The days go by so quickly that I awoke with a start from some non-musical activity to realize, “It’s only three weeks until the 2011 Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party!” This is thrilling rather than anxiety-producing, because I know that I will be eyebrow-deep in the best jazz imaginable, with Jean-Francois Bonnel, Bent Persson, Josh Duffee, Norman Field, Cecile McLorin, Nick Ward, Matthias Seuffert, Andy Schumm, Mike Durham, Kristoffer Kompen, Keith Nichols, Rico Tomassi . . . do I have to go on?
The party is being held at the Village Newcastle (a comfy hotel) and will begin on Friday, November 4, and go rocketing through to early Monday morning, November 7.
And Mike has very good ideas (aside from being a fine hot trumpet player himself): all the sets in the Party are thematic — except for jam sessions in the pub every night, which have been marvelous. The sets run an hour or so; they take place in the same large comfortable room; it will be a pageant of the best jazz and vintage pop music. I can’t wait.
And there’s more: a concert at the extraordinary Sage Gateshead concert hall on Thursday, November 3, featuring the music of the Goodman small groups with Wheatley, Seuffert, Nichols, Tomassi, and others.
I know that some of you are thinking, “Hey, I can’t fly to England just like that.” And others might say to themselves, “I know Michael. Michael will be bringing his video camera, so even if I can’t go, I’ll see some of this.” I sympathize with the first statement, and the second one is also true. However, videos aren’t the real thing, so I hope people realize 1) that there is a life beyond the monitor, and 2) these enterprises need paying customers to survive (the musicians need you to BE THERE).
All this is being launched at JAZZ LIVES readers because some seats are still available for the Party, and day tickets are on sale here:
So don’t let this opportunity pass you by — and come up and say “Hello!” in your best Clarence Williams manner.