Beaufort Jazz

Great music – and you are invited!

Steele and Friends – to feature Monday 5th September

Doris Steele accompanied by Pete Shannon and Brian Cuddy

Steele and Friends

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.


September 3, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Clarke photos

Following Bob Clarke’s featured set at the end of last year we had many requests to see some of the famous photos that he had acquired over years. You might have been lucky enough to see the original photographs at the gig , but if not here they are – kindly scanned for us by Bob’s Grandson.

It’s a bit of a treat for violin fans as Bob is pictured with Stephane Grapelli and Joe Venuti. It’s not clear when or where these were taken. Hopefully there might be a bit more information in the future so we can expand this post. As far as we know it is the first time these have been seen online – so enjoy this snapshot of Jazz history.

July 19, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

The Sharp Four Quartet to feature Monday 2nd of May

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.

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , , | 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

Bob Clarke update

The Bob Clarke announcement below has generated a lot of interest and no doubt stirred old memories for some. We now have a few more photographs, courtesy of Bob’s grandson who took the trouble to scan and forward them on to us. We  also have  some background about the people who appeared in them.

Bob Clarke Janette Scott Shirley Eaton and Johnny Mulgrew

Bob Clarke Janette Scott Shirley Eaton and Johnny Mulgrew

The photo in the post below shows Bob with Denny Purssord on the left and Johnny Mulgrew on the right, holding the hat out. Johnny maybe familiar to some as he appeared in the Bill Hall Trio for many years, along with Spike Milligan who played guitar.

This picture  is one of those you wonder how it came to be taken. Bob is on the left with the actresses Janette Scott and Shirley Eaton. James Bond aficionados will no doubt remember that Shirley was the bond girl in Goldfinger who met an untimely end by being coated in gold paint. Johnny Mulgrew is in the foreground with an unidentified youngster.

The final photo click here shows Bob with Wild Bill Davison who was the cornet player for many years in the Eddie Condon Band.

As you may have gathered, all the photos here are thumbnails and if you click on them will take you to a larger version of the photograph. Likewise a link (in blue text) will also take you to a photo or link.

Look forward to seeing you on Monday.

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , | Leave a comment

Bob Clarke to feature Monday 6th December!

Bob Clarke and friends

Bob Clarke and friends

Next Monday will of course be our Christmas Beaufort Jazz evening – and to mark the occasion we are delighted to announce that our featured musician will be the veteran jazz violinist Bob Clarke. When we first heard that Bob had agreed to play, it has to be said that we were very excited about the prospect of seeing  a superb musician who has played with some of the great jazz legends during his long career.

Bob’s professional career began in the early 1950’s when he was often to be found playing in the Soho clubs of that era. It was an environment that he enjoyed working in and eventually Bob went on to play in some of the iconic Soho jazz venues such as the Mandrake Club and Ronnie Scotts – at its original Gerrard Street location. On one such gig, Stephane Grappelli happened to be in the audience and the two met and became friends, often dining together and no doubt discussing gypsy jazz at some length. In the late 50s he went to play in Moscow with the Denny Wright Trio and then went on to tour the world. Eventually Bob settled in Paris playing at many of the top venues including 10 years at the Crazy Horse.

During his travels he associated with many  legends and enjoyed a number of musical collaborations.  He met Elvis at the Lido in Paris and on a trip to Las Vegas met both Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole. Bob also played on a number of occasions with Diz Disley and introduced Diz to Stephane Grappelli who in later years would work together.

By 1977 Bob had now formed the Bob Clarke ensemble and returned to England from Paris. The gigs quickly followed with  a season’s contract at the Victoria Palace. Then in Silver Jubilee week they played the opening act at the London Palladium. Nowadays, Bob still ventures down to London to play and during the summer months can often be found at the Keswick Jazz Festival where he plays to a loyal and appreciative audience.

On Monday, Bob will be accompanied by his friend Peter Birtwistle and two Beaufort regulars, Mike Dexter on upright bass and Matt Wells on rhythm guitar. It will be quite a night for Beaufort Jazz. As well as being  a great evening of music it will also be small piece of Jazz history.

As usual the performance will begin promptly at 8pm so please take your seats in good time for the start.

Look forward to seeing you on Monday!

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , | 3 Comments