Epsom & Ewell U3A Jazz
In 2020 we continue to book top jazz musicians and bands for even more meetings, interspersed by well known expert jazz speakers and historic jazz movies. We also continue our popular coach trips to London for exhibitions and concerts. Our jazz group is run along the lines of a friendly and relaxed jazz club, rather than being just a jazz appreciation group.
Every March we go by coach to the annual jazz concert at The Royal Academy of Music conducted by maestro Keith Nichols. We also have a very popular Christmas Jazz Concert with mulled wine every December, which is open to all U3A members and their friends.
The social element is very important to us, and we always have a half hour break for tea, coffee and cakes giving us an opportunity to chat to fellow members, visitors and musicians.
New Orleans Jazz and Swing
New Orleans is currently seeing a huge revival of traditional jazz on the streets of the French Quarter with the Tuba Skinny band, and Shotgun Jazz Band and many other bands attracting unprecedented interest. Street bands consisting of 10 or more musicians are not unusual. They are reviving old forgotten songs and even writing their own new music in the traditional style.. Videos of the new street bands are available on YouTube, and creating worldwide interest.
The swing in the 1930s & 40s music has been revived. Swing dance & jazz is the new “in thing” with students in London & New York. Young jazz musicians from London’s music colleges play the hot jazz the dancers demand. New clubs have opened up, many in East London, for dancing with live jazz into the small hours. We make every effort to bring these young bands and musicians to play concerts for us here in Ewell.
We meet every month on the second Tuesday afternoons at All Saints Church Hall, Fulford Road, West Ewell KT19 9QY at 1.30 for 1.45 pm. Sometimes our live music concerts are held in the church. The church car park and adjoining roads make parking relatively easy. Bus services 418 and 467 bus run from Epsom clock tower to Plough Road, West Ewell. From the bus stop its just two minutes walk along Plough Road until you see All Saints church spire to the left and take the short footpath across to Fulford Road and the church hall. The hall has recently been upgraded with new comfortable chairs and better lighting.
Newsletter and Programme
Our regular newsletter and programmes are updated on this page. If you would like to join our emailing list please email Michael@mcstevens.co.uk or leave a message on 0791 3655 458.
Our aim is to foster interest in the New Orleans, classic, swing and the traditional jazz styles with live jazz, talks, films and coach trips.
We currently have space and can welcome more regular members to join our group.
So, if you are free on a second Tuesday afternoon, do come along. Potential members are allowed two trial visits even if not yet members of the U3A.
Hello everyone. I hope you are keeping safe and are coping well during the covid19 lockdown.
With the recent easing of Covid restrictions I was hoping to be able to have our September meeting with Martin Wheatley's Hula Bluebirds in the Hall at All Saints, West Ewell., KT19 9QY. (Read about them al http://www.hulabluebirds.co.uk/)
It was always going to be quite a struggle to meet all the Covid safety guidance rules (which are less than clearcut), but unfortunately I have failed as the maximum number the Church can currently allow in the hall for live music is limited to just 30. Unfortunately with only 30 paying members attending we could not get anywhere near to covering the costs of hall rent and musician's fees.
So, unfortunately, we can't yet re-start our regular monthly meetings but we hope for an easing of the restrictions soon. (We may rethink and start by inviting top jazz soloists to play with recorded backings, instead of inviting whole bands).
The Jazz Guide is hoping to publish a new edition in October as more live jazz venues open up. Let's hope that by then we have some meetings to list.
Meanwhile enterprising Jazz Musicians are playing jazz On-line
Jazz musicians have been having a tough time with no gigs & festivals and few chances to practice. Some now have regular live sessions on Facebook or YouTube, enabling them to keep practicing and raising some money via a PayPal “Tip Box”. They include Enrico Tomasso and Ewan Bleach and several other jazz musicians here and abroad. They are playing good entertaining music, and I recommend you try it out - Whether you leave a tip is entirely at your discretion.
One of the most enterprising is our honorary member Sarah Spencer. Sarah has formed an online band Sarah’s Covid Global Ramblers and they play and sing some great songs. The wonders of technology enable Sarah to include musicians from Europe and America in her band (just see the list of musicians below). Somehow she keeps them all in sync, both video and sound – quite some achievement with up to 8 musicians all playing in separate windows all on your screen at the same time.
“My YouTube channel is:
If you go to my channel and then select Playlists, you can see all the videos we have done under: Collaboration Videos. Otherwise, the videos are all on there anyway, just not necessarily grouped together.
If you subscribe to my channel, you will be informed when a new one is released - just do that by clicking on the Subscribe button - there is no charge for that, it's just a way of finding out where I post something new.
My Tip Jar - All proceeds are shared equally among those on the video.
If you do decide to donate money, I would appreciate knowing which video sparked the donation - that way I can ensure that the money gets to the right place.
Right now, we have the following musicians involved:
Vocals: Sarah Spencer (UK - Greater London), Hugh Crozier (UK - Greater London)
Trumpets: 'Magic' Mike Henry (UK - Greater London), Clint Baker (USA - California), Jon-Erik Kellso (USA - New York), adding Jim Fryer (USA - New York) at some point soon
Trombones: Jim Fryer (USA - NY), Mike Owen (UK - Midlands)
Reeds: Sarah Spencer (UK - Greater London), Jesper Capion Larsen (Denmark - Copenhagen)
Bass: Jim Swinnerton (string bass, UK - Lancashire), soon to add Mike Owen (brass bass, UK - Midlands)
Drums/Percussion: Clint Baker (drums, USA - California), David Clancy (drums, UK - Greater London), Jack Amblin (drums and washboard, UK - Yorkshire).”
I do hope we are able to get together before too long so that we can share our enjoyment of live jazz, and give our wonderful jazz musicians a chance to play..
One possibility I am considering is to book top solo performers instead of bands, but I wonder if you would be prepared to pay £10 a ticket for a lone soloist? If you have any views on that, or any other topic, please let me know.
Brilliant pianist/composer Andrew Oliver, who has played for us several times,and added much to the London jazz scene for the past 5+ years, has now returned to his hometown, Portland, Oregon, USA. We wish him good luck and good fortune..
Finally, I have the sad news that loyal regular members Jim Riley and Peter Dunstan have passed away since March both due to age related illnesses, and thankfully not from Covid19. RIP Jim and Peter.