"Intimate concerts in which Mike duets with musicians of the highest calibre from the world of jazz"
Mike's SpeakEasy Nights began more than a decade ago at Ilminster Arts Centre. Latterly there have also been regular sessions at Dorchester Arts and from time to time (by request) at other venues. The formula has proved very popular with audiences.... and highly enjoyable for the musicians!
SpeakEasy Nights have featured many top musicians including (but not limited to!) Enrico Tomasso, Steve Graham, Ben Cummings (Trumpet), John Wurr, Mike Snelling, Pete Allen (Clarinet), Jim Fryer (Trombone), Spats Langham, Martin Wheatley (Banjo, Guitar), Mike Piggott, Chris Garrick (Violin).
Ragtime meets Boogie Woogie!
Mike Denham, Julian Phillips
Fri 8 April - Cheap Street Church, Sherborne
Julian Phillips is one of the UK's top boogie woogie piano players. At the magnificent Steinway in this super venue, Julian and Mike will explore these two remarkable 20th C piano styles.
Fri 10 June - Ilminster Arts Centre
Michael McQuaid is one of a younger generation of musicians enthusiastically devoted to jazz and swing from the 1920s and 30s. He plays with remarkable energy, skill and originality. He performs on clarinet, saxophones, trumpet and even occasionally piano. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has established an international reputation.
McQuaid has toured the world as a featured artist and bandleader. He has performed with the contemporary greats of 1920s and 1930s jazz – Keith Nichols, Vince Giordano, Bob Wilber, Spats Langham, Andy Schumm, Bob Barnard, Jon-Erik Kellso, Martin Litton, Bent Persson, Duke Heitger, Geoff Bull, Josh Duffee and many more.
‘A rare talent!’ (Kevin Jones, Australian jazz writer)
‘A first-class jazz improviser…’ (Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, New York, US)
Fri 8 July - Sherborne Cheap St Church
Emma Fisk is a UK based jazz violinist, specialising in Hot Club/ Gypsy Jazz, Classic Jazz and Swing styles. She has received critical acclaim both for her spirited gypsy jazz performances, and her interpretations of early jazz violin master, Joe Venuti's music.
Emma's current projects include her Gypsy Jazz quartet 'Hot Club du Nord' and a Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang inspired duo with guitarist James Birkett. She appears at festivals and jazz clubs with many of the top UK and international players including for example Keith Nichols, Jeff Barnhart, Remi Harris, Spats Langham, Martin Wheatley, Enrico Tomasso. She was highly ranked in the 2018 British Jazz awards and her engaging personality adds to her appeal.
"a violinist with a dark rich tone, a love for melody, and a way of swinging without being syrupy"
Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives