Every so often, stars align and musical sparks fly. Last night’s gig with Mark Bassey felt to me like one of those fabulous nights. Mark was terrific, of course – thanks Mark – but I truly enjoyed witnessing the enthusiasm and support from such a lovely audience.
Our view of you!
Great to see dancers and we’re looking forward to our Brighton Fringe gig together in the Spiegel Tent on Saturday, 20 May.
Thanks also to our deps: Titch Walker and Kris Jones on trumpet and Andy Pickett on baritone sax. Quality! Also, thanks again to Neil Garrett for these beautiful images.
Straight No Chaser
As promised earlier, please welcome and hear from our new trombonist Richard Nield. If you are still yet to hear Richard play, then you’re in for a treat! Richard’s solos are smooth, lyrical and very clever. We’re all delighted that Richard has joined the band and we’re sure you will be impressed too!
But enough from me; here’s Richard:
Richard Nield at The Brunswick, 5 Feb 2017 (Photo: Neil Garrett)
“I’m new to the Brighton area, having moved here just at the end of 2016 due to the demands of my day job, and was delighted to be asked to join Straight No Chaser!
I’ve been involved with Big Bands seemingly for all of my life — my earliest memory being travelling in the back of a Transit van on the way to gigs being run by my father, Alan. Over the years I’ve played trombone for diverse groups, including the Fat Chops Big Band, Steve King Big Band, The Rat Pack, the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Memphis Belle Orchestra. I’ve been lucky to have performed with Matt Ford, Mark Nightingale, Bobby Shew, Bruce Adams, Pete Cater, Pete Long, John Ruddick, and many others.
I also ran my own Badgers Big Band, which made quite a name for itself around my former home area in Warwickshire.”
Richard Nield plays a smooth solo (Photo: Neil Garrett)
Impressive! Come and hear Richard play with our special guest Mark Bassey on our trombontastic evening this Sunday at The Hassocks (7:30 pm).
“Eyes down” during rehearsal with Mark Bassey (Photo: Ali)
Rehearsing with Mark Bassey for this Sunday’s concert at The Hassocks reminded me on how truly lucky we are at Straight No Chaser to play with Britain’s top players.
Practising with Mark Bassey
You perhaps remember that Mark and his quintet played with us during the 2015 Brighton Fringe, which was definitely one of our high points. Looking back to last year, the sensational Steve Waterman (trumpet) renewed our previous collaboration and entertained us all playing his own arrangements at another first-rate, opening-night Brighton Fringe performance.
Steve Waterman at Brighton Fringe 2016 (Photo: Neil Garrett)
Now, looking ahead to Friday 5 May, world-renowned saxophone/clarinet musician Alan Barnes has kindly agreed to join us to kick-off this year’s Brighton Fringe. Please join us this Sunday with Mark Bassey and book your tickets now to join us with Alan Barnes on Friday 5 May for “Sir Duke: Tribute to Ellington”.
Alan Barnes to play with SNC
Great again to see so many friendly faces at The Brunswick last month! If you missed us, we played Simon D’souza’s music from the Navigation CD as well as a few select favourites.
Straight No Chaser at The Bruswick, Hove, 5 Feb 2017
The more observant of you will notice that we have a few new faces in the band (many thanks to Neil Garrett for the photographs). The Straight No Chaser Big Band continues to have a stable membership, though sadly some of our players have elected to stand-back from “front line” duty due to their other commitments. They will all be back from time-to-time, but we now have some new players to welcome!
Watch this Blog for brief introductions to the “new guys” (I have the first ready and waiting). Before I begin, I apologise for not writing for so long (almost a year – I can’t believe it!). I will endeavour to fill in some gaps and tell you about our up-coming activities for the Brighton Festival Fringe.
Our next gig is at The Hassocks this coming Sunday (7:30 start) with our very special guest, Mark Bassey, on trombone. We’ll be re-visiting the music of Count Basie, which is always popular with us! I hope to see you there – free gig (we’ll just pass around the hat).
The fabulous Mr Mark Bassey
Roll up! Roll up! Book your tickets without delay to hear jazz trumpet ace Steve Waterman again join Straight No Chaser in an extra special concert on the opening night of Brighton Festival on Friday, 6 May (that’s next week!).
We’re playing at the Brighton Unitarian Church (same road as the Theatre Royal) starting at 8 pm. The theme is rather appropriately “Kings of the Jazz Trumpet” and includes music written/arranged by Steve himself in tribute to the trumpet greats through the ages. Limited tickets are still available from the Brighton Festival Box Office.
We are delighted that Steve is joining us. Hopefully, you joined us last year for Fun Time, our homage to Count Basie with our special guests Mark Bassey and his quintet. Trombonist Mark Bassey again joined us earlier this year on 21 February at The Hassocks (without his quintet) for a thoroughly entertaining Sunday evening showcasing a selection of his other compositions/arrangements, generously featuring some of our own jazz solists as well as Mark’s masterfully weaved improvisations. Thanks Mark!
Did you hear us pay homage to Thad Jones on Sunday, 3 April at The Brunswick, Hove? What a terrific concert that was! I’m sure any member of the band freely admitted that the music was challenging to play in places, but we were all delighted with the result. A huge thank you to our trumpeter Martijn Van Galen who loaned us the charts and rehearsed and directed us through them. I am sure we will be playing through these again soon!
Martijn Van Galen
One last plug, we will be joining with our friends at “Sunday in the Park with Jazz” on 5 June (from 1 pm onwards) at the Brighton Open Air Theatre (B.O.A.T.), Dyke Road (just up from BHASVIC). Lots planned for this event, so let’s hope for good weather and we hope to see you there!
Straight No Chaser are playing at the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell tomorrow evening (start at 8 pm). Great to be back at the Abergavenny Arms again – June was our last visit – and a few of us will be arriving early for a nice meal before playing.
Importantly, we’ll be collecting for the charities our fabulous friend Simon D’souza wanted to support. These include The Brain Tumor Charity, a cause for which you may have heard in the news could do with a boost! We will be playing lots of swing favorites and joined by both Gary Wright and Susanna Alce on vocals. See you tomorrow.
A quick round-up of our recent back-to-back gigs at The Bruswick:
- Great to see so many of you for our New Year gig on 3 January, when we played Simon’s Navigation Suite – as popular with us to play as this is for you. Thanks again to Abi Flynn for joining us for some vocal numbers.
- On 29 November, you would have noticed that Susanna Alce sang with us (and not Abi, as advertised). Many thanks to Susanna for stepping in and again performing so well on vocals after Abi unfortunately (but understandably) needed to step down.
I’ve been asked when we will next be playing at The Hassocks Hotel. This will be Sunday, 21 February (in just 2 weeks) and we’ll be joined by our very special guest soloist Mark Bassey on trombone.
Great news! Following a terrific joint performance at the start of this month, trumpet star Steve Waterman has agreed to join us again at our Brighton Festival Fringe concert on Friday, 6 May. Be sure to put this one in your diaries! Remember this year’s Fringe concert?
Our next performance is coming up this weekend! We’re playing at The Brunswick in Hove. This time, we’re delighted to be joined by the sensational singer Abi Flynn. Free entry and plenty of free parking on the seafront at this time of year.
Doors open at The Brunswick at 7:00 pm for our 7:30 pm start. We’re playing plenty of your favourite tunes… and we’ll pass the hat around for the usual “rating” of how we play!
We’ll also be back playing at The Brunswick first thing in the new year. We’ll be revisiting the Navigation suite on Sunday, 3 January 2016.
See you soon!
Steve Waterman with Straight No Chaser Big Band, 1 November 2015