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