Well, good chums and readers, Summer is i’comin’ in and with it the usual welter of gigs great and small! July brings with it the mighty Birmingham International Jazz Festival whose directors have paid me the huge compliment of offering me the post of Patron after the unhappy demise of the great Humphrey Lyttelton! He’s a hard act to follow (as we all know) but I shall do my very best and the immediate duties involve saying ‘a few words’ at the Festival’s opening breakfast (suit and tie required!) and then talking about Humph and his mammoth contribution to our music at Borders Bookshop in Birmingham’s Bullring (dig the alliteration!) on Saturday July 5th (4-5pm); then leading the ‘Humph Memorial Jam Session’ organized by the visionary Secretary of the Jazz Section of the MU, Julie Plant, at Wine Republic on Tuesday 8 July at 7pm. I’m looking forward to that……
Digby’s Half Dozen is playing regularly all over the country this Summer (have a look at the gig list for details) and we’d love you to come and say ‘hello’; recently we’ve sold out the Winchfield Jazz Festival and also a big charity concert for the North Devon Hospice with good friends Kenny Ball and premier singer Val Wiseman. ‘T’was a ball!’ as Louis might have said, and the band – Julian Marc Stringle, Chris Gower, Craig Milverton, Dominic Ashworth, Len Skeat and Nick Millward all send their love, as do I. Our new agaent PAUL RIPLEY is busy taking bookings so do give Paul a ring and say ‘hello’ on 01905 778177!
There’s still time too, to book tickets for our great Jazz trip to Bittberg Germany with Julan Marc, the great Roy Williams and an all star Dixieland contingent running from July 12th-16th. You can call Tim Lord for tickets for this amazing jazz crusade on 01746 763685!
Paul Jones and the Half Dozen continue their new partnership as Summer turns into Autumn and we plan to record for Peter Clayton’s ‘Robinwood’ label, once Paul gets back from Australia. He’s out there on tour just now, but back from the outback soon. And don’t forget that the Half Dozen with special guest Anita Wardell – one of our favourite singers! – goes into London’s Ronnie Scott’s from 9-11th October. That’ll be great.
Of course we all know about the sad losses this year; Campbell Burnap (very suddenly and tragically) Humph (ditto), Allan Ganley, Dick Charlesworth – too many for comfort. Still, I know what they’d say – ‘Remember us with a smile – and Keep Swingin”. We’ll do that………..
Love to you all,