November 2023 Newsletter

Narberth Jazz news November 2023

Greetings to you this November Day,

A sad addition to our menu if you please.

Dear Narberth Jazz members and friends,: I have some sad news for you. Yesterday I was informed that the drummer [Barry Rees] for the Strumble Strutters has suffered a heart attack and is in hospital. Consequently we have had to cancel and postpone their attendance for our December party.

We have now confirmed that the well known West Wales band  ‘The Swingin Nettles’ will be able to take over their commitment.

We continue to hope that our Party will entertain and please you. The small dance floor will be cleared – should you wish to avail yourself.

Last month we held a special meeting to look at how we took Narberth Jazz into the future. We had hoped to gather more helpers to keep our group relevant and to lower the average age, but only a few people responded and no one volunteered to help and so we had to assume that on the whole people are mainly happy with the present set up. We Learnt that we had featured too many sax players and not enough music for dancing.

The old question was raised “What is jazz” of course we could not give an answer, beyond music that allows individual creativity. Dizzy Gillespie answered the same question with “The search for truth”. The very notion of what constitutes Jazz is highly problematic, as all styles and approaches continue to exist simultaneously.  I like the answer of Whitney Balliatt who defined it as ‘The sound of surprise’ We will continue to employ musicians who will do that and entertain us as well.

Around about Dusk for instance, they gave us an exciting performance with the trumpet of Lewis Taylor and clarinet of Gus Dolding  reminiscent of the New Orleans sound of the Louis Armstrong era. Many of the songs were compositions of the leader, Rachel Lawrence, who also played the accordion, weaving melodies within the tunes and supporting the occasional  muted trumpet of Lewis. These young musicians really showed their love of vintage music.

At  our most recent meeting we agreed to approach Pembrokeshire college to possibly hold an event in the Merlin theatre. We remembered that we had enjoyed good audiences when we had taken the risk of spending a lot of our money on big names such as Andy Sheppard, Tim Garland  and The Ronnie Scott Allstars etc.

Who would you go there to see?

We have Alan Barnes in our sights for next year.

This month we look forward to catching up with old friends, pianist Keith Little and trumpeter Gethin Liddington who will be with us on Thursday 16th. Nov. at the Plas Hotel Narberth.

Our Christmas party will be dedicated to good time music and creating the party vibe for a great night out. There will be “space to dance”


That’s all for now we hope to see you soon

The NJ team