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Jazz Musings: June

THIS year’s Ipswich Jazz Festival is being held towards the end of this month and tickets are now on sale. It starts on Friday, June 23 with a South African, Township style jazz concert by trumpeter Claude Deppa and the Clare Hirst Band at The Manor Ballroom. That concert is being recorded for future broadcast by BBC Radio Suffolk. The festival also includes performances by jazz guitar supremo John Etheridge and singer Vimala Rowe as well as saxophonist Art Themen and the Chris Ingham Trio all on the same bill on Saturday, June 24 at St Peter’s-by-the-Waterfront. The following night the big band Back to Basie featuring singer Jacqui Hicks are at the New Wolsey Theatre. Tickets for all three concerts are available from the New Wolsey by phone, in person or online at www.wolseytheatre.co.uk.

There are also workshops for local amateur musicians and even a workshop on music photography.  Young people in Suffolk can join a mini course on jazz music and as well as that there are gigs by local jazz bands in local pubs, an art show, a Lindy Hop dance workshop and two jazz-themed films – Finding Fela about jazz musician Fela Kuti and the re-mastered version of the 1943 classic Stormy Weather.

Festival organiser Neil Bateman said:

“Yet again Ipswich has attracted some top names from the jazz world and as a not-for-profit venture, we have kept ticket prices as low as possible.  There’s a wide range of jazz music on offer – something for everyone, as well as films, dance and art.  This is going to be a great weekend and we want to get Ipswich Jazz Festival widely known about in Suffolk and beyond.”

EACH and every Monday in Norwich there’s a gathering of musicians who enjoy listening to and playing jazz music. It’s held at the Fat Cat & Canary is very easy to find in Thorpe Road, Norwich at NR1 1TR. They have three members in the house band, including some who are well acquainted with the music scene in East Anglia and will be familiar faces to many.

A friendly warm welcome awaits you whether you plan to play or just listen. If the former, please give some thought in advance as to your chosen songs, and bring along four copies of the music & chord charts or if you are a singer lyrics so that they can help you gain the most from your evening.

At present the house band uses the Sher Music New Real Book, Standards Real Book and the Grigson Chord Book for emergencies. It’s also a good idea for musicians to bring their own instrument too, although they may be able to share theirs with you – all they ask is that you respect their equipment.

THE Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club has lined up a rare East Anglian appearance by pianist Darius Brubeck, son of the late, great Dave Brubeck.  Born in San Francisco, Brubeck grew up in the artistic milieu of his famous father and has enjoyed a lifetime of varied international experience as band leader, composer, teacher and broadcaster. After graduating from university, Darius led his own groups, played with Don McLean and Larry Coryell, and in the ‘70s was ushered into the international jazz scene as a member of Two Generations of Brubeck and The New Brubeck Quartet (Dave, Darius, Chris and Dan) under his father’s leadership. 

Darius’ lyrical, yet emotive delivery is offset by his focussed rhythmic incisiveness which is very reminiscent of his father’s devotion to exploring different time signatures and grooves spurred on with that classic 1959 LP, Time Out, which featured Blue Rondo a la Turk and, of course, the chart-topping Take 5. A quartet whose chemistry has to be seen live to be appreciated and who never fail to delight audiences, the DBQ play a mixture of standards, some of father Dave’s hits, South African jazz and primarily original material from Darius’ two highly acclaimed CDs, Cathy’s Summer and Years Ago. Sunday, July 2  is the group’s only date in our region so don’t miss them in Colchester that night.