Beaufort Jazz

Great music – and you are invited!

July photos

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.

July 21, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , | Leave a comment

May and June retrospective

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.

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , | Leave a comment

Last 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.

April 5, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reviews, photos and announcing Texas Moon

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 2nd of April – Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez

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

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements, Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

November review – announcing Trez Fez

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!

November 30, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment

October review

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.

samuel c lees beaufort jazz 2011

Samuel C Lees trio

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.

Beaufort Jazz end of evening jam 2011

End of evening jam

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.

October 17, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

August and September Review – announcing Samuel C. Lees

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.

September 17, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , | 1 Comment

Beaufort Jazz Review

A slightly different review this month with a few more photos. If you missed last Monday it is a great pity as it was a splendid evening from start to finish. The featured guitarist was the eagerly anticipated John Wheatcroft. Needless to say, John didn’t disappoint as he covered the usual standards and even found time to include some of his own compositions. During  the set; vocalist Cathy Dignam was invited on stage to sing  and her mellow vocals brought the set to a most pleasant conclusion. Very enjoyable.

Following their recent trip to Samois, Swing Manouche found time to join us for the evening. It was good to hear them again and hopefully they will be able to attend again next month.  Likewise it was good to welcome back Hot Club of Knotty Ash, Ray and of course the ever-present Ted Hanley. Also many thanks to Mickey Dunne and John McCormick who it has to be said gave excellent support to John Wheatcroft.

Having a slightly later finish allowed us to time to have one of Beaufort’s famous jams to round of the evening. Tom Sykes and Adam Palma joined the other musicians on stage for a rousing finish. It was good to see that once again we had many new faces in the audience. Hopefully they will join us again next month for another Beaufort Jazz evening.

It seems a good while since we were entertained by Douce Ambience in June. Paul Draper swapped his usual sound deck for upright bass in order to accompany Rachel and Rob for the evening. They played one of their characteristically melodic sets to a very appreciative audience. Later in the evening we had the pleasure to welcome back Doris Steele who was accompanied by Pete Shannon on bass with Brian Cuddy on keyboards.

Next Beaufort Jazz night will be on Monday 1st August and the featured group will be 3 Musikateers. Beaufort regulars might not recognise the name as they are a relatively new group. Having said that the musicians will be known to many in the North West as they currently play in quite a well known and long established  line up. A full announcement will be made in the next few days when all will be revealed.

July 11, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beaufort Jazz May review

The Sharp Four Quartet Beaufort Jazz May 2011

The Sharp Four

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.

May 8, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beaufort Jazz review

Djangobop Beaufort Jazz Mar 2011

Djangobop

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.

Sheps Rhythm Aces Beaufort Jazz

Mike Dexter and Howard Shepherd

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.

La Paire Llamedos Beaufort Jazz 04 11

La Paire Llamedos

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.

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment

Century celebrations review – 100 and still going strong

Daniel John Martin and Gary Potter beaufort jazz feb 2011

Daniel and Gary in full flow

In the run up to last Monday emails were composed, texts sent and phone calls made – all to ensure that as many  as possible were invited to the 100th Beaufort Jazz evening. Our aim was very simple – that we would get 100 to come to our 100th. As it turned out, 120 of us managed to cram into the Ellerbrook Suite for what was definitely a standing room only occasion. Most encouraging was that we saw many new faces who had taken the trouble to search us out.

Our much awaited featured musician was Daniel John Martin, the Paris based violinist who was to be  accompanied on this landmark evening by Micky Dunne and Karl Webb on guitars with Tony Doyle on bass. Daniel came as a veteran of many Gypsy Jazz jam nights and took us through the standards with considerable ease. Djangos Tiger and Minor Swing were amongst them and covered with great flair. One enthusiastic person has managed to capture a clip on video and has posted it on YouTube. It can be found by clicking here and whilst it’s a little shaky it does give a glimpse of what was a first class set.

We were very pleased that the occasion attracted new musicians. Keith and Neil were a vocal and keyboard duo who gave us a number of jazz classics before leaving the stage to another duo, Amanda and Dave who gave us yet more standards. Hopefully they will have all enjoyed the evening and will join us again for the next Beaufort Jazz night. Helen Maher then stepped up with an impromptu quartet which included John McCormick on upright bass and were quickly followed by the High Peak Trio, who as their name suggests must have travelled some way to be with us. Ted Hanley then took to the stage and we learned that he had only ever missed two Beaufort Jazz evenings. A record to be  proud of especially as Ted has to make his way from East Lancashire each month. 

Gary Potter and Adam Palma beaufort jazz feb 2011

Gary Potter and Adam Palma jam together

Then it was not so much welcoming new musicians, but saying hello to those who had been away too long. Many will remember that Gary Potter was a regular at Beaufort Jazz for many years, after all, we were his local Gypsy Jazz jam in the North. Whilst he had not been able to attend in recent months, there was no stopping him from making the 100th celebrations. Supported by John Cordwell on rhythm guitar, it was if he had never been away. As a finale to the evening Gary welcomed Daniel back on stage along with Adam Palma to give us an energetic Sweet Georgia Brown. A fitting end to a fine evening. Well, almost the end, as there was still time for the traditional mass jam on stage which took us right up to our finish at 11.30.

The next Beaufort Jazz evening will be on Monday 7th March when the featured musicians will be he excellent Djangobop. A full announcement to follow in the next few days.

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Century celebrations

100th Beaufort Jazz evening balloons

100th Beaufort Jazz celebrations

What an evening!  It was standing room only  in the Ellerbrook suite  as musicians and audience, old and new came to celebrate our 100th Beaufort Jazz evening.  It’s doubtful that we have ever had a better one. Needless to say there is a lot to report and there will be a full review on this blog in the next few days.  In the meantime many thanks to all the musicians who played and apologies if you didn’t manage to get to play on stage. It was such a packed and hectic evening that time just ran out even with the 11.30 finish.

Many thanks also to many people who got involved in the organisation of the event. It probably goes without saying that these occasions do not organise themselves and it takes a lot of time and effort to put on a voluntary music event such as Beaufort Jazz. Well done.

A special thanks is also needed for Aladdins Cave in Ormskirk who very kindly donated our special “100th” balloons to decorate the evening. Many will know them as suppliers of fancy dress but they also have a balloon decoration business for weddings and functions. If you are having a function, please check their website out here and give them a call.

One of the bands that didnt get to play on Monday was Trez Fez who gallantly stood down in order to allow other musicians to perform. Not to worry however as Trez Fez will be playing a special charity event this Saturday (12th Feb) at Aughton Village Hall. It is in aid of our local Queenscourt Hospice which is a tremendous local charity and throughly worthy of your support. The event starts at 7.30 and is only £6 entrance which is payable on the door. We understand that Polly Douglas and Douce Ambience will also play. Please make an effort to attend. If you need any further information, please call 07837 692 628. If you want to help promote the event please download the event leaflet here.

Enjoy!

February 9, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Review Bob Clarke and Petrus – introducing Daniel John Martin!

Petrus Beaufort Jazz Jan 2011

Petrus Beaufort Jazz Jan 2011

Normally winter weather in West Lancashire is fairly benign, however this year has been very different. Heavy snow and prolonged sub-zero temperatures have disrupted the region and made life difficult. As we approached the day of the Bob Clarke gig there was concern that we might have to cancel as some of the musicians accompanying Bob were snowbound. Despite a severe weather warning we did manage to go ahead as planned. Inevitably there were reduced audience numbers, which was a great pity as many Beaufort Jazz regulars missed a legendary gig.

Bob Clarke was of course our featured artist for December. The much traveled veteran violinist who had worked with some of history’s finest jazz musicians, was making his first appearance at Beaufort Jazz. The occasion was eagerly awaited. As you might expect, Bob was in fine form and most fortunately this historic little gig has been caught on video. We are hoping to be able to put some of this online in near future with more details of the gig, so please watch out for further information. 

Thankfully the weather had improved when we welcomed Petrus as featured musicians in January. Those of us who have seen Petrus before will remember that they cover a lot of musical ground, playing gypsy jazz ( in the style of Martin Taylor) along with standards and some Eastern European gypsy compositions. We heard a set which included such classics as Minor Swing, Norwegian Wood and All the Things You Are. They then concluded with Czardas – that song that everyone recognises but few can name.

Daniel John Martin Beaufort Jazz Feb 2011

Daniel John Martin Beaufort Jazz Feb 2011

If you missed Petrus you missed another fine Beaufort Jazz evening. You might however want to catch Les Bolger (their guitarist) who will be bringing the Les Bolger Guitar Ensemble to the Wilmslow Conservative Club on the 17th January. Les tells us they hope to have no less than six guitars on stage so definitely one for guitar enthusiasts.

Next month on Monday 7th February will be the 100th Beaufort Jazz evening. A huge milestone considering the difficulties in putting on a volounteer live music event. Well done to all the musicians and organisers who have kept Beaufort Jazz going through thick and thin.

As usual, we have tried to mark the occasion and are very pleased to announce that our featured act will be the Paris based violinist Daniel John Martin. Daniel will only be playing a small number of gigs whilst he is over here in the UK and we are delighted that he has found time to join us in Burscough. Daniel will be accompanied by Beaufort regulars and there will be a full announcement in the next few days. If you are reading this and you are nearer London than Liverpool, you will be pleased to know that Daniel is playing the famous Le QuecumBar with guitarist Romane on the 30th January.

January 13, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

November Review

David Powell beaufort jazz november 2010

David Powell

It seems quite a while since our last evening on the 1st of November and some readers will have noticed that we hadn’t posted our usual review. Apologies for the delay and on the basis of better late than never…

Our featured band was of course the Powell Brothers –  the guitar and saxophone duo of David and Arthur Powell. It was their first appearance at Beaufort Jazz and we were very pleased to welcome them. As promised, their set contained many standards including what was a delightful version of that timeless classic -Stella by Starlight.  It’s clear that they enjoy their music and took great pleasure in performing for appreciative Beaufort Jazz regulars. As usual, the 40 or so minutes we set aside for the featured performance passed by all too quickly and hopefully they will put the first Monday of month in their diary and we will see them again in the near future.

The remainder of evening was our usual gypsy jazz jam and it reminded us with the jam format how different each month can be. There were many guest musicians and hence the evening had a good number of impromptu ensembles – and some surprises. Roy Gregory, normally to found as one half of Modjango  intrigued us all when he produced an accordion and gave us a short set which included a splendid rendition of Autumn leaves. The evening finished a bit later than usual due to the excellent turn out and we hope that next month will be equally as popular.

Arthur Powell beaufort jazz nov 2010

Arthur Powell

Next month promises to be a bit of a coup for Beaufort Jazz as we have a gypsy jazz musician who was a personal friend of Stephane Grappelli and who has performed at Ronnie Scotts and many of the great European jazz venues. He also toured America and met the likes of Nat King Cole and Duke Ellington.

If that wasnt enough, he then worked with Diz Disley for a number of years. Not only do we play host to fine musician but we are very pleased to welcome a man who was actually involved in the golden years of gypsy jazz. It’s a tremendous prospect to look forward to. There will be a full announcement here in the next few days – don’t miss it.

Our next Beaufort Jazz night will be on Monday 6th December.

November 19, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , | Leave a comment

Anniversary celebrations

Neil Harrison and Ken Johnston Zazous Anglais Beaufort Jazz oct 2010

Neil Harrison and Ken Johnston - Zazous Anglais

Last Monday marked another milestone in the history of Beaufort Jazz as we chalked up our eighth anniversary in some style. Now firmly established at our new home in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Hotel, the future looks to be secure. The crisis of the closure of our old venue at the Beaufort Hotel is now well behind us and we are once again attracting many new faces to our monthly Manouche event.

One of the benefits of our new venue is the monthly featured opening event where musicians kick the evening off with an extended set. It usually lasts about 40 minutes and gives the opportunity for musicians old and new to perform a greater repertoire in front of a friendly and appreciative audience.

And so it was on Monday when the Manouche trio Zazous Anglais made the journey down the M6 from Lancaster in order to open the evening. They gave us standards such as Swing 39 and also included numbers that you don’t hear that often. Melodie Au Crepuscule and Bossa Sephora were new to many, likewise Chez Jaquet and David.  This ensured that we were able to enjoy a very original set. They concluded with Menilmontant to very warm and generous applause. Hopefully Zazous can join us again in the near future, If however you missed them, try to find them playing one of their regular gigs in and around Lancaster. You will not be disappointed.

Mark Knowles Zazous Anglais Beaufort Jazz october 2010

Mark Knowles - Zazous Anglais

Ted Hanley was joined by Paul Turner on bass for his monthly smooth jazz session. Bill Cox and Steve Cronin joined with Pete Shannon to give us some familiar numbers from their Hot Club of Knotty Ash repertoire. The evening finished with Trez Fez forming one of their impromptu ensembles.

And so onwards to hopefully our ninth anniversary.  December’s evening will have its usual Christmas spirit with another milestone being reached early next year when we hope to be able to have a few surprises. More of this to follow in the New Year.

November’s featured act will be announced shortly.

October 10, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beaufort Jazz Review – Monday 6th September

Adam Palma guitarist

Adam Palma

  It might have been raining last Monday evening but no one at the Beaufort Jazz night was concerned as a full house settled down to enjoy an evening of special guitar. Our monthly featured act was of course Adam Palma, the man with diverse guitar skills who captivates audiences with his fretwork. Opening the evening with a solo spot, Adam gave us a number of self penned songs and then treated the audience to his signature version of “See you later Alligator” where he plays 4 parts on the one guitar. Very impressive.  

In the second half of his set Adam was joined on stage by John McMahon, Matt Wells and Dave Stearstree on guitar, with Tony Hamer on bass. Launching straight into “Caravan” the group then played all the gypsy jazz classics that make Beaufort Jazz evenings so enjoyable. As usual, an impressive set came to an end all too soon.  

Ted Hanley was then joined on stage by Tony Hamer and Brian Rennie on saxophone to give us a set of smooth jazz guitar for which Ted is renowned. Once again Ted had made the journey from east Lancashire to join us. It’s a journey he has made for a good number of years now and needless to say Ted is one of our keenest supporters.   

Following Ted, Trez Fez took to the stage with an expanded line up which included Tony and Brian with Phil Bernia on drums, Pete Shannon on bass and Steve Parry on Trumpet. Clifton Harrydass on steel pan completed the line up. As usual, they gave us a set of uplifting gypsy jazz. This friendly band always  welcomes guest musicians into their line up and their generosity is often rewarded with new and exciting music. Trez Fez are rarely the same but never lose their distinctive melodic sound. Their set concluded with the usual enthusiastic applause.  

As a finale, Adam returned to the stage accompanied by Clifton and Samuel C Lees on guitar. It was vibrant and energetic set to end an excellent evening’s entertainment. Unfortunately for us, the Briars Hall Hotel had a number of residents that night and we had to end the evening promptly at 10.30 pm. If you are reading about us for the first time and wondering why, the Ellerbrook Suite which is home to Beaufort Jazz evenings is situated directly under some of the bedrooms in the hotel. We accept this with good grace as the Ellerbrook Suite is pretty much the perfect location for us.    

At the end of the evening, we were reminded that next month will mark the 8th anniversary of Beaufort Jazz. Eight years of great music, friendly people and thoroughly enjoyable evenings. Needless to say we are hoping to mark the occasion in some way and will make an announcement shortly.  

The next Beaufort Jazz evening will be on Monday 4th October. Why not join us?

September 10, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A full house – last Mondays review

Paul Budgen and Clifton Harrydass

It’s always very encouraging when a lot of hard work produces results. So it was last Monday when Beaufort Jazz had a full house for the evening, comfortably filling the  Ellerbrook Suite with faces old and new.

The ever popular Trez Fez opened the evening with our special guest Clifton Harrydass featuring on steel pan. At first glance it might seem an unlikely combination for a gypsy jazz evening but it worked well and proved once again that good musicians can produce delightful performances from unexpected collaborations. The set contained many of the Hotclub favourites with Clifton adding subtly to the Trez Fez melodic sound. 

It has to said that the featured band format certainly works very well. Musicians get the opportunity to perform a 40 minute set and occasionally try something a bit different. Without this opportunity it probably wouldnt have been able to showcase Trez Fez and Clifton in this unique collaboration.

Previous featured bands have been just as impressive. In July we had Modjango make a welcome return to Beaufort Jazz to perform one of their vibrant sets. Both Roy and Paul Gregory had been taken ill that day but made a great effort to attend and play. Prior to that in June we were entertained by The Hot Club of Knotty Ash who brought an extended line up featuring violin and no less than four guitars. Both evenings were a great success and helped bring Gypsy Jazz to a new and appreciative audience.

Big John - Swing Manouche

After the featured act the evening offered musicians the usual opportunity to come together and play on the stage. Some  arrived as a prearranged group, whilst others arrived on their own to join in with a band or form an impromptu ensemble for the evening. It’s difficult to credit all these performances in a short post such as this but hopefully all musicians will get a mention here at some stage in the future.

The evening concluded with a welcome return to  Beaufort Jazz from Swing Manouche who now perform as a Trio with two guitars and double-bass. Welcome back gentlemen. As the room emptied, some musicians retired to the Orangery to jam informally whilst Clifton gave some enthusiastic onlookers a beginner’s lesson on the steel pan.

Needless to say, it takes a huge amount of effort to organise and promote the Beaufort Jazz evenings so it is most rewarding to see so many new faces. Hopefully the new people who attended will have enjoyed themselves and will want to join us again next month.

Many thanks to Will for the photographs

August 7, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fine music and a brand new stage

After weeks of hard work and some frustration, the new Beaufort Jazz stage finally made its appearance last Monday. Replacing the temporary pallet and plywood construction that we had used last month, it was unveiled just in time for  the Vernon Fuller featured set.

Vernon Fuller

Vernon Fuller

Accompanied by Adam Wood on bass, Vernon opened the evening at 8pm promptly. It was a delightfully balanced set and the only disappointment was that it finished all too soon. When an artist like Vernon has such an extensive repertoire it is inevitable that some favourites get left out to make way for other excellent material. So we lost the “Girl from Ipanema” – but in return were treated to a great interpretation of “Give me the Night”.

As usual we enjoyed a varied and entertaining evening. Trez Fez were without Mr Dave Brown but still managed to perform gypsy jazz standards in their unique melodic style. The Hot Club of Knotty Ash put together an ensemble for our enjoyment and Ted Hanley was joined by Tommy who brought a certain continental flavour to the evening.

We were also very pleased to welcome for the first time the guitar duo Colin Lambert and Chris Bowers. Apparently they had never performed  a set together, not that we would have known as it sounded tight and very well rehearsed. Hopefully they will join us again soon.

The evening concluded with Adam Palma treating us to some virtuosic guitar playing. He started the set solo and then introduced Mike and Tommy to accompany him in turn with guitar and vocals. Sounding very reminiscent of Tommy Emmanuel, Adam then moved seamlessly into gypsy jazz without breaking stride. It was a commanding performance.

No Beaufort Jazz evening is complete without the mass jam at the end of evening. There were some anxious glances as the new stage was filled to capacity and the construction tested somewhat. We should not have worried, like our dedicated musicians  the stage performed magnificently

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A great evening for Beaufort Jazz

And so after much time and effort, Beaufort Jazz began its new era last Monday in the Ellerbrook Suite at the Briars Hall Hotel. The stage might have been temporary and the lighting prone to a little overheating, but there was no denying that evening was a great success.

Many thanks to Peter McCormack who acted as our official photographer for the evening and took the following photos

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Reviews | , , , | Leave a comment