"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

Fri 8 Oct - 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

Mike Denham solo

Sun 24 Oct - Ilminster
Dillington House

“RAGTIME PRODUCES HYSTERIA, INSANITY – ragtime is not music, it is a disease” claims doctor.
This ragtime-era headline celebrated the world’s first pop music craze, 100 years ago.  Scott Joplin, the son of a slave, became the greatest of ragtime composers.

Great melodies, great stories about the musicians and the lives they led and, of course, that seductive ragtime rhythm.


Dillington present their 2nd Coffee Concert:

Piano Recital with Mike Denham, Scott Joplin & the Ragtime Professors.

Coffee from 10.45am
Concert 11.30am  to 12.30pm
Optional lunch to follow
Info: www.dillington.com/learn/programme
Tel: 01460 258648

Ben Cummings

12 Nov - Ilminster Arts Centre
11 Dec - Cossington Village Hall

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 


Julia Titus

9 Feb'22 - Dorchester Arts

(This event was previously to be on 24 Nov)

Julia Titus is an actress, poet, singer and songwriter. Among her talents is the ability to convicingly put over the songs of that great blues & vaudeville singer of the 1920s, Bessie Smith.


Building on her passion for the 'Empress of the Blues', Julia started to perform as Ma Bessie in 2015, sharing the music of Ms Smith and her contemporaries with a new generation of listeners. Expect to hear classics including 'Careless Love', ‘Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out’, ‘Gimme A Pig Foot (And A Bottle Of Beer)’, and of course 'Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight', all delivered with verve and style.

Bessie Smith recorded many titles accompanied by pianists James P Johnson & Clarence Williams with trumpeters Joe Smith & Louis Armstrong.  On this occasion Mike, at the grand piano, will be joined on trumpet by long-time colleage, Steve Graham.

This combination was a great hit at Ilminster Arts in 2019 - clips on YouTube.