Beaufort Jazz

Great music – and you are invited!

Grand opening of the Rainford Junction

Many will remember that the Rainford Junction pub had an excellent reputation for being a live music venue with some highly regarded Bluegrass musicians playing there over the years. Unfortunately the pub was closed a few months ago and the future seemed very uncertain. It was therefore very good news that Paul Draper (our resident sound man at Beaufort Jazz) had acquired the Junction and intended to reopen as a pub with live music once again top of the agenda.

When visiting  just after Paul had started the project it was clear that much work was needed to restore the Junction to former glory. The upstairs function room was an excellent music space but was looking very tired. After much hard work the Junction finally reopened its doors on Friday 5th of May with the pub and the function room now completely refurbished.

Inevitably music was a major part of the evening with Trez Fez performing in the function room which has now banished the old furniture and fittings and boasts comfy seating. Hopefully the Junction will be a great success and help keep live music alive and kicking.


May 17, 2012 Posted by | Event Announcements | , | 1 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

Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez with special guest Daniel John Martin

Samuel C Lees

Samuel C Lees

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

April 1, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Djangology announced

A short post to keep everyone updated as there were quite a lot of announcements last night and it seemed a good idea to inform those who couldn’t attend.

The Preston Gypsy Jazz Festival was confirmed for Saturday 19th May and is to be called Djangology. The new website can be found by clicking here and gives full details of the day’s events.

Beaufort Jazz regulars Samuel C Lees and Trez Fez have been confirmed with Sam running the Masterclass event and Trez Fez hosting the afternoon jam sessions. These events will be held at the Legacy Hotel in Preston with a special late afternoon concert  and twilight jam held at the 53 Degrees venue in the University of Central Lancashire.

The jams will be free events open to players of all standards. So if you enjoy playing Gypsy Jazz  – just come along and join in. It’s that simple. If you want to know who will be playing in the concert – then check out the website, you probably won’t be disappointed.

As a special taster and publicity for the Festival, Sam and Trez Fez will open at the next Beaufort Jazz evening on Monday 2nd of April. We are very pleased to announce that there will also be a guest appearance from Daniel John Martin who will be flying in from Paris to perform. Daniel is one of the top Gypsy Jazz violinists in Europe and is well-remembered for his performance at our 100th celebrations. This is going to be an exceptional evening  – with hopefully a further surprise in the pipeline. Watch this space.

As if this wasn’t enough, we have the internationally acclaimed Diminuita opening for our May evening. So there you have it, three superb live Gypsy Jazz music events all happening here in the North West. Hopefully you will be able to join us.

March 6, 2012 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Bickerstock starts Saturday 6th August!

BickerstockA very short post to announce that the annual Bickerstock free music festival starts on Saturday the 6th August at 12pm. This is the 9th year this small friendly festival has been running and it is hoped that this year will even more successful.

There are some changes this year, the most notable being that the camping will be on a separate field from the festival with a minibus service available from the campsite to the festival field.

The line up is to be announced shortly, and we would expect that as in previous years it will feature many Beaufort regulars. For more information please check the Bickerstock website. There is also a contact number 01695 727722 for enquiries.


July 6, 2011 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , , | 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

Parr Street Jazz – Clifton Harrydass with Trez Fez at Studio 2

A few months ago we got an email which suggested that Jazz enthusiasts should check out the Tuesday Jazz evenings at Studio 2 in Parr Street Liverpool. Apparently the venue was an unusual combination of Hotel, Bar and a recording studio which had welcomed some of the biggest names in music throughout the years.  After some time on the to-do list we finally managed to pay Studio 2 a visit.

The hotel can be found behind a slightly anonymous facade and once inside, Studio 2 can be found on the right at the back of the reception area. It s a small, intimate and quite friendly place with comfortable seating. The bar area is thoughtfully separated from the lounge area –  which makes for easy listening without the usual bar chatter and noise.

From conversation with regulars, it seems that the evening kicks off with the “house” band who are then joined by a guest artist. This evening the guest was the singer Doreen Edwards who has to be said is a splendid vocalist with an extensive repertoire.

The evening normally then concludes with a jam session where musicians have the opportunity to perform with the house band. Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to stay till the end as we had a train to catch.

If Beaufort regulars contemplated a night out in Liverpool they might want to consider tomorrow evening when Clifton Harrydass with Trez Fez will perform at Studio 2.  The evening will probably start at 8 to 8.30 pm  and should obviously be very enjoyable. Try to make the effort –  you wont be disappointed.

December 13, 2010 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , | 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

Gig update – Zazous Anglais and Trez Fez

Just to update you with the latest gig news.

Neil Harrison of Zazous Anglais playing Beaufort Jazz october 2010

Neil Harrison - Zazous Anglais

If you were unlucky to miss the excellent Zazous Angalis last Monday then all is not lost They are appearing at the Lancaster Music Festival this coming weekend. Zazous will be playing two venues, on Saturday they will be playing at The Robert Gillow at 5pm with their second gig on Sunday when they will play The Bobbin at 3 pm.

Trez Fez will be playing at the Conwy Feast which starts Saturday 23rd October. The time and exact location of the performance to be announced shortly.

As many will know, last Monday was the 8th anniversary of Beafort Jazz. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and there will be pictures and a review in the next few days….

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Event Announcements | , , , , | 1 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

Trez Fez to feature – Monday August 2nd

Trez Fez - Hope Uni 2009

 How quickly a month goes by. It doesnt seem 5 minutes since we welcomed Modjango back to Beaufort Jazz as our featured musicians in July and now its time to  prepare for next Monday.  This month we are pleased to announce that Beaufort favourites Trez Fez  have agreed to feature as our opening act for the evening. They will be accompanied by our special guest, the very talented Clifton Harrydass.

 Beaufort Jazz regulars are very familiar with Trez Fez and their melodic interpretations of gypsy jazz standards  – but it’s not often we get to hear a full set from them and the opportunity to share their extensive repertoire. A recent perusal of their playlist suggests that they can cover over 60 numbers with some ease.

Their distinctive and instantly recognisable sound incorporates flute and accordion to complement the traditional gypsy jazz guitar, giving them a very uplifting and enjoyable sound. Much of the Trez Fez success comes from their willingness to innovate and explore new ways to perform. This includes inviting guest artists into the lineup whenever possible, which gives us the opportunity to introduce Clifton Harrydass.  

Paul-Trez Fez

 A London-based steel pan legend, Clifton is currently in Lancashire to do some recording. Not allowing such an opportunity to go begging, Trez Fez have managed to invite him along to guest with them on Monday. Some of us had a sneak preview of their collaboration at the Mustard Club last Thursday and it has to be said that the resulting sound is splendid and definitely not to be missed.  

As it is Clifton’s first visit please give him a warm Beaufort Jazz welcome. Hopefully you will be able to attend another thoroughly enjoyable evening.  

Entry is only £1 to cover costs and  the music starts promptly at 8pm

Look forward to seeing you on Monday! 

PS  – if you click here you will be able to see our promotional poster for Monday. Do you think you can print this and put it up to help us to promote the event? Any help is much appreciated!

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Beaufort Announcements | , , , , | Leave a comment