Monday, May 02, 2011


Another Monday, but this time, fortunately, a Bank Holiday. Not that bankers cant afford to take the odd holiday of course, but at least, the rest of us are given a holiday today by a grateful government!

More importantly perhaps is that this is a Monday that follows the Thursday where we said farewell to Zane Cronje.

I’m pleased to say that a lot of you did, which shows the respect so many of us had for Zane. In the days and weeks to come I’m sure we will all carry on sharing our recollections of Zane, and it will be a specially difficult time for his family. It was really nice to meet some of them at his funeral. The crematorium ceremony was a fitting tribute to such a renowned musician, and Don Wrights alto solo was particularly moving and must have been very difficult for him to perform. Emotion is an entirely understandable thing at times like this, and Don performed perfectly.

Don Wright Playing at Hedsor earlier this year

The gathering afterwards at The Fifield Inn was another point of nostalgia. Century Jazz played there for many years, Keith Vitty’s wake was carried out there, and Zane played with Century Jazz AKA The Clive Burton Quintet for around 10 years there too. However, it was a joyful experience, music was played, and many conversations took place. We really ought to be able to have funeral wakes without the funeral, to have a joyful excuse to gather on an afternoon, play music and chat, and share our very humanity with each other.

Sketch of Zane by Keith Wilkins

Maybe we will have an opportunity to do something like that on Thursday evening this week. May 5th, apart from giving you all the opportunity to say “yes” or “no” over AV, gives us all another opportunity to pay tribute to Zane. At Hedsor from 8 pm onwards (note the time, we are in the big room!), we are having a special gathering of musicians and friends to play a tribute for Zane. Please come along. The Clive Burton Quintet will provide the basis of the band, but all who played with Zane are welcome to come and have a blow.

We will be charging £10 to get you in. We do have to pay to rent the room, but more importantly, all the profit from the event will go to the Thames Valley Hospice. I don’t know who will be able to come and play. I do know that Simon Spillett (who played so well at the wake last Thursday) and Tracey Mendham are both playing at a charity concert to raise money for the Japanese Emergency, so will be unable to be there, but Stuart Henderson will, and so will John Coverdale and John Slater, but I anticipate many more.

Just a reminder and a notice. Vasilis will be playing at The Woodley Theatre this coming Saturday with the Martin Hart Quartet, and on Friday May 20th Vasilis and His Xtet together with guitarist Nigel Price and singer Michael L. Roberts are playing the jazz night for the Cookham Festival. Tickets for this are available from the Stationery Depot in Cookham 01628 531178

Next Thursday, May 12th at Hedsor we have as our guest BBC Big Band trumpet star Paul Eshelby. We will be back to our usual entry charge of £5 for this.

So, after a week of holidays and of sadness, we will all be getting back to a new norm. Life goes on, and evolves. I hope for Hedsor Jazz YOU will be part of its evolution.

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