Well, hello everybody and although we are already into February it’s not too late to wish everyone very best wishes for this year. 2015 was another remarkable year for us, with every available seat paid for every evening and 2016 has started just the same. There is no greater encouragement for us than the on-going tremendous support we receive from the local community that enables us to maintain our high standard of entertainment. Now well into our fifth year “Jazz at the Village” is now well established on the jazz and swing scene, we now regularly receive requests from top musicians wanting to come to Felpham and perform. Never undervalue our Village Hall, it’s a great venue. We are fortunate in having a stage with lighting and the acoustics are considered to be excellent by both musicians and our audiences.

So, for a moment, let us reflect on the last few months and then we will look ahead. We always plan to have one Trad evening in each season so began the Autumn/Winter programme with another visit by “The Chris Walker Swingtet” with their 3rd Tribute to Trad Jazz. The “Swingtet” never fails to entertain and their programme certainly was well received. Sadly following the concert Roger Marks who has partnered Chris for many years in running the Quintet announced his retirement from touring, perhaps not so surprising as he lives in Plymouth. Then in November we welcomed newcomers to Felpham, The Amy Roberts and Richard Exall Quintet. What did we get? a superb evening of inspired clarinet and saxophone playing and arrangements of many familiar and lesser known numbers. 7

Dare we say it ourselves, well yes, our two “Xmas Specials” were exceptional evenings of entertainment. Following a great seasonal concert by Tony Jacobs with the Jim Barry Quintet on Thurday evening, without doubt the performance of the 13 piece “Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra” on the Friday evening was as good as you will experience anywhere in the U.K. We received a multitude of messages complimenting us on the entertainment for each evening and hoping that we will bring them back to “Jazz at The Village” again, we will certainly think about that.

Setting us off this year on January 6th we again welcomed that exceptional if not unique entertainer at the piano, Paul Harris more familiarly known as Harry “The Piano” Harris, this time accompanied by Paul Eshelby on Flugel Horn. It is easy to understand why Harry is always in such high demand, he is truly an amazing guy at the keyboard. We were somewhat surprised when Paul turned up with synthesiser as well as his flugel, not so sure about that unexpected combination!

It would remiss to overlook the important, indeed the essential contribution the Rhythm section make to our evenings, without them none of our concerts would be of the high standard that they are. While mentioning the Rhythm section we must congratulate our resident drummer Bobby, who achieved second place in the 2015 National Jazz Awards for drummer.

Just two more evenings to go this season, on February 3rd “THE JAZZ LEGENDS” a tribute to the Greats of Jazz and Swing with Tony Fisher (Trumpet) John Horler (Piano); Jimmy Hastings( Saxophone), Paul Morgan (Bass) and Bobby Worth (Drums): Then on March 2nd we welcome Derek Nash ( Saxophone) and Nigel Price (Guitar), again two of the very best in the U.K. Derek has been and still is a front line member of the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra for many years.

Both evenings are already sold out but it is always worth putting your name on the reserve list as each month we always receive a few cancellations for various reasons.


It is unfortunate that we have had to cancel our Big Band Charity evening at the Riverside Caravan Club that was due to take place on Saturday 27th February as unfortunately the promised sponsorship was not forthcoming. Very disappointing as a lot of work had already gone into preparatory arrangements. That said we are not despondent and hope that we will be able to arrange another such event during the next year.


Now well into our fifth year, demand for seats at each concert remains very high and it is more than encouraging that this situation shows no sign of relenting. A high percentage of our audience each month are regulars, indeed some of not missed a single evening since we started, many pay for 3,6 or 12 months in advance to be assured of their seats. Those of you who have attended may have noted some empty seats on occasions. In the majority of cases these seats have been paid for and circumstances have prevented the person(s) from attending. Nevertheless during the past year we have experienced a few people booking seats, with whom we have been tolerant by allowing their request to pay on arrival only for them not to attend. This is very disappointing as those seats would have been willingly taken up by other people on our reserve list. We know that most of you know that “Jazz at the Village” has always operated as a not for profit venture and will continue to do so. Our policy is to provide top quality musical entertainment for our local community at the lowest possible price so any loss of income resulting from unpaid for seats will always be unwelcome. Unlike theatres and other such venues, we do undertake to refund the cost of pre-booked seats if we are able to re-sell them as we appreciate that personal circumstances can change at short notice, sickness, unforeseen family commitments etc. Most times we can resell tickets but just a word of warning, the closer we are to our evening the more difficult this becomes. So in the event that you are unable to maintain a booking and have not paid, we hope that we can expect you to do so, thank you.

So now details of our spring & summer season programme are in the calendar.

Newsletter 1602