All that jazz at Staithes festival

Helena Johnson

Helena Johnson

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The seaside village of Staithes will once again stage its annual jazz extravaganza with music-lovers from far and wide expected to descend to soak up the entertainment.

The Yorkshire Heritage Coast Jazz Festival, which is in its seventh year, runs from today until Sunday, and will see seven top class bands mustering some of the country’s finest jazz musicians.

Friday and Saturday concerts will be in Staithes Village Memorial Hall with table seating and a licensed bar for food and liquid refreshments while the Sunday session will commence from lunchtime in the bar at the Captain Cook Inn from where the band will lead a swinging brolly parade down into Staithes old fishing village for a concert in St Peter’s Community Centre.

Friday’s Session opens at 6.30pm with the local Mat Anderson’s Quartet with Mat leading on the tenor sax.

He’ll be playing main stream jazz in the style of Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, Bud Freeman, Lester Young. From 8.30pm, Mat will exit the stage to be replaced by Yorkshire’s premier jazz men, The Savannah Jazz Band, playing Dixieland music.

They have played over the years at all the UK’s top festivals and have excited audiences all over Europe, from Malta to Sweden and on the North American continent.

Saturday afternoon sets off to an earlier start at 1 pm with The Vieux Carré Jazz Men being the first band for the afternoon session.

This band has been prominent in British jazz since its inception 62 years ago in 1951 on Tyneside.

Unfortunately the founder members have passed away but their successors are still continuing in great style with residencies on Tyneside and Wearside and in great demand at festivals.

Their performance will be followed around 3pm by Martin Bennett’s Old Green River Band a superb six piece Dixieland outfit.

Although the band is Manchester based, the Old Green River is an imaginary water course three thousand miles away in the USA. It is a humorous song about a water course that flows with copious amounts of whiskey.

The evening session will start at 7pm with a performance from the Festival All Stars Band - bringing together musicians from the festival bands.

Performers taking part are Chez Chesterman from The Old Green River, Gavin Lee, Henry Davis, Eric Brookes from the Red Onion Jazz Babies and Annie Hawkins from the Heritage Hall Band with rhythm support from Dan Mckeon (banjo) and Sonny Howdle (Drums) of the Young Red Onion Jazz Babies.

After the All Stars, the Red Onion Jazz Babies take centre stage to end the evening with a session of hot, foot-tapping New Orleans and Dixieland style of Jazz.

The average age of the five regular members is 28 and they are supplemented by two more mature top class jazz men Henry Davis on trumpet and Eric Brookes on piano.

Sunday sees the final session of the festival start off in the Captain Cook Inn around 12.30 with Brian Carrick’s Heritage Hall Jazz Band playing for about an hour before they lead a brolly parade down into the old part of Staithes.

They will proceed to St Peter’s Community Centre where, at 3pm, they will play a storming session of New Orleans style Jazz hymns, spirituals and gospel music.

Brian Garrick performs frequently in New Orleans mostly playing the music of the iconic jazz clarinettist George Lewis.

Performance times 
and ticket prices:

l Tonight: One session (2 bands) £12 advanced £15 on door 6.30 pm start

l Tomorrow: First session (2 Bands) £12 advance £15 on door 1pm start

l Tomorrow: Second session (2 Bands) £12 Advance £15 on door 7pm start

l Sunday: Band starts in Captain Cook Inn (12.30 pm), leads Brolly Parade through Staithes (2 pm), performs concert in St Peter’s Community Centre (3 pm)

£10 advance £12 on door

For further information go to www.staithesjazzfestival.co.uk of phone Trevor Readman 07964 279219 (mob.)