STOP-PRESS NEWS: on 25th November 2014 it was announced that – for the ninth time in ten years DIGBY FAIRWEATHER’S HALF DOZEN has won the ‘TOP SMALL GROUP’ category in the BRITISH JAZZ AWARDS for 2014! THANK YOU all for voting for us – your friendship, support and the fact that you like our music means an awful lot to the members of the ensemble! – JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, CRAIG MILVERTON, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER, NICK MILLWARD oh and DIGBY too!
DIGBY SAYS: “it’s hard to believe but 2015 marks the TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY of my beloved band the HALF DOZEN. Somehow – conquering all the problems of launching a brand-new band in the post Beatles era – we’ve fought our way through two decades and emerged only slightly the worse for wear but still blooming with youthful verve and barely a hangover to show for it! We’ve played with all the best for two decades- and now it’s OUR turn to shine!
As you may know (after all, you’re a friend!) the Half Dozen first got together in 1995 and played at all the South Bank concert halls as well as premier London jazz clubs for eight years (frequently for the Park Lane Group of John Woolf as well as – beyond London – at Snape Maltings and lots of other big venues ). Then in 2003 we teamed with the legendary GEORGE MELLY for five years of intensive touring! With George we played dozens of theatre concerts countrywide; Ronnie Scott’s for a sell-out month every Christmas , and also appeared on all of agent Jack’ Higgins’ ‘Kings of Jazz’ presentations with Humphrey Lyttelton, Acker Bilk and/or Kenny Ball. We also recorded three successful albums with GM and a variety of guests including Van Morrison, Jacqui Dankworth and the Swingle Singers. Since George died in 2007 we’ve appeared regularly with the wonderful Paul Jones whenever that (very!) busy man can join us between commitments with the Manfreds, his great ‘Blues Band’ , broadcasting for Radio 2 and much more.
So in 2015 we are touring our very own new show called ‘SWING’S THE THING’ ! There are a couple of reasons to celebrate actually; our anniversary as a fulltime ‘on-the-road’ group (of course!) and also that London’s ‘Worshipful Company of Musicians’ has recently given me their ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for ‘Services to Jazz’. I’ve no idea what they are but of course I’m chuffed!
After twenty years I think we are now establishing a fine solo track-record of our own for the ‘Half Dozen’. And with the (sad) demise of Humph, George M., Kenny Ball, Terry Lightfoot and dear Mr. Acker Bilk there really almost seems to be a need for a ‘new band on the block’ which sets out both to play good music and entertain – which is what we love to do! The possibility appears to be getting to people too, and if you’d like to look at the ‘Gigs’ page on the site you can see all our great new dates at major theatres and jazz festivals throughout the whole of 2015.
And of course!! If you’d like to book our merry crew for anything from a party to a season of six concerts at the Albert Hall (although we’re actually already playing there with the ‘London Half Dozen’ on Thursday March 12th in the Elgar Room) we’d love to hear from you. So here are ALL my contacts”
‘Digby Fairweather Productions’: Office phone/Ansaphone :01702 435727. Office administrator:Gwendoline Sweetingham.
Mobiles:07957 423821/ 07938 227925
Address:129 Westborough Road, Westcliff on Sea,EssexSS0 9JG
Website: digbyfairweather.com (There’s a lot about the Half Dozen on this! – but as you’re on the site you know that already!!)
Love to you all and let’s share an Anniversary drink in 2015!
DIGBY, JULIAN, CHRIS, CRAIG, DOMINIC, AL and NICK !
THE HALF DOZEN!!!!!!WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!XXX