Saturday, 21 July 2018

Singer is going into the studio — to open a club

Singer is going into the studio — to open a club

SINGER Rebecca Poole is to start a new jazz club in Henley this September.

Miss Poole, who performs as Purdy, plans to host “Purdy’s Pop-Up Jazz Club” once a month, welcoming different musicians each time.

The opening night on Saturday, September 2, will see her perform with local musicians Hugh Turner on guitar, Paul Jefferies on double bass, and Stuart Henderson, on trumpet and percussion.

She was inspired to start the venture at the Henley Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society’s rehearsal studio, located next door to the Kenton Theatre in New Street, after performing with Ronnie Scott’s band at last year’s Henley Festival.

The singer, who grew up on the Joyce Grove estate in Nettlebed and now lives in Fulham, still regularly returns to the area to perform.

She said: “I was approached by local people who loved the show and they said ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was something like this in Henley?’ And we all agreed. I discussed it with my musicians and with friends who are musicians that I sing with locally and everyone thought ‘that’s a brilliant concept.’ ”

Miss Poole said she wanted to bring regular jazz performances back to Henley and used to enjoy visiting the town’s former jazz club in Market Place, where the Loch Fyne restaurant is now located.

“I decided after a bit of deliberation that I might start a small, intimate club,” she said.

“A lot of music comes to the town in the form of the regatta and festival but it would be nice to have something throughout the year and a special meeting place where people can enjoy music.

“I wanted to bring a high-class music event with a speakeasy style to the heart of Henley. I love that feeling when I come home and I’m performing. There’s a wonderful community spirit and the coming together of sharing music and cheer.

“Whenever I come and sing to local crowds I just get a warm reception. It makes me want to give something special back.”

She hopes in future to bring musicians she has worked with to the club and introduce them to Henley.

She explained: “I’m going to bring the country’s top musicians that I’ve had the pleasure of singing with over the years. I’m hoping to bring people from London and players from Ronnie Scott’s.

“We’re going to revisit sounds from the Twenties to the Fifties — popular standards and breakthrough originals. I’m hoping it will be well received.”

If successful, Miss Poole hopes to establish the club as a permanent fixture in the town’s calendar.

She added: “I feel that there’s entertainment for the younger generation but I feel there’s a lack of entertainment in the town for people who want to sit down, listen and enjoy a show and something people can go along to after having a meal.

“We’re not going to be strict in the song style and influences. With every artist there will come a different cross-section.

“People who have come to see me before know I’m big on engaging with my audience — it becomes a party atmosphere!

“It’s really just another string to add to my bow. I would like to encourage people to come and experience different styles of music with the genre that I have grown to love over the years and be a part of.”

The opening night of Purdy’s
Pop-Up Jazz Club will begin at 8pm and early bird tickets priced £13 are now available from Miss Poole’s website at

Tickets priced £16 will also be available on the door.

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