February News Letter

Hello Jazz friends,

Thank you for staying with us through this time of no gigs. Now that the party season is over in Downing street we can offer a programme of live events with the hope that they will be allowed to go ahead.

The first item I must bring to your attention is the little matter of support in the shape of our annual membership which is now due if you have yet to join or rejoin. This is really important, not just for the fee which keeps us afloat, but the fact that with a healthy number of members we can show funders that we are worth their attention. Last year we were nearly 100 strong and our target this year is 200. Would you please help and show your support for live jazz in Pembrokeshire with a commitment of just £15?

Just click here to complete the process https://narberthjazz.wales/event/membership-renewal/

Not only will you get at least £1 off at each live show, but also the occasional ‘members only’ event and the right to vote at the AGM which will be in March, and that will be your chance to vote us out and run NJ yourselves! Plus the warm feeling of supporting live music in the area.

Our next show at The Plas Hotel is with HOT CLUB GALLOIS which I am sure will please many people as these players are dedicated to giving their audience an authentic Django experience. Xenia Porteous, is a perfect lyrical violinist standing in for Stephane Grappelli, along with Richard Jones and Luke Archard, guitars and Mike Morgan on bass.

This show is at a special low price ticket to ensure everyone can come, and get back into live music again.


We held our first Jazz in the Afternoon at The Hwb, Narberth on 27th. January, which was an interesting start to the new series which is especially for those who are not able to get out in the evening. The venue proved less than ideal, as the separation from mums and babies in the main room was leaking in to our area.

We will continue the series on Thursday 24th Feb. at The Dingle Club in Jesse Road and Gordon Barry will present a selection of tunes on the theme of ‘Now We Has Jazz’ A look at the hundred + years of jazz history with particular thoughts on piano jazz. Should be good.


The good folks at Aberjazz in Fishguard have a swing show at Letterston coming up on 12th March. Information here https://www.aberjazz.com/ I hope that a few people can go and see this show to assess if we should book them in here.


In March we will have THE COLTRANE DEDICATION QUINTET which will be a treat for many modern jazz fans. Coltrane Dedication was borne out of coincidence and recognition; coincidence that the five original band members were due to jam together and realised the gig was on the 40th anniversary of John Coltrane’s death so decided to dedicate that night’s repertoire completely to his catalogue, and recognition that the emotional platform that this exceptional music provides seemed somewhat buried. Why? Well, there is absolutely no doubting the integrity and execution of Coltrane’s work, and his influence on musicians ever since, and well beyond the confines of ‘jazz’ music.

In April we will welcome back The John Gibbon trio, who this time will accompany one of the top big band singers, Jeff Hooper. He is singing with a brass section in Swansea this   Friday https://www.swanseajazz.co.uk/

Recently he has been touring with the BBC big band https://www.jeffhooper.co.uk/

The May show is not organised yet but The DOM NORCROSS BAND who were postponed from last month, is now Playing for our June show, with singer Elaina Hoss.

That’s all for this month, stay well and we look forward to seeing you soon.

If you no longer want to receive these emails, just send me a reply with the word unsubscribe.                                               Thanks.

Declan and the NJ team

January 2022 Newsletter

January Newsletter

Welcome to the January NJ newsletter.

Due to the current Covid 19 rules announced by the Welsh government last Friday, we have sadly had to postpone our scheduled performance on Thursday 20th. Jan. with Dom Norcross band and Elaina Hoss. We hope to rebook them at a later date, possibly in May, as we have booked a really strong line up of live jazz events each month until then. If you have already booked an advance ticket, we will offer you a full refund or credit for tickets to a future event of your choice.

BUT  We would like you to come to The Plas on the 20th to  support our efforts to keep jazz alive in these difficult times. We are calling it :-


Although without a band but with a chance to chat and enjoy some recorded music and possibly video clips. Of course you would be welcomed to join as a member, or renew your membership for 2022.

Please Note A maximum 30 people, please wear a mask and stay socially distanced. Table service for drinks.

Please Note

Our first ‘Jazz in the Afternoon’ at The Dingle is relocated to The Hwb, the new bar at The Old School site by the car park in Narberth . The date and time remain the same, 2pm Thursday 27th. January when I will start things off and introduce some examples of the fun side of jazz and I hope you will be able to join us for a couple of hours of music and conversation. Tea, coffee, cakes, and booze are available.

We hope to continue these afternoon sessions with intriguing inputs from members and friends. Gordon Barry has promised to host the next Jazz In The Afternoon event in February with a reminder of the why and who of ‘Now We Has Jazz’ and we hope that others will join in this monthly chance to get together to explore  the wonderful world of Jazz

Now looking forward to live events in the spring :

February sees the return (Covid permitting) of the lively Django style band HOT CLUB GALLOIS

Who conjures up the swirling dance halls of 1940’s Paris with a heady mix of Django Reinhardt classics, swing-flavoured jazz standards and Hot Club Gallois originals. An irresistible mix of fiery violin, lyrical vocals, virtuosic guitar and stomping bass, you won’t want to stay in your seat. https://www.hotclubgallois.com/

Our March event is the first time we have been able to invite


The Coltrane Dedication Quintet is a collective of musicians who recognise the emotional power of the later music of John Coltrane and use those compositions as their own springboard for creating a powerful, engaging, passionate music.

 The band is drawn from a pool of top Welsh players and always comprise of two sax players (usually doubling on tenor & soprano, and tenor & baritone), Bass, Piano and Drums. I don’t know the full line up yet but I have been told that the pianist will be the marvellous Dave Jones.


A few suggestions for your online listening:

If you enjoy the music of casually righteous New Orleans band Tuba Skinny, I recently discovered a station playing them 24 hours a day! https://laut.fm/1-tubaskinny  That is a German station with a host of other genres available.

Here is an hour of Dizzy Gillespie with an all star band of American and European players including Tony Coe and Ronnie Scott.

Lastly an Earl Hines solo show at Nice Jazz Fest. 1975 running through some of his compositions, still fleet fingered at 71.

That’s almost all folks – Just a reminder that we would love to hear what you have to say about NJ.

Stay Safe.

Declan and the NJ team

Early December update.

So again an interesting and enjoyable evening on Thursday in early December.

With thanks to John Gibbon and his compatriots. (like the band!)

Good music and entertainment was dispensed to our hungry and appreciative audience once more curtesy of your organisers Narberth Jazz.

But without your help and support none of this would have taken place.

So – a big thank you to you all.

Now for the next delights to present to you in the New Year —

20th January – Dom Norcross Quartet with Elaina Hoss at Plas Hotel, Narberth.

17th February – Hot Club Gallois at the Plas Hotel, Narberth.

Now the NAG!!!

Subscriptions  now about to be due for 2022.

To try and help you we have put up a simple renewal system via the ‘Ticket’  part of the Narberth Jazz website.

Well maybe this will help?;  but your comments would/ will be most appreciated in deciding what we do for you..

Early December update

December 2021

Hello N Jazz People,

3rd. NJ News in a month – what’s going on you may ask. I would reply that there has been lots of Jazz action. The Salute to Humphrey Lyttleton was a nail biter for us until the last minute, but you came out in droves despite the Covid problems, so a big salute to you! As it says on the website it was worth the worry and we thank all who helped to make it happen. There are also some good gig pictures on the website too. www.narberthjazz.wales The tour goes on with dates in Devon Hampshire and Sussex until Sunday 5th. December.  https://www.chrishodgkins.co.uk/bandsgigs/3221-2/

Pete Hurt and Henry Lowther

This Thursday 2nd. December will be our final chance to present live jazz this year and it features PETE HURT with trumpeter  JANOSCH CARMELO with the John Gibbon trio. John planned this tour to honour two great players who have recently passed on and have played for us in Narberth – saxman Willie Garnett and his long time friend and pianist Phil Meades.

You can find out more about them and get tickets from  www.narberthjazz.wales

That is quite enough mentions of the blooming website. Ed

The trio will feature Jim Barber, a pianist who has not played here before but is well known figure in Welsh jazz circles as the leader of several bands, so we know the piano is in good hands. Please order in advance if you can.

As we near the end of the year, it’s time to appeal to you to join or renew your membership and help us to continue to bring good live music to Narberth. The cost is kept as low as possible at just £15 (minimum), but we encourage you to give more if you can afford to. With your help we will be able to carry out the projects we have planned for next year. We will have an AGM in early spring when you can have your say in our past and future.

  • We are recruiting now for a youth band. { Percussion workshop 10am -12noon Friday 3rd. December}
  • We plan to take jazz events into local care homes.
  • Jazz Afternoons in local cafes for older folk who do not do evenings.

We are currently looking for more volunteers to join the organising group, so please let us know if you are interested and have a little time to spare. Meetings are usually enjoyable catch ups once a month in Narberth (or nearby) in each others homes with excellent snacks. email or call on 07778 5643334.

The London jazz festival is in full swing, and despite a very dissapointing TV showing of the first night, I reccomend the Radio 3 broadcast of much more interesting music last week https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0011s83

Dates for Jazz at the Plas 2022

Thursday 20th January – Dom Norcross quartet with Elaina Hoss

Thursday 17th. February – Hot Club Gallois

We look forward to seeing you next Thursday.

Declan and the NJ crew

07988 666054

Narberth Jazz Club


November 2021 updates

Updates for November 2021

Greetings Jazzophiles

The second Narberth Jazz news this month because I need to tell you about things that I could not know when I sent the last one.

  1. If you have purchased tickets for our Salute To Humph this Friday we have been unlucky enough to be the first Queens Hall show to come under the new Welsh Covid19 rules. This means that you will have to show a valid Covid Pass to gain entry. You can get a pass by clicking here  https://gov.wales/get-your-nhs-covid-pas
  2. Unexpectedly we have some tickets left for this amazing presentation, so if you have yet to get a ticket, just come to the door by 7.30pm (with your pass) and you will be able to enjoy the show
  3. Our next show at the Plas Hyfryd will be on Thursday December 2nd. and is to remember two great British musicians who have recently left us, Phil Meades and Willie Garnett. Pete Hurt and Janosch Carmello will front the John Gibbon Trio for our last show this year.
  4. On the morning of Friday December 3rd. John Gibbon will hold a drum workshop to start our Youth Band project at 10am to 12noon. If you know any young musicians who would like to take part, please call me on 07778 563334.
  5. We would like to expand our organising group so I wonder if you would consider joining in to help us work on the exciting projects that we have in mind. It will only be one meeting a month which is held in local members houses with refreshments worth turning up for! You could attend a meeting and decide later, just call me on the number above for a chat.
  6. First show of 2022 will be The Dom Norcross Quartet with Elaina Hoss, Hot sax and cool vocals, on Thursday 20th. January. For February we hope to have The Hot Club Gallois , Gypsy Jazz at its most joyous.

That’s all for now – Keep swinging

Declan and NJ Team



This is the most ambitious and exciting show, and we are proud to present

A SALUTE TO HUMPHREY LYTTLETON in partnership with the Queens Hall, Narberth on Friday 19th November to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
The 10-piece band led by trumpeter Chris Hodgkins features fine mainstream players from UK and USA, including trumpet star Henry Lowther. The band will play many of his original compositions and arrangements as well as new pieces composed especially for the tour.

A travelling exhibition on Humph’s life and times will also accompany the tour
and will consist of a multi-media presentation and visual archive display based on Humph’s writings and journals.

Please tell your friends and family about this great show which is the exclusive Welsh date! (other dates available in England!)
Tickets are available now from our website www.narberthjazz.wales/events

Many of us knew Humph as the hilariously deadpan chairman of ‘I’m Sorry I
Haven’t a Clue’. But the much-loved broadcaster was also an exemplary and
influential jazz musician. Louis Armstrong dubbed him ‘the top trumpet man in
England today’, and not without reason. A master of his instrument as well as
several others, he spearheaded the post-war traditional jazz revival in Britain,
later forming his own band that set the standard for British jazz for several decades.
This event is the closest we can now get to an iconic figure and will help younger people to appreciate his importance to the British jazz scene after the second world war.

Please note: It seems likely that all attenders will have to provide proof of Covid status to gain entrance to venues due to high rates of infections in Wales at this time

John Gibbon will be back to celebrate the lives of two other stalwarts of British jazz on Thursday December 2nd

On Friday 3rd the first workshop for aspiring drummers for our Youth Band project.
Details will follow later.

Declan and the NJ team

Newsflash 7.10.21

Narberth Jazz Newsflash

Narberth Jazz is proud to have the Salute to Humphry Lyttleton concert at the Queens Hall Narberth on 19th. November, and now we have learned that this will be the Welsh premier for this important all star, 10 piece, touring band. The tour will be going to many English cities, but our concert is the only one in Wales – a Welsh premier in Narberth! We are able to present this great opportunity to hear and see the fabulous music that the colossus of
British Jazz has left us, because The Queens Hall
has agreed to partner
with us on this venture.
To be sure of your tickets please order in advance by going to the ‘Events and tickets’ page of our website www.narberthjazz.wales

October Newsletter

Narberth Jazz October Newsletter

“Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life”

– Art Blakey

I saw that quote from Art Blakey when I was perusing the Mosaic Records website https://www.mosaicrecords.com/ recently and thought yes that’s what it does for me when I am stressed and listen to, for instance, Earl Hines easy stride piano on My Monday Date or Blakey’s live version of Bobby Timmons tune Moanin’.

I can’t afford to buy  Mosaic’s wonderfully remastered Blue Note box sets, but I can happily fill an hour reading the essays about my favourite classic jazz artists on their website which I recommend you do.


Welcome to Narberth Jazz October Newsletter. I hope you will forgive the above which is by way of distraction from the shame of having to abandon plans to present modern Welsh group Duski at Haverhub last month. I hope we will eventually be in a position to reinstate the project when we are all better established, but we could not afford the cost of going ahead with only a few tickets sold. I hope it will never happen again.

On to happier news. We are back in our natural home this month with a bevy of familiar names. The John Gibbon Trio return with star trumpeter Graham Pike on Thursday 21st. So please book your tickets now to be sure of a seat at the table. We will do all we can to keep everyone safe during this time of Covid with lots of air circulation and distancing. Bring friends if you can for a really entertaining evening of music.


Our November event is the most ambitious and most exciting that we have yet to present when we bring the multi media show A SALUTE TO HUMPH to the Queens Hall on Friday 19th

The 10 piece band led by trumpeter Chris Hodgkins features fine mainstream players from UK and USA, many of them with connections to Humphry Lyttleton’s many bands. The band will play many of his original compositions and arrangements as well as new pieces composed especially for the tour.

A travelling exhibition on Humph’s life and times will also accompany the tour and will consist of a multi-media presentation and visual archive display based on Humph’s writings and journals. Please tell your friends and family about this  great show which is touring the country and suitable for all ages. Tickets available now from our website www.narberthjazz.wales

Many of us knew ‘Humph’ as the hilariously deadpan chairman of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. But the much-loved broadcaster was also an exemplary and influential jazz musician. Louis Armstrong dubbed him ‘the top trumpet man in England today’, and not without reason. A master of his instrument as well as several others, he spearheaded the post-war traditional jazz revival in Britain, later forming his own band that set the standard for British jazz for several decades.


We would like to launch our twin long term aims of curating the start of a Narberth Youth Band and taking music into local care homes, but we need to access the funding which these require. We will be talking to PAVS who help voluntary organisations to find the funds to carry out community projects, and hope to have more news soon. Meanwhile, if you are aware of any young players who would benefit from group tuition, please let us know. We will have to demonstrate that we will fill a community need. info@narberthjazz.wales

If you would like to get involved in any way you can also contact us by phone on the dedicated Jazz phone 07778  563334

 This picture is of the first Narberth Youth Band, with leader Jim Luxton outside the Bridge Inn, late afternoon summer  1987.




I recently discovered Kansas Smitty’s, which turns out to be a young British band/creative collective  and not, as I had assumed, an American club in Kansas City. I enjoyed their attitude of embracing the musical traditions and having a good time with it.  See what you think, they are on YouTube, Bandcamp and their own website. https://www.kansassmittys.com/

The pianist in the band, Joe Webb is a fine stride player like Fats Waller & Earl Hines who is playing in Stroud at The Prince Albert,  on 1st November with his trio, if you happen to be in the area. If you have any recent discoveries, let us know, meanwhile I look forward to seeing you at Narberth Jazz event soon.

Declan and the NJ Team

Youth band

Young musicians sought for new Narberth band

21st September 2021

Narberth Jazz have the ambition of reviving an idea first achieved in the 1980’s by sax teacher Jim Luxton. We are looking for young musicians who would like to join a band to be tutored and formed to play at local functions in and around Narberth. All young instrumentalists with a minimum standard of grade 3 are eligible to apply as well as aspiring singers. The successful applicants will have weekly sessions in group playing from qualified teachers at minimal cost. The music played will be open to discussion but will guided by the ambitions of the band members. It is hoped that creative improvisation in jazz styles will form part of the on going programme.

We are also looking for a special musician who would like to take the lead with this project, but in order to make it happen we will apply for a national lottery grant to fund it. To obtain a grant we will need to show that there is an interest from local young people to start a youth band here, and that is why we are asking all who might enjoy being part of the project to contact us to let us know. You can send us an email info@narberthjazz.wales



It is with great regret that I have to tell you that despite our best efforts, ticket bookings for Duski at Haverhub are ultra low, and therefore we have, very reluctantly, decided to postpone that show.

As a small community group we do not have the resources to take on the large debt that going ahead with a small audience would entail. Haverhub are in the same position and they agree that it would be best to rearrange the gig.

We apologise to those of you who were looking forward to seeing this fine band, and the few who have booked will be reimbursed. We hope to rebook the band for a gig next year.

It is especially disappointing for me personally because I believe that it is important to present cutting edge jazz along with traditional and mainstream music. I want Narberth Jazz to be able to present a wide variety of jazz as an important part of the spectrum of Welsh creative arts.

The rest of our current programme will not be affected, and you can book future shows with confidence.

Declan and the NJ team