Gigs

Friday, March 31st, 2017
A night in Chichester for DIGBY’S HALF DOZEN….

Tonight our poll-winning HALF DOZEN plays CHICHESTER JAZZ CLUB, Pallant Suite, 7 South Pallant, Chichester PO19 1SY. For tickets please call: 01243 527730. JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, CRAIG MILVERTON, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD will all be there and rarin’ to blow! (Oh, and SING too!). The Half Dozen achieved its eleventh win in 2016 as ‘Top Small Group’ in the British Jazz Awards so do come along and say hello to us ageing but unbowed men who have spent 22 years on the road with never a cross word! Looking forward to seeing you in one of our favourite cities (my uncle had a yacht Marina there years ago – Williams and Smithells by the way…..!

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017
Coming back to the Queens…….

Today at lunchtime (from 1pm) I’ll be at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch, guesting with my good friend Pete Corrigan’s legendary ‘Band of Hope’ – a session which is now in its 43rd year! (We started playing there at the age of 6!) Address is Billet Lane, Hornchurch, London RM11 1QT and the phone number is: 01708 443333. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
The mighty RICO at the Cricketers Jazz Bar

Tonight I’m thrilled to be joined by the mighty trumpeter RICO TOMASSO – a regular pollwinner and the ‘spiritual son of Louis Armstrong’ – who gave him his first trumpet lessons back in l969 up at Batley Variety Club! (He taught him to play poker too!).  Rico is the best trumpeter in the UK just now and this will be a great gig so do get there early. The Cricketers, 228 London Road, Westcliff on Sea SS0 7JG. Plenty of parking over the road, Carlo’s supreme cuisine – and the music’s FREE!

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Back to the HUNTER CLUB……

One of our FAVOURITE gigs for one of our (absolutely FAVOURITE!!) promoters Jim Bayne. This time Jim and I plus the great Chris Ingham Trio and guests DUNCAN HEMSTOCK (reeds) and CHRIS GOWER (trombone) will be presenting ‘Some Louis/Some Divas of Swing’. Of course it’s LOUIS ARMSTRONG (who else?) and our very own beloved Diva is the great VAL WISEMAN! Doors open at midday and tickets are £12.50 including food! It’s good to book early as Jim ALWAYS sells out so please call:01284 762508 to be sure of tickets!

Sunday, May 7th, 2017
Digby on the ropes……

Today I’m playing a  gig for the great pianist (and cyclist!) Mike Hatchard at the Ropetackle Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex BN43 5EG. It’s Mike’s monthly ‘jazz breakfast’ which starts at 11am and for tickets please call 01273 464440 or e-mail:admin@ropetacklecentre.co.uk. See you there – and I’ll bring the cornflakes! Looking forward……!

Friday, May 12th, 2017
‘LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ at Stamford…..

Tonight the renowned tribute show ‘LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ (back on the road after a short break) comes to Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St. Mary’s Street, Stamford, LINCS PE9 2DL. Starring the great VAL WISEMAN playing BILLIE (her new live album for the show is recently out onBig Bear Records by the way!) she’ll be accompanies by Alan Barnes, Roy Williams, Brian Dee, Len Skeat and Eric Ford. Oh: and me too! For tickets please call:01780 763203 or e-mail: boxoffice@stamfordartscentre.com

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Flying down to Fleet……..for some jazz!

Today I’ll be visiting the FLEET JAZZ CLUB to play with JULIAN MARC STRINGLE and my good friend (and fine bass-player too) Marianne Wyndham and her Trio. We play at 8pm and our concert is at The Harlington Centre, 236 Fleet Road, Fleet, Hants GU51 1BY. For tickets please call: 01252 811009 – and look forward to seeing you there! It’ll be great!

Friday, May 26th, 2017
Swingin’ at The Barn……….

To our great delight the HALF DOZEN and I are returning to one of our favourite – and most beautiful – venues, THE BARN, CARLTON for our old friends JOHN and JANE TUSTING! JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, VRAIG MILVERTON, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD  – our all-star pollwinning troupe! – will all be there, and the music starts at 7.30pm. For tickets please call John or Jane on: 01234 720908, and look forward to seeing you at this gorgeous venue for good music!

Friday, June 2nd, 2017
Back to our beloved Kenneth More Theatre

This evening we come back to the Kenneth More Theatre to play for our dear friends  Steven Day and Sally Woodfield – and YOU of course! A very special concert for the Half Dozen on its ‘Farewell Tour’ and the whole A-team will be there: Jools, Chris, Craig, Dominic, Al and Nick!(I’m sure you don’t need the surnames after 22 years!!). This year we’ve won the ‘British Jazz Award’ for the eleventh time (no really!!) and we’ve got new tunes to play for you, our close harmony vocals on some of our favourite songs and features for all our pollwinning soloists – and of course our great band set. So do book early to be sure of seats!  The Kenneth More Theatre box office is on 020 8553 4466 and the address is Oakfield Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 1BT. Look forward to seeing you for a GREAT evening!

Saturday, June 17th, 2017
A GREAT BIG MYSTERY – HELP!!

Well! In MY diary there’s a gig for my Half Dozen with the mysterious inscription ‘Bowie’! But since David’s gone aloft – and taken his knife with him (??)  – I’m at a loss! No contract – and no phone call!! So if you  – my dear mysterious stranger – are expecting the Half Dozen to arrive at your club/house/concert hall – do LET ME KNOW pronto so I can assemble all the gentlemen of the orchestra! Otherwise we will be watching TV…………

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Hitchin a ride…….!

Tonight our poll-winning Half Dozen (DIGBY, JULIAN MARC, CHRIS GOWER, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER AND NICK MILLWARD) makes its annual return to the delightful MARKET THEATRE HITCHIN for our good friend KIRK FOSTER! The show starts at 8pm and the address is 6a Sun Street, Hitchin, Herts S95 1AE . We’re happy that the show is always packed so please call 01462 433553 to be sure of a seat. If you’re PC-friendly you can also e-mail:

info@markettheatre.co.uk

Thanks!!

Saturday, June 24th, 2017
On tour in the North ……….June 24-26

Yes, once again I take the ‘Great North Road’ for three concerts! It’s been a little while so it’ll be good to meet old friends again!  On Sunday 25th I’ll be at the NEWTOWN NATIONAL CLUB with the marvellous tenorist FRANK BROOKER and his  great Trio: Tom Kincaid (piano) Jim Swinnerton (bass) and Jack Cotterill (drums). On Monday we all play at the FAIRWAY HOTEL BARNSLEY. Details of our Saturday gig yet to be advised but watch this space for ‘further announcements and more good news!’ (Lionel Hampton (1938)

Friday, August 4th, 2017
‘ROCKING IN RHYTHM’ is back on the road……

We don’t get to do our ‘ROCKING IN RHYTHM’ show with the great PAUL JONES as often as we’d like, but tonight we’re delighted to come back to GORING JAZZ, GORING-ON-THAMES with the great Paul and our complete Half Dozen: DIGBY, JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, CRAIG MILVERTON, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD. The venue is Goring Village Hall, High Street, Goring on Thames RG8 9AG – and for tickets please call Bill Jackson:01491 875758.

Saturday, August 19th, 2017
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE PERSHORE JAZZ FESTIVAL

We couldn’t be happier that our great friend (and occasional P/A supplier!!) GRAHAM SMITH (and wife MAGGIE!) have invited us back to the PERSHORE JAZZ FESTIVAL! So all the members of our pollwinning HALF DOZEN (DIGBY, JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, CRAIG MILVERTON, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD) will be on hand – and, who knows, you may find various members of the H/D circulating around stages on Sunday as well!)! Thanks Graham. For tickets please call: 01386 554235 or e-mail:festival@pershorejazz.org.uk

Can’t wait to play for you!

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
CHRIS INGHAM AT THE CRICKETERS…!

In recent years the great pianist-singer CHRIS INGHAM has made a huge name for himself playing and singing with his great quartet at RONNIE SCOTT’S. PIZZA EXPRESS, THE PHEASANTRY  and other top London venues. He’s also produced two exquisite albums dedicated to the musics of HOAGY CARMICHAEL and DUDLEY MOORE. Tonight we’re very lucky to have Chris at the Cricketers with Roger Curfey and Alan Clarke and maybe Dig will sit in for a tune or two! Music at 8.30 -0 and you know the rest!

Sunday, October 1st, 2017
Back to the HUNTER CLUB for JIM BAYNE

It’s always good to come back to our favourite – The Hunter Club – and this time our friend Jim Bayne has devised a show celebrating two legends: BIX BEIDERBECKE and BUCK CLAYTON. Expect selections from Buck’s immortal Jam Sessions from the 1950s (‘Jumping at the Woodside’ ‘The Hucklebuck’ and more) and cherry-picks from the   immortal Beiderbecke canon including selections from ‘The Wolverines’ his great ‘Gang’ recordings and Paul Whiteman’s immortal recordings with Bix and Tram too. two-trumpet collaborations. With us will be the all-star A-team assembly of Roy Williams, Alan Barnes and Julian Marc Stringle so the stories – as well as the music – will flow fast and furious! Jim’s shows are always sold out so DO book early to get good seats: 01284 762508! We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, October 6th, 2017
A BIG DEAL FOR ‘LADY SINGS THE BLUES’

Tonight we bring the great ‘LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ revue to DEAL in Kent. Venue tba. Watch this space!!

Thursday, December 7th, 2017
THE HALF DOZEN AT THE REFORM CLUB……

Tonight the full HALF DOZEN – at the end of their poll winning year (eleven British Jazz Awards in twelve years!) – end their tour at the world-famous REFORM CLUB for their great friend KEITH McDOWELL! All the gentlemen of the Mighty Orchestra – DIGBY, JULIAN MARC, CHRIS GOWERM CRAIG MILVERTON, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD – will be warming up the seventeen days up to Christmas  with an early celebration of Swing and their favourite songs. It’s a private concert we think – but I’ll let you know if there are seats to spare!! Merry Christmas! Digby.


Previous Gigs

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
Spats at the Cricketers Jazz Bar…….

One of our biggest stars in British classic jazz is Thomas ‘Spats’ Langham who adores the classic crooners of jazz, plays guitar like Eddie Lang and also the fastest banjo since Vess Ossman! Tonight Spats makes his first visit to the Cricketers to entertain us with great songs and his…

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
A tribute to Nat Gonella in his home town….

Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club, Dolphin Crescent. Gosport PO12 2HE. Please phone Dickie Newman for tickets: 023 9242 9302 And that’s the address for one of my BIG gigs of the year – celebrating the life and music of my great hero, the late NAT GONELLA! Nat played his last West…

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017
Movies at The Jazz Centre UK

There’s a movie today at The Jazz Centre UK at 2pm! Big-screen delights for all the family………..

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Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Down to Dean Street………

Tonight the HALF DOZEN and I play our latest gig at The PIZZA EXPRESS, 10 DEAN STREET, LONDON W1D 3QG for our good pal Joseph Paice! JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, CHRIS GOWER, DOMINIC ASHWORTH, AL SWAINGER and NICK MILLWARD will all be there blowing up a storm and singing our favourite songs…

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Gigs at the Spice of LIfe – and the Cricketers Jazz Bar!!

Quite a day today! Lunchtime I’m at ‘The Spice of Life’ Cambridge Circus with the great RON RUSSELL JAZZ BAND; then home (at speed) to join the ‘fastest tenor-sax in the West – or East’ – SIMON SPILLETT! Ron’s band at lunchtime features TIM HUSKISSON (clarinet) and CHRIS GOWER (trombone)…

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Saturday, February 4th, 2017
Movie today at The Jazz Centre…….

A movie at The Jazz Centre UK today! We’re open for requests! Curtain up at 2pm!

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2017
Over to the Isle of Wight……..

Today I’m heading over to the Isle of Wight to play for my good friend BILL WILLS with my all-star quintet: JULIAN MARC STRINGLE (reeds/vocals) DOMINIC ASHWORTH (guitars.vocals) AL SWAINGER (bass/vocals) and NICK MILLWARD (drums/vocals). This band is swamped with singers! – but we can swing too! Promise! Our concert…

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Saturday, January 21st, 2017
Movies at The Jazz Centre UK……….

Hi! Today there’s another movie on the Big Screen at The Jazz Centre UK. It’s at 2pm and we’re showing the marvellous documentary simply  called ‘The History of Jazz’ in the ‘Masters of Jazz’ series. As usual it’s free but we’d appreciate a ‘contribution’ after the show is over if you…

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Our first session at the wonderful ‘Jazz Bar at the Cricketers’ 228 London Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex  SS0 7JG (we’re there every second Wednesday of the month by the way!). Tonight Tim Huskisson’s Trio and I will be presenting (or should that be ‘challenging’??) the Great American Songbooks with our…

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
A Daryl Sherman record recital……

This is American legend DARYL SHERMAN who plays her one and only concert at The Jazz Centre UK on Saturday 14th January 2017 at 2pm. Today I’ll be presenting a one-hour record recital of Daryl’s greatest music on record – and selling tickets for her concert as well! The recital…

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Saturday, January 7th, 2017
Jazz Movies at The Jazz Centre (UK)

Come and visit The Jazz Centre (UK); say ‘hello’ and see a jazz movie on the Big Screen in our Cinema. The address is ‘The Jazz Centre (UK), Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, Essex SS0 6EX. Lots of room for everyone and it’s free (though a contribution will…

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Saturday, December 31st, 2016
THE NEW YEAR’S EVE SECRET IS OUT!!!!

YES! It’s happening!!! Our New Year’s Eve Party at the Cricketers in their big club venue ‘The Venue’ (home of Southend Rhythm Club back in l965!!)! Our hosts are Cassie, Carlo and Christina and we promise you an unforgettable few hours to usher in 2017! Carlo’s delicious food, bar-snacks, the…

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Friday, November 18th, 2016
All-Star jazz at ONGAR!

Tonight I’m returning to my favourite club of all – Ongar Jazz – where I’ve been Patron for many a year! Joining me will be a truly all-star group: JULIAN MARC STRINGLE  (clarinet); the legend – ROY WILLIAMS! – on trombone; MARTIN LITTON (piano) LEN SKEAT (double bass) and ALAN CLARKE (drums)….

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Friday, November 11th, 2016
A DATE WITH CHRISSIE LEE……

Tonight I’m playing for the great drummer and big band leader CHRISSIE LEE at her jazz club in West Mersea. The address is  The MICA Centre, 38 High Street, West Mersea, Colchester C05 8QA. Pease telephone:01206 384656 for tickets! Look forward to seeing all my Mersea friends again…..and playing for Chrissie too!

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
MEMORIES OF THE DUKE!

Tonight at the Cricketers (228 London Road, Westcliff, SS0 7JG)  we bring you a tribute to the music of the great DUKE ELLINGTON; jazz’s greatest orchestra leader! Hear all of his legendary standards from ‘Mood Indigo’ and ‘Sophisticated Lady’ to ‘Mood Indigo’. Our all-star cast tonight includes a welcome return from…

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Sunday, October 16th, 2016
Back to the Jazz Corner of the World – right here in London!

Yes: today at lunchtime I’m back at RONNIE SCOTT’S! – and the address is 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT – as if you needed to know! With me will be my musical partners of many years – Julian Marc Stringle (reeds,vocals) and Dominic Ashworth (guitars, vocals) plus  bass and drums tba…

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
LOUIS AND FATS MAKE IT TO THE CRICKETERS!

Tonight at the Cricketers we celebrate the music of two of jazz’s supreme citizens: Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong and the equally great (in all senses!) Thomas ‘Fats’ Waller – Harlem’s ‘Harmful Little Armful’! Playing lots of their most famous tunes and songs we have a (truly) all-star ensemble at the club…

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Friday, October 7th, 2016
ROCKING IN RHYTHM at MARSDEN JAZZ FESTIVAL

We come to the MARSDEN JAZZ FESTIVAL for our good friend Barney Stephenson with our great ‘ROCKING IN RHYTHM’ show starring the HALF DOZEN and PAUL JONES! We don’t do this show very often (sadly) so don’t miss it this time round! Details to follow but you can look at…

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Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
HUNTER CLUB, Bury St Edmunds

Back to the HUNTER CLUB Bury St Edmunds (there’s still a few tickets left – I think!) for good friend JIM BAYNE and his all-star line-up of ALAN BARNES, JULIAN MARC STRINGLE, ROY WILLIAMS, CHRIS INGHAM’S TRIO – oh and me!! This is a lunchtime session as usual starting at…

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Saturday, October 1st, 2016
A gig for the Black Cultural Archive

What a lovely surprise! My dear friend PAULINE PEARCE (the Hackney Heroine and blues-singer beyond compare) has invited me to join her for an evening gig at the Elephant and Castle this evening. With me will be my Premier Quartet and together we’ll be celebrating the Blues and classic jazz…

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Friday, September 30th, 2016
A GREAT GIG AT ASHTEAD!

My good pal TOM EARLY has invited me to play a great set with his trio at ASHTEAD JAZZ CLUB, Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall, Woodfield Lane, Ashtead, KT21 2BE. I’m looking forward to this one! The music starts at 7.45 thru’ 10.15pm  and to book tickets you can call Tom…

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Saturday, September 24th, 2016
HALF DOZEN at ST AUDRIES BAY HOLIDAY CLUB

– the HALF DOZEN moves on from Ilminster to play at ST AUDRIES BAY HOLIDAY CLUB for their fantastic JAZZ WEEKEND organized by my old friend JOHN SHILLITO! Hi John! (You’ll be glad to hear I’ve given up the clarinet!!). For tickets call 01984 632515 and if you want details…

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Friday, September 23rd, 2016
HALF DOZEN at ILMINSTER ARTS CENTRE

The HALF DOZEN continues its ’21st Birthday UK Tour’ with a concert at ILMINSTER ARTS CENTRE, Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster Somerset TA19 0AN. All the stars will be there – CRAIG, JULIAN MARC, CHRIS, DOM, AL and NICK – and we look forward to playing for you again. Details…

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
THE HALF DOZEN COMES TO CARSHALTON!

AS part of our 21st Anniversary Tour the LONDON HALF DOZEN (Julian Marc, Chris Gower, Dominic Ashworth, Roger Curphey and Nick Millward) is coming to CARSHALTON JAZZ CLUB for our great friend DAVID BURR (he of the fantastically successful SPICE OF LIFE!). David’s new venue is NIGHTINGALES, CARSHALTON COLLEGE, NIGHTINGALE…

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Sunday, September 18th, 2016
BLOWING FOR BILL AT BISHOPS STORTFORD!!

Tonight I’m looking forward to playing a guest spot for my great pal BILL CORNELL and his fine band at the Half Moon Pub, 31 North Street, Bishops Stortford CM23 2LD. The phone number to call Bill (if you’d like to be sure of getting in!) is 01799 513013 and the…

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Saturday, September 17th, 2016
RON RUSSELL’S LEGENDARY BAND IS BACK AT BENENDEN!

Here we come again! The great RON RUSSELL BAND plays its latest concert in our beloved Benenden. The concert is at Benenden Village Hall, and tickets (at £12) are available from Lesley Attwood (01580 243318) or the Benenden Community Shop (01580 279808). Look forward to seeing you!

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Thursday, September 15th, 2016
HOLIDAY IN WALES……

As part of our UK tour celebrating our all-new live album, the lovely VAL WISEMAN stars in ‘LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ at THEATRE BRYCHEINIOG, Canal Wharf, Brecon, LD3 7EW. Her all-star band includes ALAN BARNES, ROY WILLIAMS, BRIAN DEE, LEN SKEAT AND ERIC FORD – oh, and me! – and…

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Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
BATTLE OF THE SAXES AT WESTCLIFF

Back at the CRICKETERS JAZZ BAR we invite you to witness a (benign) ‘Battle of the Saxes’ (and sexes too!) – starring two of the greatest players (and nicest people!) we know. DAVE GELLY and KAREN SHARP will be locking horns in a jazz embrace from 8.30pm along with our…

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Saturday, September 3rd, 2016
HALF DOZEN at TALBOT HOTEL SOUTHPORT

The HALF-DOZEN plays its first solo concert at the TALBOT HOTEL SOUTHPORT for those great friends to jazz Gill and Julie-Anne! Address is The Talbot Hotel, 23-25 Portland Street, Southport Merseyside PR8 1LR and the phone number for tickets (do book early!) is: 01704 533975. The music starts around 8pm…

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Sunday, August 28th, 2016
BILLIE COMES TO BUXTON…….

I’m back at Buxton – but this time at the great OPERA HOUSE, for LADY SINGS THE BLUES’ starring VAL WISEMAN and celebrating our brand-new live album recorded at the BIRMINGHAM INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015. Address of the Opera House is Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire  SK17 6XN and the phone…

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