Something special. The first ever jazz gig at the venue pictured here: the Grange at Northington in Hampshire. This is Europe’s earliest Greek revival house and is one of the most perfect, idyllic, romantic settings in England. During the interval guests can picnic or dine inside the crumbling mansion.
Every summer since 1997 it has been home to Grange Park Opera, the brainchild of a friend of mine from university, Wasfi Kani OBE, possibly the most dynamic, talented and determined company director of a performing arts company in Britain.
It’s on Tuesday June 29th, start time 5.20pm. First up will be the Henry Armburg Jennings Big Band and soloists playing a set in The Grange’s splendid intimate theatre, starting with Glenn Miller and Rat Pack featuring ex-NYJO rising vocal star Attila, moving into Gershwin, Porter, Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, plus specially commissioned arrangements from both the bandleader and from trombonist Callum Au.
The second half of the programme moves out into to the fabulous grounds around the house. The audience will be able to choose a style, or wander around the various tents and stages to hear:
-A funk group led by Adam King on bass with Leon Greening on piano.
-Henry Armburg Jennings’ top flight bebop sextet with Sammy Mayne (alto sax), Alex Garnett (tenor sax),Ross Stanley (piano), Sebastiaan de Krom (drums) and Jeremy Brown (bass)
-An American songbook quartet featuring Attila, Rob Barron (piano), Tom Farmer (bass) and Tommy Laurence (Sax)
-A Dixieland band featuring Tom Walsh (trumpet), the first recipient of the Humphrey Lytttelton Prize at RAM.