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
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.
Straight No Chaser big band are delighted to be joined by special guest Steve Waterman, one of the top British jazz trumpet and flugel horn players both in the UK and on the international scene, at our coming gig on Sunday, 1st November at The Hassocks Hotel.
Steve Waterman will feature with SNC
We will feature not only Steve himself, but also Steve’s own original compositions and arrangements for big band of classic tunes by the great jazz composers Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown and Benny Golson.
Steve has won numerous BBC British jazz awards over the years and is Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Trinity College of Music, London, and visiting Jazz Trumpet specialist at The Royal Northern College of Music and The Welsh College of Music and Drama. Check out Steve’s website and learn more about his activities.
Would you really deliberately miss this opportunity to hear the Professor play? I thought not! See you on Sunday, 1st November at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7 pm, so come and grab your seat early!).
Straight No Chaser are back from the brief summer break and straight back into action!
A quick catch-up on our performances to date…
The SNC big band are proud to have played at the wedding celebrations of Jo Eagle and John Hinton on Sunday, 26 July. Playing a rapid sequence of song and dance numbers at the Old Market in Hove, nothing pleases us more than seeing groovers enjoying our music—yeah, we saw your dancing! Jo is Ali’s (baritone saxophone) sister and we’d like to extend as a band our very best wishes to Jo and John. Special mention goes to Susanna Alce for singing with us and Phil Laybourn (bass trombone) for not singing, but being our compère for the set.
We’re also very grateful for the terrific welcome at the Forest Row music festival on Sunday 20 September—our first gig since the summer break. Most of us didn’t expect the expert sound crew that managed to provide us each with our own microphone—that was a real treat, thanks! Again, the enthusiasm was infectious and we greatly appreciate being joined by the combined vocal talents of Gary Wright and Jacqui Sampson. We look forward to being back soon!
Next performance: Sunday, 1 November at The Hassocks Hotel—we’ll be joined by trumpeter Steve Waterman as our special guest, but more on that in another post!
Tonight we’re joined by singers Richard Ratcliffe, Abi Flynn and Dave Williams in our celebration of big band vocal music mixed with some of our favourite band numbers. This all kicks off at 7:30 tonight at our usual residency at The Hassocks Hotel, conveniently located across from Hassocks train station. We hope to see you there.
The Vocal Night has become a popular feature of our playing, both with you and the band. We certainly enjoy collaborating with local singers, each of whom bring their own special jazz style to our collective performance. Our most recent Vocal Nights at The Hassocks also included the talents of Sussanna Alce, Jo Kimber, Jeremy Lassen, Jacqui Sampson, and Kim Streader. Great performances and all live!