"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).


Emma Fisk

11 Oct - Ilminster Arts Centre

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

John Maddocks, Nick Ward

15 Nov - Shelley Theatre, Boscombe

John Maddocks is one of the most popular clarinettists on the British traditional jazz scene.  Initially inspired by New Orleans clarinettists  George Lewis and Johnny Dodds, he developed his own unique style.  His Black Bottom Stompers enjoyed huge success in London and since then he has led his south coast based Jazzmen to great acclaim.

Mike and John will be joined by the UK's leading exponent of vintage jazz drumming, Nick Ward -  affording the not-to-be missed opportunity to revisit some of the Trio recordings of one of Mike's heroes, Jelly Roll Morton 

Ben Cummings

20 Nov - Dorchester Arts Centre

World-class trumpet


Ben Cummings has played and recorded at top level in almost every genre from New Orleans and vintage jazz to soul, salsa and pop.  Currently touring with Caro Emerald, plus occasional appearances with Emeli Sandé, he maintains his jazz chops in the Kenny Ball Jazz Band, Miss Kiddy and the Cads, and a wide variety of other ensembles.  

The evening's theme: Jazz Age Chicago, revisiting the music of the youngsters of the day: Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Earl Hines, Jimmy Yancey 

© 2018 by Mike  Denham.