Sunday, 14 August 2022

New jazz festival discovers it has a rival

AN enthusiast is hoping to set up a regular jazz night to rival the Henley Jazz and Blues Week that

AN enthusiast is hoping to set up a regular jazz night to rival the Henley Jazz and Blues Week that takes place next month, writes Lesley Potter.

Rich Creed, of Simmons Road, Henley, came up with the idea of the jazz week but left the organising committee in January because of artistic differences.

The committee is made up of members of the Henley Partnership and the town council, among others.It will be putting on a week of jazz and blues nights in Brakspear pubs around Henley and hopes it will become an annual event.

Now Mr Creed has launched his own series of events which he hopes will become a regular jazz club.

He said: “The original idea and concept for an autumn jazz festival in Henley was mine, pitched as Henley Autumn Jazz. It was to have featured a wide variety of top-quality gigging jazz acts.

“Unfortunately, due to artistic differences and lack of sponsorship, this did not materialise and I decided to focus my energies in a different direction.

“Personally, I was annoyed but from my own point of view it’s great that it’s going to bring some interest in jazz and create a springboard for what I’m trying to do.”

Mr Creed, who was born in Henley and brought up in Twyford, worked in London as a web designer before moving to Henley four years ago.

He said: “When I came here there were a few bits and pieces happening but they were never continued. If you went to a jazz event on a Wednesday night it wasn’t going to be there the following Wednesday. I had the idea it would be great to have a jazz club here. Reading and Oxford have thriving jazz scenes but Henley seems to have dropped the ball.”

His first solo venture was a jazz night at the Cherry Tree in Stoke Row, which he said was “extremely well received”.

Peter McConnell, who was involved in organising the original festival, said: “Rich did come up with the idea this time last year and we thought it was a good one but there were musical differences and in the end it was too late to run the festival, which should have happened in March.

“I am pleased that he is putting on jazz nights. The festival is a different concept because it has jazz and blues. I think they compliment each other.”

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