Jazz evening features a local trio who have played together over many years in various highly acclaimed bands. After touring the world playing a wide range of music they now find themselves back home playing their own style of Gypsy Jazz and Swing, We are delighted to introduce The Lost Cause Association as our featured guest musicians for Monday 4th of June.
These excellent musicians have a fine musical pedigree going back to the days when they performed mainly country style with the Kevin Daniels Band and then the Pete O’ Dowd Band which toured America, Ireland and France to wide acclaim. They then found time to appear in many different line line-ups with 60s Rock and Rollers including local legend Karl Terry. Since reuniting as trio The Lost Cause Association have concentrated on developing their own style of melodic Gypsy Swing.
Lead guitarist John Mooney recalls his early interest in Gypsy Swing from his father’s own musical career ”I have an abiding passion for Reinhardt and swing music inherited from my Father, a great guitarist who played in a dance band run by Sam Wannamaker the film producer.”
The Lost Cause Association are John Mooney - lead guitar, Chris White – rhythm guitar and Billy Stratton on bass. Please give them a warm Beaufort Jazz welcome.
As usual the evening will start promptly at 8pm with newcomers most welcome to join us. Entrance is the customary £1 to cover costs and we doubt anyone will get a better evening’s entertainment for such a paltry sum.
A word about our venue for this evening. The Arts Centre is a new leisure complex in the heart of Burscough which is rapidly establishing itself for Cinema, theatre, live music and comedy. Having been told about the wedding at the Briars (which is most unusual for a Monday) some urgent action was needed to find an alternative venue. The Arts Centre seemed a good choice has its own stage and lighting and as luck would have it, a room opposite which is perfect for jamming.
There will also be a bar and sandwiches available and it is likely that we will be able to play later than our usual finishing time. It is conveniently situated in the centre of Burscough on the junction of the A59 and the canal with good parking available on both sides of the canal. Directions can be found here. Obviously this is a temporary arrangement and for the July Beaufort Jazz evening we anticipate that we will be back in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars.
Following last month’s Beaufort Jazz evening when we were entertained by Daniel John Martin we are very pleased to continue the international theme for the forthcoming month and welcome the Athens based swing trio Diminuita as our featured musicians for May. This is their first tour of the UK and we were delighted when they contacted us last November and we realised that their visit coincided with our May evening. Needless to say we were quick to extend the invitation to join us and open the evening as our featured musicians.
Those of you who get our monthly email will probably be suitably impressed with the long list of Diminuita’s considerable achievements. In addition to performing at numerous events and music festivals they also found time to help launch the first Reinhardt inspired festival in May 2010. Held in Athens, the festival (named Djangofest) celebrated the 100th anniversary of Reinhardt’s birth and was such a success that it was subsequently repeated in 2011.
Diminuita was originally formed in 2007 and they have quickly made an impact in the world of Gypsy Jazz. In 2011 they found time to record their first official CD entitled a-rhythmology in addition to touring mainland Europe. Their style is described as being “natural and acoustic” with the emphasis on keeping the music true to its original intent. Much of their set list will no doubt be very familiar to Beaufort regulars - but with the added spice of different arrangements and some of Diminuita’s own compositions. It doesn’t have to be said – but this will be another fine evening at Beaufort Jazz.
Diminuita’s tour is as much as cultural visit as well as an opportunity to play in the UK as they hope to catch up with some sightseeing as they travel around the country. After so much effort in organising their itinerary we are obviously hoping that they will be rewarded with an excellent turnout on Monday and that we can give a warm Beaufort welcome to these generous musicians.
Diminuita are Giorgos Papadogiannis – lead guitar, Effie Saranti - rhythm guitar and Kostas Arsenis on upright bass.
As usual the evening starts at 8pm so please make an extra special effort to arrive in good time to welcome our guests on stage. Look forward to seeing you on Monday.
Monday was another fine night with a full house in the Ellerbrook Suite. There are a few photos and even with the limitations of a small compact camera it’s still possible to get a flavour of the evening. Many thanks to all concerned
Thanks also to Tony Owens who brought an excellent selection of Altamira guitars for us to admire and play. Tony is an old acquaintance from many years ago (long before Beaufort Jazz) and it was very good to see him again. Since we last met up Tony has started his guitar business Go to guitars and is now a distributer for a growing number of brands. Good luck to him.
As announced our featured musicians for our next Beaufort evening on Monday May 7th will be Diminuita, a renowned swing trio from Greece. It is their first visit to the UK as part of their European tour and we are obviously very pleased that the first two dates they agreed were ourselves and Le Quecumbar. More details to follow shortly.
Tomorrow night looks like being another memorable occasion as we once again welcome the delightful guitar skills of Samuel C Lees to Beaufort Jazz. Sam will open the evening with our own Trez Fez as a special event before they appear at Djangology on May 19th. If that was not enough we will also have a very special guest appearance from the excellent violinist Daniel John Martin. It goes without saying that there is a lot of musical ability in this line up.
When Sam last joined us he performed material from his widely acclaimed album All About Time, which has a mix of Sam’s own material, well-known standards and some very interesting arrangements of quite recent songs. Coincidently Daniel plays violin on some of the album tracks. One of the stand out moments of Sam’s last Beaufort appearance was a version of Minor Swing which is still talked about. A number of Beaufort regulars are hoping that we might tempt Sam in to giving us a repeat performance.
Since appearing at our 100th celebrations we are very pleased to welcome Daniel back as a special guest. Being based in Paris it is not often that he is able to appear in the UK so we are very pleased that he chooses to play our Beaufort evenings when he is in the country. The last time we caught up with Daniel he was performing at the Lantern Theatre with John Wheatcroft where they performed late into the night to a very appreciative audience.
Last but not least, Trez Fez will complete the featured line up for tomorrow bringing their own melodic style to the performance. As well as appearing at Djangology, we understand that Trez Fez will be performing a special charity gig in Ormskirk at the beginning of July. As many of us know, Trez Fez are very generous with their time supporting charitable causes and this is a gig that they have played and supported for a good number of years. Hopefully there will be an announcement about the gig on Monday and that the event can be well attended.
Needless to say this will be an excellent evening of music. As usual it is an 8pm start in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Hotel. Entry is only £1 to cover costs and new faces are always very welcome.
Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
Image © Samuel C. Lees, Grey Trilby and NGPhotography
Very sadly we have received news that Frank Farrington a long time supporter of our Beaufort Jazz evenings has passed away. Frank will be remembered as one of the stalwarts of the audience who was invariably present listening to the music. In more recent times Frank had not been able to attend due to illness.
Although he was thought to favour the more traditional Jazz style he obviously enjoyed our monthly offering of mainly Gypsy Jazz and nearly always attended the special gigs which we used to promote on a regular basis. Without such loyal support from regulars like Frank, it is doubtful that Beaufort Jazz would have survived as long as it has done.
We understand that his funeral will be held at on Monday at 10.40am at Southport Crematorium and will no doubt be attended by other Beaufort regulars. Our thoughts are with his family.
On the third Monday of every month a number of Beaufort regulars meet up at the Derby Arms in Aughton for what can only be described as a very informal jam session. Normally to be found in the room immediately to the right of the main entrance the session starts from 8 onwards and usually finishes when everyone runs out of steam. If you haven’t been able to make one of our regular Beaufort Jazz nights you might want to come along to the Derby Arms tonight.
Many people have been asking about Ted Hanley since he has missed a couple of Beaufort Jazz nights recently. Bearing in mind that previously Ted had only missed two nights in the history of Beaufort Jazz, this was definitely cause for concern. After a few enquiries one of Ted’s friends has come back and explained that Ted is currently in ward 19 at Burnley General Hospital. It is understood that Ted has been laid low with an infection. No doubt the odd get well card would be well received. Best wishes to Ted for a speedy recovery.
A short post to keep everyone updated as there were quite a lot of announcements last night and it seemed a good idea to inform those who couldn’t attend.
Beaufort Jazz regulars Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez have been confirmed with Sam running the Masterclass event and Trez Fez hosting the afternoon jam sessions. These events will be held at the Legacy Hotel in Preston with a special late afternoon concert and twilight jam held at the 53 Degrees venue in the University of Central Lancashire.
The jams will be free events open to players of all standards. So if you enjoy playing Gypsy Jazz – just come along and join in. It’s that simple. If you want to know who will be playing in the concert – then check out the website, you probably won’t be disappointed.
As a special taster and publicity for the Festival, Sam and Trez Fez will open at the next Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday 2nd of April. We are very pleased to announce that there will also be a guest appearance from Daniel John Martin who will be flying in from Paris to perform. Daniel is one of the top Gypsy Jazz violinists in Europe and is well-remembered for his performance at our 100th celebrations. This is going to be an exceptional evening - with hopefully a further surprise in the pipeline. Watch this space.
As if this wasn’t enough, we have the internationally acclaimed Diminuita opening for our May evening. So there you have it, three superb live Gypsy Jazz music events all happening here in the North West. Hopefully you will be able to join us.
Having not posted any photos for a while we thought it was high time to find time to publish a few. It turns out that we have three month’s worth of photos which due to time and space have inevitably had to be whittled down to those that appear below. Many thanks to Peter Walmsley who was kind enough to provide photos from the last evening when Swingology were our featured musicians.
The previous month featured the guitar duo of Matt Wells and Willy Fluss with their highly distinctive jazz fusion approach to Gypsy Jazz. Prior to that in December we had Trez Fez perform the opening featured performance in their usual melodic style. These were three fine evenings and hopefully the photos will do justice to the proceedings.
Moving on we are very pleased to welcome for the first time the guitar duo of Texas Moon who will be our featured musicians for tomorrow – Monday 5th March., Those of you who join us at our regular monthly gathering at the Derby Arms will probably recognise Peter Kenrick who is the pedal steel guitar half of the duo. On Monday Peter will be joined by John Clucas on guitar. Like many of our featured musicians, Texas Moon draw from many and varied musical influences to give something a little different. Another excellent evening is in prospect.
It’s not often that we are able to announce featured musicians beyond the current month as schedules quite often change. At the moment it seems that we have a settled schedule and can make an announcement for the following two Beaufort Jazz evenings…
Monday 7th of May – Diminuita
Sam and Trez Fez need very little introduction to Beaufort regulars and they will be performing a special and unique featured performance as a taster for their performance at the newly announced Preston Gypsy Jazz Festival (see below).
We are very pleased to announce Diminuita who are internationally acclaimed and will be touring the UK. Despite their hectic schedule they have found time to bring their music to our May evening. Having seen some of the emails it is clear these excellent musicians have made a great effort to perform our featured spot and hopefully they will be rewarded with a splendid turn-out and a very warm welcome. Please take a moment to check out their website.
On Saturday May the 19th there will be the inaugural Preston Gypsy Jazz Festival and as mentioned, Beaufort regulars Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez are scheduled to appear. We don’t want to give too much away at this stage as there will be a special announcement tomorrow night when the official line up and the name of festival will be revealed.
We start promptly at 8pm tomorrow and can be found at usual venue in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Hotel. As always the entrance fee is a paltry pound to cover costs. New faces are always welcome so if you play an instrument, please join us for the jam sessions - or why not just come and listen to some very enjoyable music.
Look forward to seeing you tomorrow
It seems a long time ago now when back in March 2010 we moved from the Orangery to the Ellerbrook Suite for our monthly Beaufort Jazz evenings. After a few months of discussion with the Briars Hall Hotel the move was agreed and Swingology stepped forward (at quite short notice) to open the evening with the new featured performance. After nearly two years we thought that a return was long overdue and are very pleased to announce that Swingology will be our featured guests for tonight – Monday 6th of February.
It’s fair to say that there is no such thing as a typical Swingology gig which combines Gypsy Jazz with many other musical styles depending on the occasion. One particular memory springs to mind when at the 2010 Southport Jazz festival, Swingology entertained a large audience on a bright early summer day in the Town Hall Gardens. By the end of the set a good number of the audience had decided to get to their feet and spontaneously dance to the last couple of numbers.
We can’t promise any dancing tonight but we can be sure that it will be a first class evening’s entertainment. If you have missed Swingology at the Jazz Festival or at one of their appearances at Stamps then make an effort to join us tonight. The evening will start promptly at 8pm and the usual jam session will commence after the Swingology set.
Look forward to seeing you later.
First and foremost – A Happy New Year to everyone. Hopefully you will have had an excellent Christmas and that 2012 will be a prosperous (and musical) year for all. As usual Beaufort Jazz continues with its tried and trusted policy of always being held on the first Monday of the month, so tomorrow night will be our first of the year.
To mark the occasion the evening will feature the duo of Matt Wells and Willy Fluss. These very talented guitarists have appeared many times together in the North West, but have somehow managed to miss out on our convivial monthly evening of Django inspired music. Considering that they first met some five years ago at a Beaufort Jazz evening, their appearance is long overdue and we are very pleased to announce them as our opening featured performance.
Many will know Matt as a long-term Beaufort supporter who is well known for being one half of the duo Djangobop. Regular visitors to the Southport Jazz Festival will instantly recognise the name of Willy Fluss as he has appeared on numerous occasions, normally with Vernon Fuller as Twin Frets. Together they cover a lot musical ground from Gypsy Jazz to Latin and Jazz fusion, so it’s certain that we are guaranteed an entertaining varied performance. Don’t miss them.
You may be reading this having stumbled on this webpage searching for some information on Gypsy Jazz or even possibly looking for live music in the Lancashire and Merseyside area. Then why not join us? If you play an instrument we always welcome new musicians to play in the jam sessions which follow the featured performance. If listening is more your style then just turn up and take a seat – it’s that simple. We start promptly at 8 pm and can be found in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Country Hotel near Burscough – so please come along.
We have some photos of last month’s Christmas evening which will be posted along with an overdue review. The photo at the top was one that was taken and it seemed to sum up the spirit of the evening quite nicely with music and wine flowing in equal measure!
Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
It was hoped that this post could have appeared a little earlier than it has however better late than never as they say. Our November evening featured the diverse talents of Jazzamatazz with vocalist Wheesh Cunningham and Johnny Youngblood on keyboards. On the night they were joined by local percussionist Dennis who complemented the band as they performed some classic numbers from a bygone era.
It has to be said that they were in fine form offering something a little different than usual. Gypsy Jazz may be the reason for our monthly gathering but it is always very pleasing to welcome new musicians who bring a different style and ambience to the evening.
The photographs this month have been a little difficult to produce due to the demise of a much-loved camera. The compact replacement seems to struggle with the low lighting in the Ellerbrook Suite and it is difficult to get a sharp image. Hopefully the musicians who contributed to the evening will recognise themselves below.
As Paul announced at the end of the night – Trez Fez will open the next Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday the 5th of December. Whilst everyone associated with Beaufort Jazz will instantly recognise Trez Fez it is hoped that we can put a more detailed announcement up here in the next few days with some bits and pieces about Trez Fez and the background to the band.
As usual the evening will start promptly at 8pm so please arrive in good time for the start of the music. Despite the effects of inflation – it’s still only £1 for entry. An absolute steal.
Look forward to seeing you on the 5th!
For November we have a featured performance from an exciting Manchester based piano and vocal duo well-known for their imaginative re-workings of Jazz standards and classic film songs of yesteryear.
We are very pleased to welcome Wheesh Cunningham on vocals and Johnny Youngblood on piano who are – Jazzamatazz.
Beaufort regulars will probably remember that the duo entertained us a good few months ago when they stepped up to give us a brief set of good music interspersed with gentle humour. Expect more of the same next Monday when the Ellerbrook Suite will hear standards penned by such greats as Rogers and Hart, Gershwin and Cole Porter.
Coming from diverse musical backgrounds which includes classical, spoken word and musical theatre, the duo are able to put their unique style and interpretation on any song. Not easy to define and difficult to pigeon-hole, Jazzamatazz will almost certainly give us another unique Beaufort Jazz evening.
Having performed as far away as the Caribbean these musicians are regularly seen supporting live music events throughout the North West. We are delighted that they have eventually found their way back to one of our Beaufort Jazz evenings and look forward to giving them a very warm welcome.
As usual the evening starts promptly at 8pm. Following the featured performance the usual Gypsy Jazz jam will start in the Ellerbrook Suite. There will also be another room (probably the Orangery) available for jamming so there is no excuse not to bring your guitar and join in.
As always new musicians and audience are most welcome.
Look forward to seeing you on Monday!
One regular event which we always try to mention here is the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, which stands tall amongst the regions musical events. Not many festivals could justify such an imposing title, but this one can, due in no small part to the ceaseless efforts of Rob Smith, the long-term festival director of this excellent event.
Understandably it came as a surprise when we learnt that Rob has decided to call it a day. But nothing is forever and Rob has passed his duties over to a new director Kate Carpenter - who on the one hand has inherited something special, but on the other has a hard act to follow. Best wishes to Kate who has been involved with the festival for a good few years and will no doubt keep it in safe hands.
A number of musicians who have supported Beaufort Jazz are appearing at the festival.
Gary Potter – 7.30pm Sunday 6th November – Birkenhead Priory
Modjango – 11.30am Sunday 13th November – Woodside Terminal
Esmond Selwyn – 12.30pm Sunday 13th November – Floral Pavilion Plaza
Adam Palma – 12.30 and 6.30pm 26th November – Floral Pavilion Plaza
Another popular venue for us here in the North West is Parr Street in Liverpool where excellent jazz music is to be found every Tuesday night. Petrus will be appearing on Tuesday 15th November at 8pm and we would expect a number of Beaufort regulars to be attending.
Finally a classic gig is in prospect at the Lantern Theatre in Liverpool when John Wheatcroft and Daniel John Martin team up for An evening of Gypsy Jazz on Friday December 2nd.
Many will remember when we celebrated our 100th Beaufort Jazz evening in February earlier this year and welcomed Daniel John Martin as our featured artist for the evening. More recently John Wheatcroft performed the featured spot and it has to be said that both evenings were outstanding.
The Lantern is a relatively new venue and its website can be found by clicking the link here. It is positively minute compared to most theatres as it probably holds less than a hundred people. That’s less than the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall so this could well be a full house.
Beaufort Jazz regular Tom Sykes is conducting some research about online jazz activity as part of his PhD studies. It’s a fairly simple questionnaire which probably takes about 10 – 15 minutes and helps identify how best to promote jazz to its audience in this online age.
Many know that Tom has been a keen supporter of Beaufort Jazz evenings since we started many years ago and how he has helped to keep live music alive in the North West. It would be greatly appreciated if readers were able to complete his survey which is detailed below
Dear Jazz enthusiast
You are invited to take part in a survey being conducted by Tom Sykes as part of his PhD research (at the University of Salford) into the distribution of Jazz in the digital age.
If you agree to take part your contribution to this study will be to complete a short online questionnaire, which should take no longer than 15 minutes. As an incentive and thank you for taking part, once you have completed the questionnaire you will be invited to receive a free CD.
The survey will contribute towards a larger European research project on jazz a nd national identity, Rhythm Changes details of which can be found by clicking the link in blue above.
If you are happy to take part in this survey please click on this link here and complete the form before the 31st of October.
Thank you for your help.
Difficult as it is to believe it’s now 18 months since we moved from the Orangery to the Ellerbrook Suite. How time does fly. For one of our last Orangery evenings we enjoyed a visit from Samuel C Lees and his band, who were on that occasion accompanied by Eva Gray on vocals.
Having traveled from the other side of Manchester we endeavoured to give them a warm welcome and made sure that they had a decent slot in which to perform. We were well rewarded with a very enjoyable evening from some fine musicians. It was pleasing that they had taken the effort to search us out and we hoped that they would return someday.
After a year and a half there was some considerable satisfaction when we were able to announce that Samuel C Lees would be our featured musician for October. It wasnt entirely straightforward for Sam as unfortunately both his brother on bass and Paul on rhythm guitar could not make the date. Undeterred Sam called upon John McMahon and Steve Renshall to accompany him for the evening.
Not that you would have known that this line up had been assembled at short notice as the trio preformed a number of Gypsy Jazz standards as well as some of Sam’s own compositions from his CD – All About Time. Worth a mention was the composition There you have it which features on the CD accompanied by the splendid Daniel John Martin on the violin.
As the set drew to a close there were many requests for an encore. It turned out to be Minor Swing and it has to be said that it was as good a version as any we have heard in a long while. All three musicians deserve great credit for this set. It would have been easy to rearrange - but instead a hastily arranged trio gave us a first class performance. Well done. The evening once again finished with the usual jam with a set from Ted Hanley inbetween.
Next month the featured artist will be Wheesh Cunningham and there will be more information in the next few days.
Footnote – eagle-eyed readers will notice that Guitar Retreats posted a couple of comments here on the blog to announce that Sam was giving a Gypsy Jazz workshop in Cornwall this weekend. Whilst it was posted a little late for many to take advantage of it might be worth noting for the future.
September’s Beaufort Jazz evening found us temporarily relocating to the Stones restaurant for the arrival of our featured musicians - Steele and Friends. We just about managed to squeeze the sizable audience into various nooks and crannies that make up this unusually shaped restaurant and settled down to hear some fine music.
It was an evening when we said hello to many newcomers and of course remembered George Eaton who had been a very popular Beaufort stalwart over the years. We were reminded of George’s guitar playing and his ability to repair guitars, a skill which had helped many a Beaufort regular.
We were very pleased to welcome even more new faces with a special mention to Sven who found his way to our evening in search of the West Lancashire Big Band (who play first Sunday of the month). Young Oliver debuted on the main stage and hopefully he will be able to join us again in between his studies at Leeds University.
Once again we had two first class musical evenings with excellent featured bands and very enjoyable jamming. August seems quite a while ago when The 3 Musikateers gave one of their trademark live performances. A combination of excellent musicianship clever arrangements and a vibrant stage act just about describes one of their evenings.
Steele and Friends changed the pace for September by revisiting the days when jazz trios were the norm. Covering many of the old standards Doris Steele was in fine form on vocals despite having a bad arm and having to wear a makeshift sling.
For our next Beaufort Jazz evening we are delighted to welcome Samuel C. Lees. This exciting and entertaining Gypsy Jazz guitarist needs no introduction to Beaufort regulars and it is splendid news that he is able to join us as our featured musician on Monday October 3rd. A full announcement will appear in the next few days.
When we welcomed Bob Clarke at the end of last year it turned out to be a journey into Jazz history. Bob’s numerous anecdotes arising from his various collaborations with Jazz greats made for an enjoyable evening, albeit a very cold one as his gig fell right in the middle of that brutal weather spell. In a similar vein we now welcome veteran vocalist Doris Steele who also has some stories to tell about her years in Jazz.
It was at the May Beaufort Jazz evening when we first met Doris who took to the stage with Pete Shannon on upright bass and Brian Cuddy on keyboards. Afterwards Doris chatted with a few Beaufort Jazz regulars and entertained us with her account of meeting Duke Ellington in Southport.
Many hoped that the trio would return and thankfully we can announce that they will be opening featured performance for Monday 5th September. Appropriately called Steele and Friends the trio first met about twenty years ago when playing for the Ronnie Moore Big Band when it used to play at the Wigan Athletic Supporters Club. Still friends after two decades we are very pleased to welcome them to Monday’s Beaufort Jazz evening.
Pete Shannon tells us that it will be an evening of Jazz standards with favourites such as A Train and Rag Waltz included in the set. So why not join us for what will be a “friendly” evening of Jazz. As usual the evening will start promptly at 8pm with doors open about 7.30 pm. The usual jam session will follow with hopefully The Orangery also being available for jamming. New musicians and audience members are always welcome – just turn up on the night. Entrance is only a pound with the usual raffle to help bolster funds.
Look forward to seeing you on Monday.
- Beaufort Jazz continues
- July photos
- Toe Rag to feature – full announcement
- Announcing Toe Rag – Monday 2nd July
- May and June retrospective
- Southport Jazz Festival pictures
- Grand opening of the Rainford Junction
- The Lost Cause Association to feature Monday 4th of June
- Gig update including latest on the Southport Jazz Festival
- Diminuita to feature Monday 7th of May
- Last Monday
- Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez with special guest Daniel John Martin