NEWS: Claire Martin and Julian Nicholas launch first South Coast Jazz (first festival 23-25 Jan ’15)

Julian Nicholas and Claire Martin at the South Coast Jazz Festival Launch
Photo credit: Brian O’Connor/ Images of Jazz 

The inaugural South Coast Jazz Festival (FULL PROGRAMME BELOW) had its launch event at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea on Wednesday, to launch a programme, with some major acts, including Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw and Joe Stilgoe, and a birthday gig for Bobby Wellins on the Saturday. Claire Martin has been interviewed (*) about the Festival and  broader plans to help develop the scene and support community-building endeavours on the South Coast:

– South Coast Jazz and the Festival

“This is the ‘South Coast Jazz Festival’ but we want ‘South Coast Jazz’ to promote work. We want it to get behind new artists and to curate stages at festivals. We want the festival to be annual…We want our brand to really become something quite special that we can expand. We can do master classes, we can do weekends, promote gigs… The festival is the kick-start of our relationship as ‘South Coast Jazz’. There can be quite a few of us on the board, we can start thinking about expanding it into doing stuff for schools, trying to get jazz on the curriculum.”

Nicole Carman, Rosie Molloy, of local youth charity The Starr Trust,
with Claire Martin. Photo credit: Brian O’Connor/ Images of Jazz 

– On what the festival can do for the local scene:

“We’ve just got to sell 600 tickets and get this festival as a ‘goer’ and then we will feel elated, we’ll get the buzz from that. We really need people to get behind it because everyone will get a play. We’ve had, this year, to rely on really well known names just to get the ball rolling but we are also including some young up and coming talent, local bands like The Mingus Underground Octet and Mark Edwards’ Cloggz. Everyone involved is from the south coast so we’re keeping it regional. Ian Shaw has got a second house in Hythe, and Joe Stilgoe is moving to Brighton next year so he’s soon to be a Sussex resident.”

– On the fact that Claire Martin herself is not performing at the inaugural festival,  but is taking an important behind-the-scenes role:

“No, I’m not doing it. I didn’t want people to say ‘You’ve created a festival and put yourself in it’. I’d find that really uncomfortable. I will introduce the bands. I will run around with cake and tea. I will liaise with people and ask people for their feedback after the gigs. I’ll be very present at the gigs. Bobby Wellins has asked me to sing with him so I’m bound to get up and do a number with him. I will sing but I didn’t want just to be a performer, I wanted to really be a curator and bring it together and be the party organiser. I want to try this new hat on; I want to be this person now. I want to encourage other singers to get up and have a go. I’ll have enough to do.”

The Jack Kendon Quartet performing at the launch: Jack Kendon, trumpet;
George Trebar, bass; Peter Adam Hill, drums, Al Scott, keyboards.
Photo credit Brian O’Connor/ Images of Jazz


Friday 23 January

8pm: Jazz Vocal Celebration featuring Liane Carroll, Ian Shaw & Joe Stilgoe, (£20)

Saturday 24 January

3pm-4.30pm: Jazz For Absolute Beginners with Kevin LeGendre

7.30pm Bobby Wellins & Geoff Simkins with The Gareth Williams Trio
Mark Edwards’ ‘Cloggz’ featuring Julian Nicholas & Ben Sarfas (£20)

Sunday 25 January 

7.30pm: Peter Long’s Echoes Of Ellington Orchestra – Duke’s First 30 Years
The Mingus Underground Octet featuring Mark Bassey

South Coast Jazz Festival websiteFACEBOOK 
Ropetackle Arts Centre. (Little High Street
Shoreham – by – Sea West Sussex BN43 5EG)

(*)The extracts above are from an interview by Elaine Crouch, and are reproduced here with her kind permission.

Categories: miscellaneous

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