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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Its worth noting that Dobbies Garden world in Southport will be holding more of their Jazz in the afternoon gigs with Beaufort regulars once again scheduled to play. Tom Sykes will be appearing on the 29th September at 5.30 in the afternoon as part of a trio playing jazz standards. Tom will be on piano with Phil Shotton on sax and John Watkinson on bass guitar completing the line up.
The venue is the garden centre restaurant and the gig is wrapped around a high tea. A previous visit to the venue to catch the Nicola Farnham gig at the Southport Jazz Festival proved to be very enjoyable. The restaurant is surprisingly comfortable and the acoustics much better than anticipated. Worth a trip.
The next Beaufort Jazz night will be on Monday 5th September when the featured band will be the Jazz Trio – Steele and Friends. If you hadn’t have guessed, the Steele in question is of course the veteran singer Doris Steele – with Brian Cuddy on keyboards and Beaufort regular Pete Shannon on upright bass. More information to follow nearer the event.
As usual the featured performance will be followed by the jam sessions. If you have just found us on the web and live in the North West – why not join us? We always make new musicians and members of the audience welcome – so just turn up and say hello.
Much of the enjoyment of keeping this website up to date is getting the monthly phone call which announces the featured band or musician for the forthcoming Beaufort Jazz evening. Quite often it is the familiar name of a Beaufort regular – other times it is a completely new name
When the call arrived this month it was the latter, yet as the conversation developed it became clear that whilst the group was new, the musicians were very familiar to audiences in the North West. Gaynor Sutcliffe and Simon Brady long time members of legendary live band the Swing Commanders have been joined by Clitheroe bassist Bob Buller to form our featured band for August 1st – the 3 Musikateers.
With such a musical pedigree it’s perhaps not surprising that the 3 Musikateers are able to offer a formidable repertoire which not only covers Gypsy Jazz but also classic jazz standards and bluegrass. Needless to say these excellent musicians are a superb live act with words such as “vibrant” and “entertaining” being regularly used used to describe their polished performances. Expect each member of the 3 Musikateers to play a variety of instruments during the evening as they deliver standards in their own unique style.
As these musicians play regularly in various line ups we have had the usual problem of trying to arrange a suitable date. Its our very good fortune that we have managed to get them for August’s featured performance and once again we expect a full house. It promises to be another one of our unique and special evenings which have become our trademark.
Doors will open at about 7.30 for a prompt start at 8pm. As usual entry is a paltry £1 (yes only £1) to cover the costs of evening. A warm welcome awaits for anyone joining us for the first time.
Look forward to seeing you on the 1st!
It’s now just over a year since we moved from the Orangery into the Ellerbrook Suite and during that time a number of people had hoped that John Wheatcroft might be available to perform the opening featured set on one of our Beaufort Jazz nights. John’s hectic schedule as a busy musician and Head of Guitar at London’s prestigious Guitar-X meant that this was always going to be a difficult one to arrange. So we were obviously delighted when we got a call from John to agree a date and are very pleased to announce that he will play our opening featured spot on Monday 4th of July.
Beaufort regulars and guitar fans will need little introduction to John’s superb guitar playing, however if you have not seen John play his style is described as ”integrating modern jazz with the timeless Django swing”. As well as Django, John’s many musical influences include Birelli Lagrene, John Scofield, Allan Holdsworth. and even the great Charlie Parker.
Having performed with such musicians as Billy Cobham (Miles Davies) Frank Gambale (Chick Corea) and Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), John has recently toured the world with John Jorgenson and Carl Palmer (ELP). His playing has been widely acclaimed and John Jorgenson was moved to comment “John Wheatcroft has an incredible arsenal of knowledge on the guitar and puts it together in a very appealing style” Gary Potter- no stranger to Beaufort Jazz regulars. was equally impressed ” John Wheatcroft is an incredibly versatile guitarist with an astonishing technique”.
On the evening John will be accompanied by Mickey Dunne on guitar with John McCormick on upright bass.
If you are an occasional reader of this blog and havent got round to visiting us at Beaufort Jazz then this will be an excellent opportunity for you see an exceptional guitarist perform. Just make sure that you arrive in good time to get a seat as this gig is likely to be very popular.
As usual the evening starts promptly ay 8pm with doors open about 7.30pm. Entrance is the usual £1 with the customary raffle to help bolster funds. Newcomers (both audience and musicians) are always most welcome.
Look forward to seeing you on the 4th!
Suddenly a month has gone in hardly no time at all and it will be our next Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday 6th of June when Douce Ambience will play the opening featured performance. Beaufort regulars will no doubt recognise Douce Ambience as Rachel Cooper on flute and Rob Curson on guitar. They will be accompanied on the evening by Paul Draper on upright bass.
Rob and Rachel have often jammed on Beaufort evenings but this will be their first time on the featured spot. If you have not caught them in the past their performances are typically Gypsy Jazz inspired with Rachel performing many of the solos on flute with Rob providing the rhythm guitar. It’s an unusual combination of instruments but it works very well and will no doubt give us a fine evening of music. If you are new to Beaufort Jazz and havent manged to get down to one of our evenings its worth making the effort to catch Douce Ambience on Monday.
As usual we start at 8pm with doors open at 7.45pm. Our venue is of course the Ellerbrook Suite in the Briars Hall Hotel.
Entry is a meagre £1 which helps to fund the evening.
Look forward to seeing you on the 6th!
Once again the Beaufort Jazz night was quickly upon us and the monthly featured band was the eagerly anticipated “Sharp Four Quartet”. As their name suggests they didn’t hang around and quickly went into the set with Caribbean Carnival and Swing 42 with a nod to Stevie Wonder in between. Jim Bannister was in particularly fine form on guitar as the quartet covered Wes Montgomery’s Road Song and the classic Horace Silver number - Song for my Father with Tom Sykes taking the opportunity to alternate between keyboards and his more usual violin during the set to great effect. Very enjoyable.
The Sharp Four are a fine group of musicians and if you havent managed to catch them performing in the Northwest why not try to make their performance in Chester at that excellent venue Alexanders on June 5th. You will not be disappointed.
A monthly jam night such as Beaufort Jazz can produce some unexpected and memorable moments, which has to be said is part of the enjoyment of being in the audience. You know that you will enjoy the evenings staple of Gypsy Jazz but then there is always the possibility of something a bit different. And so it was last Monday when Pete Shannon put together a trio of himself on bass with Ted Hanley on guitar and Brian Cuddy on keyboards. During the set an unamed vocalist was invited to join them on stage for three priceless numbers.
We didn’t know it at the time but the singer was Doris Steele, veteran of many polished Jazz performances over the years. After the set Doris told us how in the early 70s she met Duke Ellington when they were both performing at the Floral Hall in Southport. Duke was understandably impressed with Doris’s vocals and immediately invited her to join him on tour in America. Unfortunately, family commitments meant that Doris was unable to take him up on his invitation – but the offer remained open and Doris hoped to visit America following year. Sadly Duke became unwell and passed away and the opportunity was never fulfilled. What America missed Beaufort Jazz gained and hopefully Doris will join us again in the near future.
The later part of evening was given over to our traditional Gypsy Jazz jam sessions and its impromptu collaborations. Hot Club duo of Steve Cronin and Bill Cox were joined on stage by Alan Stratton on bass and with a very welcome appearance of Alan Shaw on guitar. Dave Evans fronted a quartet including Beaufort regulars Phil Bernia, Mike Dexter and Rob Curson to give us the Hot Club classics Minor Swing and Sweet Georgia Brown.
As a finale Trez Fez took to the stage to conclude the evening in their usual melodic style. We understand that Trez Fez will have DVD available in the near future of their recent sell out gig at Heysham Jazz. More information to follow shortly.
The next Beaufort Jazz evening will be on Monday 6th of June and the featured band will be announced in the next few days.
One of the benefits of the Beaufort Jazz monthly featured spot is that we can invite groups who we might not normally get to see during the evenings informal jam sessions. The Sharp Four Quartet are probably a good example and we are very pleased that they will open the next Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday 2nd of May.
The Sharp Four have been together for 5 years and have made their name by incorporating “a wide range of styles” into their performances. A typical gig will have a mixture of latin, groove, mainstream and swing. We havent managed to get a sneak preview of their set list however we have been told we might expect a little bit of Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea during the evening. Something definitely to look forward to.
The current line up of the Sharp Four is Jim Bannister guitar, Tom Sykes on keyboards and violin, Bill Lythgoe bass with Chris Leyland on drums. As usual please give them a very warm Beaufort Jazz welcome. For newcomers, the event will be held in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Hotel in Burscough and will start promptly at 8pm. Doors open at 7.45 with the entrance fee a mere £1 to cover costs. Look forward to seeing you.
Many will remember the excellent gig from the veteran violinist Bob Clarke on that bitterly cold Beaufort Jazz evening in early December. A number of regulars managed to chat with Bob and get to look at his personal photo collection of some of the great musicians he has worked with over the years. We did manage to get a few of these photos posted on this blog – with the hope of a few more to follow. Now thanks to Bob and his grandson (who has scanned them) we have some more photos of Bob with Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti. In the next few days we will be posing these with hopefully some video of Bob’s gig. Enjoy.
Holidays and other incidentals have got in the way of writing reviews on the last two Beaufort Jazz evenings, so a quick post here is overdue. Apologies for it being a little briefer than usual. The March evening featured the ever popular Djangobop. Normally performing as the duo of Matt Wells and Dave Stearstree the group was expanded by the addition of Paul Murphy on third guitar and John on upright bass. Djangobop are familiar friends to Beaufort Jazz evenings and their set was thoroughly enjoyed by a full house in the Ellerbrook Suite. Once again it was a pleasure to welcome the many new faces in the audience.
A special thanks to George White who kindly deputised for Paul Draper on sound.
An unexpected March guest was the veteran banjo player Howard Shepherd who was partnered by the ever versatile Mike Dexter on guitar. Performing as Shep’s Rhythm Aces the duo have been together for nearly twenty years, though we think it was their first appearance at a Beaufort Jazz evening. It was one of those spontaneous and highly enjoyable moments which can only be found at jam nights like ourselves. The older members of the audience will no doubt have recognised Howard from his numerous musical appearances on the 70s TV series “The Comedians”.
Many Beaufort regulars were in attendance. In particular it was good to welcome back Bill Cox and Steve Cronin who have been ever present members of the Hot Club of Knotty Ash over the years. They formed in impromptu trio with Tom Sykes on violin.
Mike Dexter appeared in yet another guise as our featured act for April. Appearing with Les Cook as one half of La Paire Llamedos. Unfortunately this was sadly missed due to the aforementioned holiday. Reports however confirmed that this was another excellent Beaufort evening with yet another good turnout.
The next Beaufort Jazz evening will be on Monday the 2nd of May and we are very pleased to announce that the featured band will be the The Sharp Four Quartet. More information to follow in the next few days.
As we promised, our next Beaufort Jazz evening will feature two musicians who are likely to be fairly unique and not something to be heard every day of the week. La Paire Llamedos are the musical talents of Les Cook on Hawaiian steel guitar and Mike Dexter providing a Hot Club style guitar accompaniment. This intriguing collaboration goes back over seven years and has entertained many audiences with their original arrangements of Hawaiian and Django classics.
The set is probably the most diverse we will have heard in a good while with Gypsy Jazz classics such as Nuages and Minor Swing featuring alongside early twenties Hawaiian stnadards. The duo not surprisingly claim “a very varied repertoire”
Mike is well-known to Beaufort regulars and Les Cook is one of the foremost authorities on the steel guitar and Hawaiian music in the UK. We think it will the first visit to Beaufort Jazz for Les so please give him a warm reception. For the performance Les will be playing an original 1920s National Hawaiian steel guitar and a hand-made Hawaiian style Maccaferri copy.
The performance begins promptly at 8pm with doors open at 7.45pm. As usual the entry fee is £1 to cover the costs of the evening and there will be the usual raffle to bolster funds.
Look forward to seeing you on the 4th!
- 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