Thursday, 15 November 2018

Landlords cheer return of jazz and blues

HENLEY’S pub landlords have welcomed the imminent return of the Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival —

HENLEY’S pub landlords have welcomed the imminent return of the Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival — with one who is taking part for the first time saying they have already sold out of dining tickets for both nights.

Now in its third year, the 2015 festival starts next Friday (November 13) and runs till Sunday, November 22 — a total of 10 days.

New dates, times, venues and acts are still being added to the bill, but at the time of going to press a total of 31 gigs have been confirmed — all but nine of which are taking place in Henley and neighbouring towns and villages.

Brakspear chief executive, Tom Davies, said: “Live music and pubs are perfect partners and we’re delighted to be staging the Brakspear Jazz and Blues Festival for a third year.

“The gigs provide great entertainment for our customers, while for our licensees they are a way of encouraging people to visit the pub during November, which can be a challenging trading period.”

One pub happy to be getting involved in the festival for the first time is the Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove. As reported last week, the Rebecca Poole Trio will be playing consecutive Friday night gigs starting at 8pm on November 13 and 22.

Landlady Tracey Taverner, who runs the pub with her husband Daniel, said: “This is the first time we’re doing something. We didn’t do it the last two years but we thought we’d give it a go this year. It’s been really good, actually — it sold out within a day of advertising it.”

Entry to the pub remains free on both nights. A two-course jazz menu had been on offer at £20. But as Tracey confirmed, all 120 food tickets have already sold out.

As well as Rebecca Poole, the trio features the talents of Hugh Turner on guitar and Paul Jeffries on double bass. Tracey, who has a 13-year-old daughter, said: “I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve not heard Rebecca play but I know Hugh because he teaches guitar to my daughter.

“I mentioned to him that we were thinking of doing the jazz and blues festival this year and he said: ‘Oh yes, I could sort you out something.’

“He’s really good and he knew Rebecca, and I have heard of her because she’s quite famous and a local girl originally, so I was really pleased.”

Tracey said she and Daniel were really pleased with the decision to get involved with the festival and said it would encourage them to consider putting on more music nights in future.

She added: “It’s very exciting. Rebecca is supposed to be brilliant — Hugh as a guitarist is fantastic — so it will be a nice treat for our customers.”

• Full details of the festival are available at

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