Jazz with Jim at St John’s

ONE of the major stars in jazz guitar, Jim Douglas will join John Petters Swing Band for the final jazz session of the season at The St John’s ARC in Old Harlow.

Born in 1942 in Gifford near Edinburgh, the award winning guitarist formed an interest in jazz while at school. Bitten by the Skiffle bug, he bought a guitar and eventually appeared on a talent show which resulted in a trip to London.

Cutting his professional teeth in the infamous German jazz clubs led to Jim joining the Clyde Valley Stompers with whom he had a hit version of Peter and the Wolf.

He then joined the Alex Welsh Band which rocketed him to international fame.

As the leading jazz ensemble of its kind, the Welsh band was selected by all the important visiting American jazz soloists and Jim found himself play alongside New Orleans trumpet legend, Henry ‘Red’ Allen, which was filmed for the top BBC show, Jazz 625.

After Welsh’s premature death, Jim freelanced and appeared in successful touring jazz shows such as Let’s Do It and Lady Sings the Blues. He won the Best Guitarist in the British Jazz Awards. As well as his great talent on the guitar, Jim is also considered by many to be a first class banjo player.

Joining Jim will be the ever popular piano professor, Martin Litton, a worldwide acknowledged expert on early piano styles. Martin’s CV reads like a who’s who of jazz – he was a member of the Kenny Ball Jazzmen and recorded with Humphrey Lyttelton as well as a host of top Americans.

Making a debut appearance at St John’s ARC on the evening will be a talented young singer from the Fens, 18-year-old Brendan Gifford, whose musical influences include Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra.

Brendan made his public debut with the John Petters Swing Band (including Jim Douglas) at the Stratford Festival two years ago to great acclaim.

Harlow bassist Keith Donald will be on hand as an extra special guest.

The show starts at 8pm on Thursday, November 28 and admission is £10. Further details visit www.traditional-jazz.com.

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