Tony White keeps you up to date with the jazz scene in Bucks
JUNE sees a couple of really mouthwatering attractions in local venues, the first at Berkhamsted and the second at Marlow.
The penultimate concert of the current Berkhamsted Jazz season brings the Frank Griffith Nonet with vocalist Tina May to the town’s Civic Centre on Saturday June 6. American ex-pat Frank has lived in London since 1996 and is currently music lecturer and director of performance at Brunel University. Before leaving the States he worked with Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme, among many others, and he also wrote arrangements for the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.
With him at Berkhamsted will be some of our top players, including Henry Lowther and Robbie Robson on trumpets, trombonist Adrian Fry, Matt Wates and Mick Foster on saxophones, Nikki Iles on piano, Mark Hodgson on bass and drummer Paul Clarvis.
Apart from being one of our leading jazz singers, Tina May has led vocal courses in France – she studied in Paris for a year – and Italy.
Moving over to Marlow, June 16 will bring a truly dynamic tenor saxophone duo to the Royal British Legion: Art Themen and Don Weller, who will be appearing with the resident Frank Toms Trio. Neither of the guests needs any introduction to local jazz fans, Art Themen in particular appearing regularly in the Barn at Merlin’s Cave, Chalfont St Giles.
By the way, there’s still no news on when Sunday lunchtime jazz will resume at the refurbished Merlin’s Cave, but it won’t be too long now, I hope.
Other big names booked in locally in June include Al Nichols and Geoff Eales at Va Pensiero and The Roger Beaujolais Quartet playing the last concert of Berkhamsted’s current season.
Let us not forget the sessions at Amersham Jazz Club every Wednesday and the weekly appearance of the Clive Burton Quintet at Hedsor Social Club on Thursdays.