Friday, 12 August 2022

Top line-up for first jazz and blues week

PLANS are well underway for the inaugural Henley Jazz & Blues Week.

PLANS are well underway for the inaugural Henley Jazz & Blues Week.

A small group of live music enthusiasts, all of whom live locally and have solid commercial experience, have come up with the idea to “lift the winter onslaught blues” for people in early/mid November.

A collaborative effort between local enthusiasts, businesses and with the support of the Henley Partnership plus the town and district councils the first Henley Jazz & Blues Week is set to make the town buzz in November.

It is planned to become an annual event for Henley, starting small this year but importantly, with very high production values to entice quality audiences.

Brakspears are the lead sponsor and all of the music evenings will take place in a selection of their pubs and restaurants, both in Henley and the surrounding area. They will be launching a special “Top-Notch” ale to coincide with the Week.

Opening night at the Little Angel near Henley Bridge on November 8 will see Papa George and Mick Moody (ex Whitesnake) play JJ Cale songs in tribute to the late musician who died recently. A sax player will provide background entertainment during their two-set interval. Then there will be a Fifties/Sixties band, Junior Gueverra, for dancing to music that inspired JJ Cale himself, to round the evening off.

An array of high quality musicians and singers is currently being put together by local music agency Eight Ray Music and others, ensuring that every location delivers a quality experience. To date more than 20 Brakspear pubs in and around Henley are participating in the week.

Closing night will be at the Bull in Bell Street, Henley, when audiences will welcome multi-award winning, multi-instrumentalist, Alan Barnes. Barnes has played with jazz greats such as Stan Tracey, Humphrey Lyttleton and John Dankworth and artists such as Jamie Cullum, Bryan Ferry, Van Morrison, Selena Jones and Björk. He’ll be joined by top local bass player Andy Crowdy and upcoming young musician David Archer on guitar.

Other supporters are Incubator Ventures, Eight Ray Music, Crowdnoise, MultiMedia Plus, the Henley Partnership, Henley Town Council and South Oxfordshire District Council.

A detailed line-up and ticketing information will be announced in a Brakspear’s website link, to be launched shortly.

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