15 March 2020 – New Orleans Heat: ‘Helping to keep real jazz alive’ is this band’s motto. The band was made up of Barry Grummett on piano (and leader), Colin Bushell on drums, Harry Slates on double bass, Dave Vickers on trombone and Richard Church on trumpet/cornet. Additionally today there was Matt Palmer on reeds and Roger Bower on banjo. The opening number was ‘Ding-a-Ling I Hear the Sound of the Bells’ and the session included: ‘Breeze’, ‘Algiers Strut’, Corine Corina’,’ Teasing Rag’, ‘My Blue Heaven’, ‘When Shadows Fall’, ‘Down in Jungle Town’ and ‘Willie the Weeper’. Although the audience was smaller than usual due to current health issues New Orleans Heat was well received and by golly they played their socks off. If we have to shut down for some time this band played us out on a high. Hopefully we shall be seeing more of them in the future.
8 March 2020 – Max Debon’s Debonairs Little Big Band: Band members were Max Debon (leader) on trumpet, Sarah Eastwood on clarinet and vocals, John Padfield on alto sax, Anne Holder on tenor sax, Austin Ralphson on trombone, Pete Wilson on keyboard, Peter ‘Pedro’ Robinson on bass and Rob Turner on drums. They kicked off with ‘One O’clock Jump’ and some of their other numbers included: ‘A Tisket a Tasket’, ‘My Sweet Embraceable You’, ‘Blues in the Night’, ‘Petit Fleur’, ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance. We were in for a rare treat as Sarah has a lovely voice and treated us to some great numbers. For such a little lady she has a real big voice.
1 March 2020 – The Pedigree Jazz Band ‘Salute to Trad Jazz’: This was a fitting concert with which to remember SJS’s late, blind benefactor Clive Weatherer MBE. The band were oh so smart in their outfits, so professional. Chris Walker (Jeremy Corbyn look-alike and leader) on clarinet, Tony Mann on trombone, Andy Chislett on trumpet, Sy Gorelick on drums and Mike Bennett on double bass. Their usual banjo player, John Noddings was at his daughter’s wedding and so we had the pleasure of the company of Howard Williams on banjo. Playing hits of the Ball, Bilk and Barber era the numbers included: ‘Good Night Sweet Prince’, ‘The Creole Love Song’, ‘The Old Ragged Cross’, ‘The Livery Stable Blues’, ‘You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans’, ‘Teddybear’s Picnic’ and of course the iconic ‘Midnight in Moscow’. And not only was the music a delight but we learnt that ‘You Are My Sunshine’ is the State song of Louisiana … who knew that!