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Newsletter Nov'22

Updated: Apr 15, 2023

Dear Jazz Friends A warm welcome to people who have signed up to this newsletter in recent weeks. It's been a busy November for the Sunset Cafe Stompers, with several sell-out village hall events. If you're quick you can catch us at Langford Budville tonight (Fri). We shall of course be at the Ropemakers as usual on the 3rd Monday of each month, but otherwise the next few weeks are quiet for the band so I'll focus in this time on several solo and small group events before Christmas.. On 2 December at Ilminster Arts Centre I'll be playing - 'by popular demand' - solo piano. I've put together a varied programme inspired by the many jazz-age pianists (and other musicians) who shared the name Johnson. People like Chas L (composer of Dill Pickles Rag), Jaycee (Empty Bed Blues), James P (The Charleston), and Pete (Death Ray Boogie). If you know me well, you'll be wondering how my hero Jelly-Roll Morton is going to feature in this! Please come along to find out! On 9th, I'll be at Cheap Street church, Sherborne with my Elite Syncopations quartet (including Trevor Whiting (Reeds) Ali Whiting (Vocals, Violin) and Keith Hall (Bjo, Gtr). This is during the famous Christmas Tree Festival and so there will be plenty of greenery, atmosphere and a sprinkling of Christmassy numbers with a jazz pedigree. The following evening (10th) it's off to Cossington Village Hall, near Bridgwater - one of Roger Collett's splendid events - with UK boogie-woogie maestro Julian Phillips. We'll share the grand piano for an exciting evening of "Ragtime meets Boogie". On 14th I'm delighted to revisit Dorchester Arts and the splendidly-refurbished Corn Exchange. My two guests this time will be Tom 'Spats' Langham (Voc, Gtr, Bjo) and Mike Piggott (Violin), both top-drawer musicians who revel in the jazz of the 1920s and 30s. I'll finish by mentioning Dillington House. As you may have heard, this lovely education centre and wedding venue is sadly closing at the end of 2023. So it's a last chance to come to one of my courses/concerts there! On 4 March I'll be delivering a day course: "Tickling the Ivories". I'll compare and contrast the solo piano styles of ragtime, blues, stride and boogie woogie, and include tales about the pianists who invented them in the first half of the 20th century. Plenty of examples at the piano. Coffee, lunch, tea included. The following morning, 5 March, there is to be a Sunday coffee concert with Julian Phillips joining me at the piano. This is followed by lunch (optional). You can even choose to stay for the whole weekend! More info on Dillington website. That's all for now. Very best wishes and I hope to see you at one or more of the above jazz events in Dorset and Somerset. Mike

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