Beaufort Jazz

Great music – and you are invited!

Southport Jazz Festival pictures

A short post to upload a few photos of The Southport Jazz Festival. Apart from a few robust gusts of wind which briefly disrupted  at the outdoor locations the weather was mercifully kind. As usual, a number of musicians who have supported Beaufort Jazz evenings were performing.

Vernon Fuller was in demand as a solo performer and with Willy Fluss as Twin Frets. Vernon’s gig at the Wine Cellar with his own distinctive style of jazz funk was exceptional and justifiably well received by the audience. If a feel good grove was what you sought then one act to definitely see was Mamadou and the Super Libidor featuring Tom Sykes on violin.

On a non Beaufort theme anyone who caught the Sefton Jazz Orchestra and Ensemble would have no doubt enjoyed their double set. Featuring young musicians throughout the Sefton Area, the Orchestra and Ensemble knock out a big band sound which has to be said is impressive. There were many highlights in their sets, however, a personal favourite was Sing Sing Sing evoking memories of the Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa era. Well done.


May 23, 2012 Posted by | Music Reviews | , | Leave a comment

Gig update including latest on the Southport Jazz Festival

Southport Jazz FestivalOnce again a number of musicians who support our Beaufort Jazz evenings will be participating at the Southport International Jazz Festival. Two gigs that have come to our attention will be held in the Town Hall Gardens. The Garden gigs are free for the general public to enjoy and on a fine day there can be few better ways to spend a little time. It’s worth noting that in the event of bad weather these gigs are relocated to one of the nearby hotels. This year it seems to be the Bold Hotel – but please check.

Swingology – Town Hall Gardens – 2.30pm Friday 11th May

Petrus –  Town Hall Gardens –  11.30am Saturday 12th May

We also understand that Vernon Fuller, Twin Frets and Modjango will be appearing. If you want to check out the full line-up you can download the famous pocket guide Festival programme by clicking here. It’s good to see that some new venues have been added this year and hopefully they will be well attended.

If you miss Petrus at the Festival they will also be playing at the Wilmslow Conservative Club on the 14th May (8 pm start).

Last but not least, Adam Palma will be performing with Joscho Stephan at the Barnaby Arts Festival at 8pm in the Macclesfield Town Hall on the 24th June. They will also be holding a master class earlier the same day at 2pm in the live room of Cabin 5150 recording studios. This is a rare appearance in the UK from Joscho and his website lists this as his only UK date. John McCormick will feature on bass and Kristyna Myles will be the guest vocalist. Definitely one to include on your gig list.

May 8, 2012 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , , , , | 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

Jazz survey – a request from Tom Sykes

Beaufort Jazz regular Tom Sykes is conducting some research about online jazz activity as part of his PhD studies. It’s a fairly simple questionnaire which probably takes about 10 – 15 minutes and helps identify how best to promote jazz to its audience in this online age.

Many know that Tom has been a keen supporter of Beaufort Jazz evenings since we started many years ago and how he has helped to keep live music alive in the North West. It would be greatly appreciated if readers were able to complete his survey which is detailed below

Dear Jazz enthusiast

You are invited to take part in a survey being conducted by Tom Sykes as part of his PhD research (at the University of Salford) into the distribution of Jazz in the digital age.

If you agree to take part your contribution to this study will be to complete a short online questionnaire, which should take no longer than 15 minutes. As an incentive and thank you for taking part, once you have completed the questionnaire you will be invited to receive a free CD.

The survey will contribute towards a larger European research project on jazz a nd national identity, Rhythm Changes details of which can be found by clicking the link in blue above.

If you are happy to take part in this survey please click on this link here and complete the form before the 31st of October.

Thank you for your help.

October 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Gig update – Introducing Steele and friends

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.

August 22, 2011 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements, Event Announcements | , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

Gig update – Petrus, John Wheatcroft and introducing the Swan “Live Lounge”

A brief post to keep you updated with gigs where Beaufort Jazz regulars are playing.

Paul Draper is organising the new Live  Lounge at the The Swan Inn in Aughton on the last Friday of every month. It is a new evening, part organised – part open mic to showcase local musicians. Last week was only the second evening and featured Trez Fez with Tom Sykes guesting on violin. It’s a very pleasant location in the lounge adjacent to the main restaurant, with what has to be said are surprisingly good acoustics. Staring at 8pm it’s definitely one to put into your diary.

Tom Sykes will also be appearing with Les Bolger and Danny Mannix at Dobbies Garden World at 5pm on Thursday 28th April. There is a small entrance fee and high tea will be included. The same musicians will also be appearing with John McCormick as Petrus at the Southport Jazz Festival. They are scheduled to appear on Friday 27th May at 2.30 pm in the Town Hall Gardens. This is always a very popular location and Petrus played here last year for same festival.

Finally we also hear that John Wheatcroft is performing at Parr Street on the 12th of April with the band Metamorphic. Parr Street is one of the iconic music clubs in the North West and John is one of the finest guitarists in the region – so it is likely to be a special occasion.

The next Beaufort Jazz night is on Monday 4th April and the featured musicians will be La Paire Llamedos. Unique is an overused word nowadays, however this group is just that and completely different from anything you will have heard. A full announcement will appear in the few days.


March 27, 2011 Posted by | Event 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

Petrus to feature Monday January 3rd

Petrus to play Beaufort Jazz Jan 2011

Petrus to play Beaufort Jazz Jan 2011

Last Tuesday’s visit to Studio 2 at Parr Street was very enjoyable with Beaufort Jazz regulars descending en masse for the evening to see Clifton Harrydass and Trez Fez perform.  As you might imagine from a recording studio, the acoustics are exceptional and it was very good to hear familiar musicians play at Studio 2. The evening attracted an audience of about 60 who clearly enjoyed the event.

The cornerstone of the evening is the house band  at Studio 2 with John Mc Cormick on upright bass. This leads us very neatly into our  next Beaufort Jazz evening, as John also plays bass for Petrus, who will be our featured band on Monday January 3rd.

Some may remember that Petrus played the Southport Jazz Festival earlier in the year. It was an open air event and despite the windy Southport conditions they played a very enjoyable gig. We are delighted to welcome them to Beaufort Jazz and hope that the Briars Hall Hotel will prove to be a little less bracing.

Petrus promise us a varied set which will include Gypsy jazz and many favorite jazz standards. The line up also includes Tom Sykes on violin, Les Bolger on guitar and Danny Mannix on accordion. Tom of course needs no introduction but please welcome his fellow musicians as it looks like it will be their first visit to Beaufort Jazz.

We understand that the Ellerbrook Suite (our normal home for the evening) is being refurbished in January and therefore we will be in the restaurant again – as we were for the Bob Clarke gig. The good news is that we think that the Ellerbrook Suite will undergo some soundproofing as part of the refurbishment. If this is the case it may help solve the problem of the Suite being directly under the bedrooms. We will see.

All that is left is to wish you a Merry Christmas, for what remains of this Christmas Day and a very Happy New Year.

Best wishes

December 25, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beaufort musicians – gig update

Guitar Festival logoAs we enter November the days may shorter and the weather colder, but at least we can look forward to some high quality live music events – one of which is the annual International Guitar Festival of Great Britain. Now in its 22nd year. the Festival has played host to many Beaufort musicians over the years. This year is no exception with the following two gigs coming to our attention.

Modjango are set to appear  at the Floral Pavillion Winter Gardens on November 5th,  the opening date of the festival. They are appearing with the Djangonauts in an evening which is a tribute to Django Reinhardt. Details can be found here

Also Tom Sykes will be playing in the Les Bolger jazz guitar ensemble. They will be appearing at the Floral Pavillion Winter Gardens on November 7th. Details of their gig to be found at this link

If you enjoy Beaufort evenings you are likely to enjoy these gigs. It’s also worth checking out many of the other performances on the Festival website which can be found here

November 2, 2010 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beaufort musicians – gig update

A quick update with two events where Beaufort Jazz musicians will be playing in the near future.

Adam Palma will be playing at the Northern Guitar Show which will be held at the Aintree Racecourse Exhibition Centre on Sunday 28th November. The show will be open from 10am to 5pm. We hope to post a bit more about the show nearer the date.

Dobbies Garden World in Southport have started a monthly jazz evening.  Petrus (featuring Tom Sykes on violin) will be playing on Thursday 26th October between 5.30 and 6.30pm. Apparently this early evening event started in August with Vernon Fuller performing – unfortunately we didn’t learn about it in time to give Vernon a mention here.

Finally, don’t forget its our 8th anniversary tonight. Zazous Anglais will be our featured performance (see below), along with the many other fine musicians who will play. Hope you can join us.

October 4, 2010 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New – Django history

Readers of this blog suggested that it should have some  information on Django and the background to Gypsy Jazz. This presented a slight dilemma as there are many resources on the web relating to Django and it would be difficult to provide something new and original.

A chance conversation then revealed that Tom Sykes, violinist and long-term supporter of Beaufort Jazz had written an interesting document about the musical influences which had encouraged Django and developed the musical genre we now know as Gypsy Jazz. Tom has very kindly allowed us to publish this document for the first time click here  

If you are going to the Southport Jazz Festival – Tom will be playing with a band called Petrus at 12 Noon on the 27th May outside the Town Hall on Lord Street. The line up will feature Tom on violin, Les Bolger on guitar with accordion and double bass. Whilst Tom informs us that it will not be strictly Hot Club, there will be some familiar numbers.

As many of you know, in fine weather there is nothing better than an afternoon in Southport during the Jazz Festival. If you can make it,try to catch Petrus on the 27th

May 21, 2010 Posted by | Django | , , , , , | Leave a comment