|L-R: John Gripton, Dave Barry, Jacqui Hicks, Dave Green, John Critchinson, Art Themen
Photo credit: Carol Green
John Gripton‘s two decades of presenting jazz at JAGZ by the station at Ascot – the name is based on his initials – and in animating and encouraging the local scene, came to an end on December 21st 2014 at lunchtime with the final edition there of the John Critchinson Christmas Party. The band, with John Gripton, were captured in the photo above.
The venue is now under new ownership, but the jazz scene in the Thames Valley does not stand still: the gigs promoted by Marianne Windham at both Guildford Jazz and Fleet Jazz keep the flame alive, as do Nigel Dacombe and Steve Wellings with gigs in Reading, plus a gig a month at South Hill Park in Bracknell. Any more?
Nevertheless, John Gripton, who is moving to Lymington, has made a huge contribution to the scene with the club, and also with the JAGZ label which issued a much-praised recording of a date at the club by local resident, drummer Allan Ganley (1931-2008), in 2001. The gig on the last Sunday before Christmas had traditionally been Allan Ganley’s, but was passed on to John Critchinson after he passed away. He played his last ever gig at JAGZ with Jacqui Hicks, John Critchinson and Dave Green.The links go on…. Allan Ganley’s widow was there for the final celebration of the club last Sunday.