Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield (College Grove) Sports Club on Friday, October 5.
The untimely death, after a brief illness, of long-standing promoter Chris de Saram makes the arrival of the autumn season at Wakefield Jazz this week a bitter-sweet occasion. Chris had been the mainstay of Wakefield Jazz for 15 years, booking the bands and compering the gigs, and will be a hard act to follow. His legacy however is a full programme of exciting jazz for this autumn, and the committee is swinging into action to keep the show on the road. Over the next couple of months there will be acoustic guitar jazz, Lindisfarne-inspired Northumbrian pipes jazz, American bebop sax, Hammond organ grooves, New York cutting edge and a Christmas party featuring renowned singer Claire Martin and guitarist Jim Mullen with a tribute to the music of the great Wes Montgomery. The season begins on Friday with the best of current British jazz, the quartet Babelfish (pictured), featuring French singer Brigitte Beraha and pianist Barry Green, with two long standing rhythmic titans, Chris Laurence on bass and Paul Clarvis on drums. Original music and songs in a variety of languages (hence the babelfish reference), with strong melodies and groove. If you haven’t tried Wakefield Jazz yet, now is the time to start.
Local musician Pete Rosser will be presenting the first few gigs of the autumn season: “Jazz is alive and well and happening in Wakefield every Friday night. If you’re not sure if you like jazz or not, then come along and find out. Each band will have its own approach, but always you’ll find top quality musicians making unique live music together, and drawing in the audience on all levels,” says Pete.
Doors open at 7pm. Food available from 7.15pm. First Set 8.30pm prompt, second set 10pm. Tickets £15. Details and to buy tickets online go to www.wakefieldjazz.org or join the Wakefield Jazz group on Facebook and Twitter.