Time passes so quickly, it seems like only yesterday that I was writing our previous newsletter. The first thing we must say how much we appreciate the tremendous support given to “Jazz at the Village”, it makes all the hard work in arranging the programmes and evenings so worthwhile. While expressing thanks, let us not forget John Larkham who has helped us now for many months in managing the lighting and generally setting up for our evening and our new “boy” Murdo Mackenzie who is now  helping us with the sound. I think it safe to say that we have enjoyed another good season with just two more concerts to go to complete our Autumn and Winter season. Tonight we welcome Phil Hopkins on Harmonica, the first occasion on which we have featured this instrument and he is accompanied by yet another excellent pianist Jonathan Gee and then on March Ist we are really looking forward to listening to a great clarinet duet, Pete Neighbour on tour from the U.S.A. joining home grown talent, Mark Crooks.

Our upgraded website is working very well and provides much more information than previously. Anything with which “Jazz at the Village” has an involvement is included thereon. There is also a facility for you to post any comments about any of our concerts and we encourage you to do so.

We are pleased to tell you that we have recently undertaken one of our regular reviews of costs and admission prices and can tell you that we will be able to retain the standard £9.00 charge per seat until at least 30 September 2018 and hopefully thereafter and still be able to maintain the high standard of entertainment. We say thank you to those attending for supporting our monthly raffle as the income from this is of great help in funding what we do.


So let’s take a look at the new programme, full details of which are provided below and can also be found on our website www.jazzatthevillage.org.uk. By booking musicians early we have been able to put together what we consider to be another six evenings of top class entertainment again featuring some of the best musicians on the U.K. scene today. Following the tremendous reception and acclaim we received for the debut of “The Jazz at the Village Big Band” last July, it simply had to be in the programme this year and again will be directed by our very good friend Don Hunt.


It is extraordinary but nevertheless very rewarding for us as organisers, that the high demand for seats shows no sign of abating. Many of our regulars have a permanent booking and pay for 3, 6 or even 12 months in advance to ensure they are “in”. We have a number of people on our reserve list waiting to become regular attendees. If we are fully booked then it is worth reminding you to add your name(s) to our reserve lists. Opportunities for seats arise every month due to cancellations for reasons of sickness, family commitments and other genuine reasons. We hope that we do not have the experience of January very often. As many of you will know, numerous people have been laid low with irritating coughs and other flu like viruses. During the two days before our January concert we received an unprecedented 38 cancellations due to sickness. Top marks were awarded to Sue who literally spent those two days on the phone at the expense of everything else and managed to fill all those seats with people from our reserve list. Even then there were a few people who did not turn up on the evening having been laid low that day but they had paid.


It’s sad to include a note like this and fortunately they are few in number but it does not please us when, being on our reserve list, we have offered people seats that have been accepted, they have assured us that they will be attending and will pay on the evening and then do not arrive. This is unacceptable and precludes others who wanted seats and would have paid. To those people we say, please remember we are a not for profit venture offering top class entertainment at a bargain price and if we operated as theatres do, you would have to pay in advance. In future such circumstances will result in names being moved to the bottom of our reserve lists, this can be avoided by forwarding payment.


ENRICO TOMASO (Trumpet) & ROBERT FOWLER (Saxophone) with The Gareth Williams Trio


Both Enrico and Robert spent many years with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra with whom they toured Europe, the U.S.A. and Far East.. Enrico, WINNER of the 2016 British Jazz Award for trumpet is no stranger to Jazz at the Village. He started playing the trumpet at age 5 and was encouraged by his father Ernie, himself a great saxophonist, who introduced him to Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson and his personal idol Louis Armstrong.  Robert too, has quite an impressive C.V. having played with many of U.K’s leading Big Bands and artists including the BBC Big Band, Syd Lawrence, Back to Basie, Chris Barber, Kenny Ball and Brian Ferry. If you have been fortunate to hear him, you will know that he is a very versatile saxophonist producing a great sound in many ways similar to that of the great players in the 40’s & 50’s. Paying us a return visit and leading the rhythm section will be piano virtuoso Gareth Williams.                                                                                   


JEFF HOOPER (Vocalist)With the John Pearce Trio 

This will be the first time that we have featured a male vocalist to head up an evening. Jeff is always very busy, a well-known and very popular performer on the cabaret scene both on land and often at sea on luxury cruise ships. For a long time he was a featured singer with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. He is certainly a great entertainer and we are lucky to have been able to book him for what will be a very entertaining evening with great renditions of popular numbers drawn from those of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat “King” Cole, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Matt Monro and more.                                                                                                            




with Jim Watson (Piano); Simon Woolf (Bass); Bobby Worth (Drums)

Welshman, Osian will be making his first appearance at Felpham. He started playing the saxophone at age 9 and during his long career he has performed in over 25 countries including Thailand and the U.S.A. and has played alongside many top U.K. and international musicians. Mark Nightingale is, without doubt, one of the U.K’s outstanding trombonists. There is little space to list where he has played and  with whom but to name just some, the B.B.C. Big Band, the orchestras of John Wilson, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand and Frank Sinatra, singers Tom Jones, Robbie Williams, Sting, The Spice Girls as well as on a multitude of film soundtracks and T.V. shows.      


THE JAZZ AT THE VILLAGE BIG BAND RETURNS               Directed by Don Hunt

Following the very successful debut of our own Big Band in July last year, they will be reassembling for another storming performance and there will be some new faces among the musicians.



Andy Dickens (Trumpet), Julian Marc Stringle (Clarinet & Saxophone) & Bobby Worth (Drums) 

We will be delighted to welcome Jonathan, a pianist with a most enjoyable style. For over 10 years he toured with George Melly and John Chilton’s Feetwarmers and for the same period enjoyed an annual month long booking at Ronnie Scott’s, Birmingham. He has also appeared at some prestigious venues including the Los Angeles Classic Jazz and Nice Jazz Festivals. We are sure that Jonathan’s guests require little introduction and no doubt we will hear several numbers from Jonathan’s most recent C.D. “Autumn Leaves”



Accompanies by John Pearce(Piano); Paul Morgan ( Bass); Bobby Worth ( Drums)

If you enjoy the very best of saxophone playing then there is no need to say a lot as you will not get a much better line up than this, three of the very best performing together. So to complete our Spring and Summer season an evening of outstanding playing and musicianship.                                                                                        


In July of last year Brick Kiln Garden Centre started monthly lunchtime “Jazz in the Café” entertainment on the first Tuesday of each month. The concerts have proved to be popular and very well supported; it has been good to see several of our regulars there each month. We, the “Jazz at the Village” team, were delighted to be asked and have been pleased to help Brick Kiln Garden Centre by arranging top class musicians for each concert. There is no admission charge, the concerts provide a great opportunity to spend a couple of hours enjoying a nice lunch, listening to good music and before or after, browsing the fine range of plants, everything for the garden and more. Tables can be pre-booked. Two more concerts will take place on Tuesday 14th February and Tuesday March. Thereafter there will be a 3 month break during the very busy period for the Garden Centre, it is planned to resume monthly concerts from July. Details of each concert and how to book are posted on the “Jazz at the Village” website or call direct 01243 756170



“THE SPIRIT OF GRAPELLI”   at Felpham Memorial Village Hall 7.30pm

Following the great success of their Charity Fund Raising Concert last year they are arranging another this year, for which we have booked the Mike Piggott Quartet, Mike playing violin), Nils Solberg guitar, Peter Morgan, double bass & Rod Brown, drums). They will be presenting an entertaining programme featuring the repertoire of Stephane Grapelli, Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, including pieces from the Great American Songbook, swinging, foot-tapping violin playing at its best! Individually, the quartet have played with, Martin Taylor, Nigel Kennedy, Bryan Ferry, Claire Teal, Ralph McTell, Elaine Delmar, Pentangle, John Etheridge and Acker Bilk amongst others. Also featuring one or two “unusual” instruments, this concert is certainly not just for jazz fans. Mike Piggott was quoted by the New York Jazz Times as “One of the best jazz fiddlers anywhere”. Full details of evening, booking arrangements etc., will soon be available both in leaflet form also on the “Jazz at the Village” website. As last year, there will be a facility to book with us so please come along, enjoy and evening of great entertainment and support this very worthy Charity, the only Children’s Hospice in Sussex.


……just some of those from the music scene to whom we said our final goodbye in 2016    Mose Allison (89), Natalie Cole (65), John Chilton (83), Sir. George Martin (90), Kay Starr (94), Toots Thielmans (94), and Bobby Vee (73) and this year Buddy Greco (90) and more locally, not least Bobby Wellins (80)  and Dave Sheppard.(87)


It may just be of interest to some of you that on Monday Sue and I attended the final reunion luncheon of former members of the famous Ted Heath Band at The Savoy in London along with their partners, widows and family members. The Band quoted by Count Basie as “The very best band of its kind in the world”. It was an inspired choice of venue as the Band had a close association with The Savoy in its early years, also to listen to many interesting anecdotes about the history of the band from Tim, Ted’s youngest son and Stan Reynolds (trumpet) who was with the band from the outset. Also an interesting fact emerged that Ted met Glen Miller in London during the war years and they quickly became the very best of friends. During one of their meetings just before Glen “disappeared” on that fateful flight Glen further encouraged Ted to waste no more time in forming his big band and what’s more, arranged to meet Ted when back from that mission when he would give him one of his trombones. While there are still several members of the band surviving the number is quickly diminishing, many could not attend this function for reason of poor health. Among those present it was nice to see Dennis Lotis, who many will remember, regularly sung with the band; sadly, he is now very frail.

With Very Best wishes to you all, as always.

Patrick,  Bobby, Sue & Ben


Newsletter 1702