Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Hedsor Jazz Goes to School 


September 26th, (A Day that will live in Memory) has been and gone. And as Nigel Price said, “The Audience was small but perfectly formed!”.

Anyone, even everyone, who came, heard some wonderful jazz music with a great variety of styles, all performed to a very high standard. 

The facilities offered by St.Piran’s School were excellent. I must congratulate the school on it catering, talk about value for money! The comparison for anyone who had supported our previous day of jazz at The Crowne Plaza could not have been more marked!! If they all eat that quality of food every day, then the teaching staff and the children are very lucky indeed. 

The Tippet Hall facilities were excellent. I was impressed by the sound within the Tippet Hall. I was also impressed by the stage lighting. 

The bar, courtesy of The Crauford Arms was well stocked and the staff very helpful. Perhaps a course in speed coffee making might have been a good idea, but no one ever let it get them down.

The Headmaster , Jonathan Carroll, worked hard all day and helped to make it a very pleasant place to be for a day of jazz. I will mention one other member of St.Pirans staff by name (the name I know anyway), Matt. Those of you there on the Saturday would not have seen him, but he was a great help on Friday setting up and teaching me how to work the lights. He was also there on Saturday after you had all gone home, helping to clear up afterwards. Here I must also say a thank you to many of YOU, who also made a swift job in helping to put away the chairs.

Clive Burton. Where would be without him? He worked hard all day long, playing, announcing, moving equipment about, and providing us with his own PA for the day. He was ably assisted by Jan, who hosted the musicians in their Green Room.

Was it a success?

Musically and socially without a doubt. Financially, sadly no. In my defence I will say that we advertised as much as possible, but that four letter word “jazz” was in all the adverts, and we only had about 1/3rd of the audience numbers we really needed. 

We tried!! We had mentions on local radio (thank you Marlow FM and Michael Eagleton in particular), we had adverts in local papers, London Jazz News, Town and Around. All of the Public Schools in the area were canvassed for their support. Posters were in place in Maidenhead, Cookham, High Wycombe and Marlow and many other places, libraries, Supermarkets, even Maidenhead Town Hall! But the support wasn’t forthcoming. 

Thank you to all who did turn out. You turned down the attractions of a sunny day and the rugby (both of course being on free offer!). Sadly not everyone did!

For those who did come, I know it was a great musical experience. Someone wrote afterwards that to get so many well known jazz musicians in one place on one day was a great achievement. 

But it IS to the musicians that my final remarks must be addressed. Thank you all for your great support, for continuing to play “in the sticks” for us, and for keeping Hedsor Jazz on your gig list.

It was as one person remarked, a marathon day of jazz. Well done everyone!! Thank you all for coming, whether listeners or players. 

Our next Hedsor special event will be in October when Tracey Mendham will be coming on a day very near Halloween!!

Below I have placed some of the photos that I took from my lighting operators position at the back of the hall.

Clive Burton playing one of Dawkes Plastic Trombones

John Coverdale, who sat in in the second half of the Clive Burton Set

Mike Wills with John Coverdale

Alan Grahame during the Martin Hart Tribute to Benny Goodman

The Remix Jazz Orchestra

Simon Spillett who joined the Remix Jazz orchestra to play Tubby Hayes Charts

Jill Cook, who was joined by Steve Waterman to great effect

John Critchinson, always superb

No jam at the end, but a super blues from Nigel Price's Organ Trio 
with Vasilis Xenopoulos

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