Saturday 7.30pm - The Grand Pavillion Main Hall
The music profession and a fan base extending well into six figures were greatly saddened to hear the news that jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Kenny Ball, had died of pneumonia at the age of 82. Kenny, who together with fellow bandleading luminaries Acker Bilk and Chris Barber had spearheaded the great British traditional jazz revolution which first carried all before it some 55 years ago, was still entertaining and delighting crowds with his dynamic playing style and personality as recently as last month.
He will be greatly missed but, family and close friends apart, by none more than the organisers and supporters of the 2013 Porthcawl Jazz Festival where Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen had been engaged to top the bill in the Porthcawl Grand Pavilion on Saturday 6 April.
Fortunately, even at this most sensitive of times, a way has been found to enable the show to go on in the form of a tribute to and celebration of the life of a great musician. The Kenny Ball Jazzmen will still travel to Porthcawl as arranged to perform in concert headed by Kenny’s son, singer Keith Ball. Samantha, Midnight in Moscow and numerous Kenny Ball chart-toppers and traditional classics will once again fill the auditorium with the joyous sounds of a landmark era in the history of jazz. Don’t miss what is sure to be a fabulous and historic musical experience.
Friday 7:30pm - All Saints
Question – in which contemporary British jazz trio are all three members established music directors in addition to their instrumental skills? Answer – the Chris Dean Trio, which opens the 2013 Porthcawl Jazz Festival with an evening performance at All Saints Church on Friday, April the 5th.
Formed in 2012, the Trio is led by trombonist and vocalist Chris Dean, a player of such calibre that he easily justifies the otherwise often overworked title of virtuoso. Initially trained at Kneller Hall as a musician in the Household Cavalry, during his subsequent freelance career, Chris rapidly became one of the most highly regarded and sought after musicians, equally at home on the concert platform or recording studio. Since 1996 he has been the director and driving force of the famous Syd Lawrence Orchestra, voted The Best Big Band in the Land for over a decade.
Trevor Brown is currently the pianist with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra but has a long history of work with almost every name ensemble in the UK including Cyril Stapleton, Joe Loss, Bob Miller and Victor Silvester. His long experience as a music director and arranger culminated in his five year appointment as music director of the Royal Variety Performance.
In addition to his annual role as Director of the Porthcawl Jazz Festival, Wayne Warlow is renowned as a multi-instrumentalist (performing on double bass with Chris’s Trio), composer and music director for, amongst others, the BBC, HTV, Rank Organisation and Cardiff New Theatre and was a conductor of the former BBC Radio Orchestra.
Sunday 4:00pm - The Grand Pavillion Main Hall
In contrast to the instant world-wide fame of many in the pop world, jazz artists are not always as well known as they should be. However, leading trumpeter, Digby Fairweather, has been a household name since the 1970s. His work with such artists as George Melly, Van Morrison, Jacqui Dankworth, The Swingle Singers, Paul Jones and P P Arnold testifies to his exceptional ability. Under his leadership, his current band, The Half Dozen, has won the British Jazz Award “Top Small Group” for seven of the last eight years. Some of his personal awards include the |BBC Jazz Society Musician of the Year, British Jazz Awards for both Trumpet and Services to Jazz and the Benno Haussman Award.
His talents as a jazz workshop leader will be featured in this year’s Porthcawl Jazz Festival as will his skills in concert, working with the highly experienced “Porthcawl House Trio” of Dave Cottle on piano, Wayne Warlow on bass and Gethin Jones on drums.
Saturday 2:00pm - Grand Pavilion Main Hall
In turn exhilarating, warm and colourful, flautist Eddie Parker holds the rare distinction of being a contemporary jazz musician whose work has a huge popular appeal and is readily accessible by the general public. Equally at home on flutes or keyboards, Eddie is also much admired as a composer, bandleader and educator. He was a founder member of the seminal 1980s ensemble Loose Tubes since which time he has toured extensively with his own bands, Mister Vertigo and Twittering Machine and worked with names of national and international importance, including as a key member of the South African Bheki Mseleku Band and Django Bates Delightful Precipice. He recently returned to South Africa by invitation to perform with the award winning Young Jazz Musician of the Year, Africa Mkhize.
Notable among his achievements as a much recorded composer have been his appointments as Composer in Education at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music and as Composer in Residence at the Greenwich Festival. His academic record includes the appointment as Senior Lecturer in Jazz at Middlesex University. His abilities as an educator also came to the fore when, he presented pre-Festival jazz workshops in Porthcawl and Bridgend at both secondary and primary level.
Eddie performs at our Festival with his regular quartet which showcases not only his own talents but also those of his A list colleagues Kit Downes on piano, Steve Watts on bass and Tim Giles on drums.
Saturday 5:00pm - Pavilion Stage Door
Simon is one of the most exciting young saxophone players to emerge in Britain for years. Some might say or anywhere else for that matter. Since becoming fully professional in 1995 he has acquired an enviable reputation for possessing a stunning technique coupled with great sensitivity and judgement. His development has been influenced by the work of such luminaries as John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins but many now regard him as being the natural successor to the late, great Tubby Hayes. What greater accolade is there than that?
A winner of the BBC Jazz Award for Rising Star and of the Tenor Saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards, his album Sienna Red topped the Jazz Journal International critics’ poll for Best Jazz Album of 2008/9. Porthcawl is proud to present such an outstanding talent, supported on this occasion by the Dave Cottle/Wayne Warlow/Gethin Jones “house trio”.
Saturday 2.15pm - Grand Pavillion Stage Door
Making a welcome return visit to Porthcawl, New York based guitarist B D Lenz continues to maintain his impressive reputation both within the United States and at the international venues which feature in his extensive overseas touring schedules. Although highly original in his ideas his stylistic portfolio, containing hints of Pat Metheny, Mike Stern and Stevie Ray Vaughn, has enabled him to release seven recordings as leader of a group featuring such international names as Randy Brecker, Will Lee, Mark Egan and Joel Rosenblatt.
As a composer, his work has been featured on over 100 TV shows both nationally within the US and internationally and he has licensing arrangements with a number of US radio networks. As an experienced teacher and motivator, together with his long-term sidemen James Rosocha on bass guitar and Joe Falcey on drums, BD will head an inspirational rock workshop on Saturday afternoon and will follow this in the afternoon by delivering a blistering concert performance in the Stage Door Room of the Grand Pavilion.
Saturday 3.30pm - Fairways Hotel
Well known throughout South Wales and beyond, the Graham Watkins Quartet consists of four accomplished musicians whose striking musicality is evident to all. They are particularly renowned for their polished performances of The Great American Song Book, jazz standards and evergreens. Inventive arrangements, multi-layered vocals and fluent improvisations characterize their work. Jack Williams on bass guitar and George Wilson on drums provide the solid rhythmic bed which so ably supports the intricate piano work of Graham himself and the striking vocal expertise of the talented Clare Hingott. If sophisticated swing is your bag, the Fairways Hotel at 3.30pm on Saturday is the place to be.
Sunday 5:00pm - Pavilion Stage Door
In July 2012, Hilary Cameron (piano), Tom Hannah (guitar) and Barbara Snow (flugelhorn) first worked together on a casual engagement. Such was the rapport between them that they decided to form a permanent group. Consequently Chico Chica was born. They quickly gravitated towards a light latin jazz style which featured songs in French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic but soon decided to record their first album consisting entirely of the range of original compositions which forms the basis of their performance in Porthcawl.
In addition to their prowess on their respective instruments, all three sing to very good effect. Both individually and together they succeed in producing a beautifully modulated sound which perfectly matches the style of their material. Artistry is alive and well and for the moment living in Porthcawl.
Saturday 1.00pm - Brentwood Hotel
For more years than they care to remember, the Dave Cottle Trio has been well-known through jazz circles in Wales as being the house band at Swansea Jazzland. At that venue, Dave on keyboards, Alun Vaughan on bass guitar and Paul Smith on drums have accompanied a huge range of visiting artists from home and abroad during the course of which they worked with some of the very best in the world. Their musicianship is therefore a given and will be amply demonstrated during their performance at Porthcawl for which event they are joined by a superb young saxophonist who has recently begun to work with them in a quartet format. Oliver Nezhati hails from Llandeilo but graduated with distinction from Trinity College London. He now lives in London and is busily carving out a very promising career for himself on the London live circuit and session scene. You are sure to be impressed by his performance.
Sunday 7.30pm - The Grand Pavillion Main Hall
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Big Band was formed 2 years ago by Teddy Smith, a third year trumpet player. Since that time it has developed into a significant and respected ensemble both in and around the College and further afield. Starting as a small group of friends it now covers all years of the College and features both classical and jazz students.
Recently the Band performed in the College production Steal Away in which they played a mixture of instrumental and vocal music from the 1940s. A glance through some of their other programmes however reveals a formidable repertoire which contains important items such as hard swinging scores from Gordon Goodwin and the full, rich harmony of Kenny Wheeler’s Sweet Time Suite.
Much to enjoy therefore during the final concert of this year’s Festival, including in the second half some soloing from guest artist Digby Fairweather.
Saturday 4.00pm - The Grand Pavillion Main Hall
Porthcawl Rock Club is an independent music project created and directed by Raul Martin Arietta. Originally from Argentina, Raul has been based in Porthcawl for several years as a musician, actor and theatre director, teaching, coaching and developing music, theatre and arts projects within the local community. The Rock Club is now well-established as a major initiative designed to enrich young people’s lives through music.
The Club gives budding musicians the opportunity to learn an instrument, make new friends, express themselves through music and extend and develop their skills by understanding different aspects of playing in a band, performing at live gigs and exploring new styles and genres. The results will be very evident as Porthcawl’s young musicians delight with their own unique versions of the classic and contemporary jazz repertoire. Enjoy!
Saturday 4:30pm - Brentwood Hotel
Bone Fracture can trace its origins to a very serious accident which happened in October 2009. Trombonist Mike Tilley was on his way to a theatrical engagement when his Land Rover was hit by another car on the Heads of the Valleys road with such severity that Mike’s vehicle was bundled off the road where it overturned. Mike’s injuries were near fatal and involved multiple broken limbs, abdominal injuries and sever internal damage. After some two months in hospital he was allowed to return home to continue the long process of recovery.
His old friend and fellow trombonist, John Spruce, then started to visit him on a fairly regular basis and when Mike’s lungs and other injuries allowed him to gently blow the trombone again, they began to run through some gentle playing exercises and eventually built up to playing whole numbers together. This sparked off the idea of involving other players and so in a fairly short space of time, Mike Standley, Jeff Clark and Eilir Alexander came on board and regular rehearsals started.
They now have a varied library of around 50 numbers, mostly latin, swing, big band and ballads and perform in a variety of venues throughout South Wales. The Porthcawl Jazz Festival is delighted to present for your enjoyment this most unusual group and for your amusement the twin connotations of its ever so slightly sardonic title.
Saturday 1:00pm - Trecco Bay
Keith Little is acknowledged to be one of the finest traditional, swing, ragtime and blues pianists in the country. Initially honing his skills in a number of South Wales bands, his technique and quality of improvisation took a leap forward when he worked for some years in Germany with some of the very high quality traditional jazz bands which are such a feature of that country’s musical life. Returning to the UK some fifteen years ago he set up the Keith Little Hot Six with some of the leading players around at that time. Entertainment and quality of performance were key factors which gained the Band a high reputation and led to engagements ever further afield in the UK and Europe. These culminated in a series of performances at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in California, the largest such annual event in the United States. Now known as the Keith Little Band, Keith, Pete, Lawrence, Martin, Donny and Mike hope you enjoy their offerings from the golden age of jazz.
Saturday 2.45pm - The Brentwood Hotel Sunday 12.30pm - Nottage Green *
The Garth Mountain Boys are one of the local South Wales bands showcased by this year’s Porthcawl Jazz Festival. Featuring a range of vocals and backed by an instrumental array which includes guitar, banjo, mandolin, double bass, harmonica and dobro, the Band’s staple diet is the infectious Kentucky blue grass music guaranteed to set your feet tapping. Named after the Garth Mountain above Taffs Well, during the four years of their existence, the Boys have expanded from the pub venues in which they started and now also perform at festivals, weddings, corporate events and a range of social functions.
Saturday 1:30pm - Fairways Hotel
Featuring Ken Harding on piano, Roger Gape on bass, John Stark on drums and fronted by Jeff Meredith on trumpet and saxophone, Jazz Echoes plays a selection of jazz classics from the swing era to the age of the bossa nova. They are particularly fond of be bop a la Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie but are equally at home with Ellington, Gershwin and any of the jazz-based songs from the shows. Being very experienced, mature musicians they have each committed to memory many hundreds of titles from the jazz repertoire and always welcome requests for any particular items. So think of your favourite number, walk up to the band and ask them to play it. The chances are that they will be able to do just that. Who knows, they might even sing it for you.
Friday 1.00pm - Trecco Bay Sunday 2.15pm - Nottage Green *
No jazz festival would be complete without a really good example of the traditional music which signalled the beginnings of the most significant art form to emerge during the 20th century. The Liberty Street Jazz Band faithfully conveys the style and spirit of the early New Orleans pioneers with a repertoire ranging from roaring rags and good time shouts to work song blues. A perennial favourite with audiences, the Band is led by Marcus on cornet and supported by Dr John on clarinet, Simon on trombone, Dewi on banjo, Richard on double bass and Graham on drums, all contributing to a truly authentic sounding delivery of the finest in traditional jazz.
Sunday 2:45pm - Brentwood Hotel
Fast becoming one of the “must sees” on the British jazz circuit, Dominic Norcross is one of the many notable alumni of the pioneering jazz courses offered by The Leeds College of Music. Fully equipped in terms of both technique and musicianship, Dominic’s wide-ranging improvisations delight the ear with a constantly developing audio palette. Ably supported by the impressive John Davies on guitar, Steve Tarner on double bass and Nino Consolo on drums, Dominic intersperses jazz classics with original material “in the John Coltrane manner.”
Sunday 1.00pm - Brentwood Hotel
A hugely popular performer on the national folk and blues circuit, artist extraordinaire, blues historian and musicologist Cal Newman adopted an itinerant life-style travelling and performing in all corners of the country before finally settling in Cardiff in the 1970’s. He immediately gained a local reputation for delivering covers of obscure B sides before moving on to even more obscure A sides. He specializes in ragtime, blues and slide guitar with an occasional burst on the mandolin. Mississippi John Hurt, Rev Gary Davis, Robert Johnson and other late giants of the genre inspire many of his chosen themes but do not entirely replace his attractive sprinkling of original composition and contemporary works. Cal appears at the Brentwood Hotel on Sunday at 1.00pm and also contributes to Sunday’s jazz service in Trinity Church at 11.00am.
Sunday 4:00pm - Nottage Green *
With a name which oozes the warm sense of humour of the South Wales Valleys, Sicknote Steve recreates the authentic sound of the legendary American Grammy Award winning performer, Seasick Steve. A remarkably charismatic performer who looks every inch the part, Sicknote uses up to seven different instruments within a duo format as he slides and stomps his way through the Seasick songbook and other classic repertoire items. Invoking the atmosphere of the Mississippi Delta, his appearances in the UK include the Brecon, Upton upon Severn and Tenby Festivals while his European tours bring good time country blues to rather more far flung audiences.
* In the event of bad weather, the Nottage Green performances will be at the Seabank Hotel