June 2017

Dear Jazz Friends

It looks as if Summer has arrived, at least for a while!  The Sunset Cafe Stompers hope to take advantage this weekend when we play on the lawn at the National Trust's Barrington Court (Sat/Sun).  We have some varied public concerts coming up (Zelda's Jazz Room at Wantage, Corfe Castle church, Brushford Village Hall, the Three Choirs Fest at Worcester, Cotleigh Brewery, and both Pershore and Bude jazz festivals, plus a good sprinkling of private parties.

Solo-wise, I'm not as hectically busy as in the the first half of the year (phew!) but I'm looking forward to celebrating the legacy of Scott Joplin, the King of Ragtime, at the prestigious Beaminster Festival on 26 June (preceding the Cambridge Footlights show) and then in the fine hall at Poundbury, Dorchester on 30 June.  The following weekend I'll be at the international boogie woogie festival in Dorset, playing solo and accompanying the remarkable Hamish Maxwell - recently a big hit in Vienna! There are several more festival appearances with Hamish and Steve Graham (Tpt) coming up.

On 14 July at Ilminster Arts Centre I welcome a new Speakeasy Guest - Graham Hughes.  Graham is a very fine young(ish) trombonist who also plays instruments ranging from harmonica to tuba!  Like me, Graham studied engineering at university, but (unlike me) he took the brave decision to become a full-time professional musician and it has worked out - he's a busy man so I'm very pleased he has agreed to come (14 July).

Last - but not least - the Stompers have just released a new CD.  It's called "Changes" and is our first recording since "Magic is the Moonlight" four years ago. It's beautifully recorded and produced by Peter Kings of PEK Sound at Cheap Street Church, Sherborne.  Hamish sings on 5 of the 16 tracks. We're very pleased with it and you can obtain a copy at our gigs or by contacting Pete Ward (our bass player) at panda.somerton@btinternet.com or 01458 274 802.

Hope to see you soon

Mike