Feature/Interview

Georgia Mancio and Dave Ohm take over the running of Hugh & Marion’s, Eltham Jazz Club

Georgia Mancio and Dave Ohm have taken over the running of Hugh and Marion’s, Eltham Jazz Club, and have secured a stellar line up for their first gigs running Jan-Mar 2023.

There is one last date this year:

…and then an official opening in January 2023:

  • And confirmed for Jan-Mar 2023 are: Allison Neale (26 Jan), Elaine Delmar (9 Feb), Denys Baptiste (23 Feb), Liane Carroll (9 Mar) and Stan Sulzmann (23 Mar). BOOKING LINK BELOW

Sebastian asked Georgia Mancio to explain the background:

LondonJazz News: What’s the story of the club and how long has it been going?  

Georgia Mancio: Pianist Hugh Ockendon and his wife Marion began presenting live jazz in Eltham about 28 years ago, in various venues before settling into Eltham Warren Golf Club in 2014. Hugh studied at the Royal Academy of Music, accompanied artists including Neil Sedaka and Morecambe and Wise, played West End shows “Cats” and “A Chorus Line” and performed in Kathy Stobart and Digby Fairweather’s bands. 

As house pianist at Eltham Jazz Club, he and Marion hosted countless high calibre musicians including Tina May, Alan Barnes, Byron Wallen, Tony Kofi, Jim Mullen, Roger Beaujolais, Charlotte Glasson, Art Themen and Ben Holder. When Hugh died in 2020, Marion continued the club alone, renaming it ‘Hugh’s Place’, until her own untimely death in October 2022. By all accounts they were both much loved and respected, and it is really important to us that their legacy be elevated and appreciated, hence the new name ‘Hugh & Marion’s’.

LJN: What persuaded you to take on the running of it?

GM: None was needed, it was all very organic and instant. Dave was playing with Jacqui Hicks on the night that was meant to be Marion’s birthday celebration, and everyone was stunned that she had instead passed away so suddenly. 

Two longstanding members, Ted and Terry, who had helped enormously in running the club (selling tickets, making publicity materials, etc.), made it clear there was no-one else to take things over and Jacqui suggested me. With just one phone call, we realised there was a vibrant community and volition to continue attending gigs. A week later, we went to Mick Foster’s gig and made the announcement, a little apprehensively, but were met with such warmth and appreciation, we knew it was the right thing to do. 

Having also been in contact with Hugh and Marion’s family and getting their blessing has been crucial and very moving.

We are not naive, clubs and businesses are closing at an alarming rate right now, but we feel optimistic about continuing.

LJN: What do you most look forward to? 

GM: We would love to put the club on the map a little more because the loyal audience Hugh and Marion built up are so friendly and welcoming, as is Eltham Warren Golf Club where we host the gigs. If we can bring in some new audience members, students, perhaps people new to jazz, widen the community there, we’ll be on firmer ground, and also feel we’ve played our part in extending Hugh and Marion’s epic legacy.

To that end, we wanted to start with a bang and are humbled and thrilled to have secured some major names in our opening season, including Elaine Delmar, Liane Carroll, Denys Baptiste, Stan Sulzmann and Allison Neale.

We are also looking forward to sharing our music with our audience, so the reopening concert on 12 January will be our Quartet featuring Gareth Lockrane and Andrew Cleyndert. Hopefully we can juggle that with selling tickets and running the raffle!

LINK: BOOKINGS FOR ALL EVENTS

Hugh Ockendon playing a Phantom of the Opera medley in 2009

ADDRESS: Hugh and Marion’s is at Eltham Warren Golf Club, Bexley Road, London SE9 2PE 

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