Photo by Nick Wiseman Ellis. . .

Well now.

I hope you have had a lovely long weekend, whether it be in the company of eggs, churches, commemorations or daffodils.

My, I have a lot of news – you may need a strong cup of something with all this!!!

Last week I was mostly in the locality of Wylde Green (you wouldn’t believe how few railway ticket officers have never heard of it!) which doesn’t appear to be that wild to me but I did enjoy looking through some of the cartoon books that video editor Jamie McCoan has – the Perishers, for example and of course Giles. I can get lost in them for hours. My brother got me a Wil E Coyote (sp?) DVD and I hadn’t seen that for years. Hilarious and again, I love the ‘simplicity’ of them. . .knowing that the skill of drawing and timing is not so simple at all. Cartoon strips and story boards fascinate me – the mini stories. Superb.

I have noticed that I have become suddenly very interested in sciences and knitting again. Things go in phases with me and slowly, I am joining up the dots, mainly because I have a bee in my bonnet. . .now don’t look so surprised. . . about creativity and art.

I wish the world would dispense with boxes. Why does everyone always want to put everything into an inflexible box, whether it is jazz, science, arts, craft or anything?

First of all I happened to notice in the 3 books I was reading last week, which, as far as I know are unrelated, Albert Einstein kept being mentioned. He, like John Herschel. . .  ah, there you go, another one, seems like a very lovely chap and so multi faceted. I was fascinated to find out that John Herschel, in my research in writing music inspired by Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs, had a famous experiment to try and capture a sunbeam. Cor! What fun!

Anyway, before I go off on another scenic route of chatter, the point I was trying to make is that everything is art, creativity, craft, science, jazz, improvisation etc, isn’t it?

It is in everything and certainly was in the work of these chaps.

And. . .isn’t everyone multi faceted, creative, scientific, artistic and improvisational? it’s just that we often don’t feel we are. . .just like stories. . .we all have an amazing story to tell, although from our own perspective, our story may seem mundane and ordinary.

Life contains all these things and from the moment I wake, all of these ‘boxes’ come into play, whether it’s deciding what I’m eating with what to what I am wearing. . .we join up the dots and cross over boundaries all the time, so when people announce to me that they aren’t creative, artistic, musical or improvisationaI, I have to grin at the perceptions we have of ourselves. Nelson Mandela was so right in saying that perhaps what we are afraid of is how amazing we really are and can be. . .

I have read quite a lot of biographies and heard so many bits of life stories from friends and relatives. Honestly, it is true that there is nothing more amazing, curious and fantastic than real life.

At this point, I must say that anything I think or say is just that – I share it because I do and if you disagree that is fine. I was encouraged by my Dad to debate, research and always ask questions. This is here to share what I come across with you. . .and I have been enjoying peoples’ responses enormously in between my natters, so thank you for sending in your thoughts.

Now then, in Ireland, there has been quite a general election (still unresolved) worthy of producing a sitcom about; quite ironic in this commemorative year of the 1916 Easter Uprising. One of the ongoing issues is the water, which has been undrinkable in the County of Roscommon since I moved here nearly 2 years ago.

I have been reading about Trihalomethanes or THMs, which are chemical compounds in which 3 of the 4 hydrogen atoms of methane are replaced by halogen atoms. They are often used in industry as solvents or refridgerants. They are also environmental pollutants and many are thought to be carcinogenic.

Released to the environment, Triomethanes break down and damage the ozone layer.

I am very very interested in water as a basic right, what it contains and it’s effect on our health.

Most of us don’t drink enough clean water and it’s effect on our system, especially as we get older, is massive . . .take urine infections for example in people over 75 . . . they can incur as drastic a change in a personality as Jeykll and Hyde.

Trihalomethanes are a by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect water for drinking. They result from the reaction of chlorine or bromine with organic matter present in the water being treated and can result in quite nasty health effects. Some governments set limits on THMs in drinking water while others do not. While this concerns me enormously, what concerns me more are THMs are only one group of many hundreds of disinfection by-products. . . the vast majority of which are not monitored.

The four chief constituents of trihalomethanes seem to be chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane. Chloroform is also formed in swimming pools which are disinfected with chlorine or hypochlorite in the haloform reaction with organic substances such as sweat, urine, hair and skin particles. Some THMs are volatile and can vaporize into the air. This makes it possible to inhale THMs while showering. However, this is minimal in consumption terms compared to the intake of THMs via the skin with dermal absorption in swimmers.

Between the facts that there is not a drug on the market that doesn’t result in harming another part of your body. . . that we don’t ever get the full chemical ingredient information used in the processing of foods or scents used in everything . . .and that medics can’t be guaranteed to know the results from the chemical combinations of prescribed drug cocktails of issuing more than 3 or 4 daily drugs, let alone double figures that so many people are prescribed nowadays, makes me wonder how the world lost sight of natural foods, clean water and fresh air.

Perhaps there is a need to know more, to see below the surface of what is happening in our communities? I was in Birmingham New Street Station recently, without a mobile phone or headphones.

I seemed to be quite unusual in this respect.

We are surrounded by robotic checkouts and fast everything, which are sold to the world as conveniences.

Yet why do I see more people rushing, hearing the words, ”Sorry, I haven’t got time”, over and over again. . .  more waste, more plastic or paper packaging. . .when these self-serve modes, supermarkets and so on, are meant to give us more time and less waste? Are we all so easily fooled. . .?

Everyone is in their own headphone and text frenzied world. . .me too. . .and we are missing a real and very beautiful world out there.

However, just as I was starting to drown myself in such thoughts, I got talking to a mature student I teach in Worcester. We talked briefly about the cases of environmental – i.e. land and water toxicity – that we knew of, in the last few years which has had awful effects on communities there, often with no support from local councils or GPs. All in Britain and Ireland, too.

He introduced me to the work of Hannah Genders. See below. . .

Inspiring and hopeful. . .

(Photo by Ramatouille)

While in Birmingham, I called into Hobgoblin and tried out some of the melodicas with Mark McCabe (above). Great fun! I think I am in danger of losing friends championing this instrument but what a super instrument, especially if you are first starting.

My first tune on it was ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ when I was about 7; I won a couple of All Ireland Championships on it (Miscellaneous Category) and used it all the time to pick up tunes from recordings by ear.

Now I am taking it into sessions. Ahhhh, the weight loss. . . .better than any diet. . .

Many thanks again to some very interesting and lovely responses to the last blog and to Helen Roe for introducing me to the creativity of Aristide Maillol, a sculptor, tapestry maker, painter and printmaker.

Contemporary conceptual art holds so little interest for me these days. I visited 3 exhibitions in Dublin recently where the ‘new’ (hmmmm) art fell alarmingly short of the concept that greeted me at the door.

I am walking further back into the realm of draughtsmanship, craftsmanship and the ability to ignite representation into life. There is very few conceptual artists whose work makes me swoon these days. I can’t think of one.

I stumbled across an exhibition recently of Andrew Wyeth and the drawings of The Spanish Realistas such as Isabel Quintanilla. Maria Moreno. Now that got me jumping up and down, quite literally, with excitement. And the drawings and paintings of another SR, Antonio Lopez fill me with so much joy that so much conceptual art only seems, for me, to confirm a feeling of the emperor’s new clothes.

I wish I could get excited about it but I don’t so it’s back to loving the drawing boards for me. Having said that, I am not a huge fan of the Super- realists. There’s a fine line between art work that could almost be done on a computer and the realism that seems to leave the subject to speak (and not shout) for itself.

I was having a discussion, only this morning, about how it seems very unfashionable to praise or celebrate beauty – in art, music or design. I went to see a photographic exhibition at the Hive in Worcester last week and came away feeling so very sad about the human race. I guess technicality and urban landscapes don’t move me; I see the value in social comment but it occurs to me that despite the footage of refugees, starving nations, 1914 and 1916 commemorations, racism, war and astonishing proposals regarding welfare cuts in the disadvantaged areas of our communities. . .rather than shock everyone into action, it all goes on and on and on, save for the minority on the ground.
‘Lest we forget,’. . . hmmm. Commemoration or celebration?

Selective memory loss is a worldwide virus and never ceases to amaze me.

Below stands David Eyres, a British artist whose drawings of my father and late Uncle Derrick, (which he stands beside in his Welsh studio) fill me with awe and happiness.

His website is :

He also plays the accordion. . .

One of David’s painted portraits is to be included in this year’s Royal Portrait Society’s Annual Exhibition in the Mall Galleries, central London from May 5th to May 26th 2016. I’m so looking forward to going to see it in my birthday month (which is getting quite busy already! Are you coming to the party?).

(Derrick Tweed pencil drawing by David Eyres)

Many of you may know I love to write letters by hand and I had been discussing the passing of friends and family over the last few years with Hazel Eldridge, a wonderful correspondent of mine near Glastonbury. Her letters are full of fun, fascinating information and colourful illustrations.

This recent comment of hers really touched me :
‘. . .I deem that we have been greatly favoured. Your Uncle Derrick, my old Dad, Auntie Lucy, Knitter and Sempstress upholsterer extraordinaire, have left us practical and genetic messages. Anyone that has influenced you by a practical and technical skill, and you mention the passing of a great friend, has laid a pattern for you to follow and pass on.’


(David putting up his drawings to show to my father and cousin, Vanessa)

And, with that quote in mind, here is the obituary for concertina player, Andrew Knight who inspired many people I have met to take up music and song :

Further north, banjo player Martin Matthews (a great North East musician and composer I know from sessions around Durham) is exhibiting his own pictures, prints and music from Wall2Wall exhibition at Durham. It’s in the World Heritage Visitor Centre, Owengate Palace Green in Durham for the month of May.

Martin has a new CD to coincide with the exhibition and guests include myself and Tom McElvogue (flute) which will be available in May too.

There will be a performance of selected pieces from both albums by Martin with some guest musicians  in the gallery; I’ll keep you posted about the date.

(Photo : Rosie Byrne Doherty)

I said I would include some of the photos from the St Patrick’s Day Parade I was involved in, along with the Ballinalee Band, Jim McLoughlin, John Sullivan and Michael Lennon. The last time I was involved in a carnival, it was in Northampton about 30 years ago and it was great fun then, too.

This time, as an adult, I couldn’t help going into a reverie about my teens and the inspirational people who dragged me into such adventures, including set dancing and fancy dress ceilis, like Mick Clifford Snr, Tom Conoboy and Gerry Hewitt, plus of course my Mum and Dad. My Dad once appeared, just before leaving for a fancy dress ceili, kitted out as a Christmas Pudding. I still have the photo and we all laughed until we wept.

Last week, my Dad and I went to hear the annual concert by musicians at Leicester Grammar School. The music director there is David Whittle, a powerhouse of energy and this year they had invited Chris Dean, trombonist and leader of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra to arrange some of the music, play and sing. David also arranged much of the music, which was brilliant and had combined the school’s strings with the Big Band for the event.

It was such a varied programme with music from Ted Heath’s Orchestra, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Lionel Ritchie, the Swing Era, Natalie Cole, Frank Sinatra and the music of Tommy Dorsey. . .SO impressive and fun (fantastic arrangements) plus my Dad was quietly singing along to all the words. It was in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust.

I wanted to share this wonderful tribute with you from Ian Storror who runs the superb Jazz and Acoustic club in Bristol, following the death of his Dad :

Dave Storror 1933 to 2016
This months Jazz video clip is dedicated to my Dad, Dave who passed away last Saturday, aged 82.
It was his love of Jazz; and indeed his record collection that drew me into the music I now love, as a kid. From the orchestras of Count Basie, Ted Heath, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman to Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon and later the piano sounds of Oscar Peterson and the classical jazz of Jacques Loussier; they all fed my ears and helped me move on to more contemporary sounds.

He took me to see live gigs from 11 years old, the
Syd Lawrence Orchestra was a warm up for Duke Ellington at The Colston Hall on the great man’s 70th Birthday tour in 1970 (Nov’25th).
I was so naive, after the first tune I asked which one was The Duke?
“He’s not on stage yet” he said, as the band burst into ‘Take the A Train’ the Billy Strayhorn composed Ellington theme tune.

The Duke strolled on stage bedecked in sequined azure blue jacket, hair slicked down and super coolly took the piano chair. The band possessed the most awesome sax section of all time: Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Russell Procope, Harry Carney, Harold Ashby and Norris Turney; with the awesome Cat Anderson on lead trumpet…..stick a fork in me….I was done!

Thanks Pop, for being a friend for life and an inspiration,
The clip is a bit ‘Hammy’, but what the hell it sounds good
‘Take the A Train’ (3.13 mins) (

Thank you, Ian. See below for his club’s live programme dates.

(Jim McLoughlin and John Sullivan. Photo : Rosie Byrne Doherty)

There seems a wealth of interesting slants on the Irish in Britain, commemorating 1916 and the one that caught my attention is the exhibition around the building of the London Underground. Amazing photographs and all manual labour. Here, I have been to presentations on the forgotten roles of women at the time of the Uprising – a series held in libraries throughout County Longford. So, lots going on and it is always the community events that bring everyone together for slightly bonkers adventures that always win my heart, at the end of the day. . .

(Michael Lennon. Photo : Rosie Byrne Doherty)

I’ve been captivated by a mini biography of Audrey Hepburn and the number of times an actor / actress’ singing voice was overdubbed and often, never celebrated. In Audrey Hepburn’s case in ‘My Fair Lady’ the real singer was Marni Nixon. I was really fascinated by a documentary I saw about her and also the producer Arif Mardin – it is amazing that we assume the spotlight stars do everything by themselves, yet often, when it comes to music, it is often the behind-the-scenes personnel that make such a difference to success or oblivion. The same goes for the band members such as those backing people like Frank SInatra, for example. Those arrangements and playing make anyone sing their heart out.

There were some lovely quotes from Ms Hepburn, such as ‘If I am honest, I still read fairytales and I like them best of all.’

(Photo : Rosie Byrne Doherty)

I’m delighted to announce that Dik Cadbury (Decameron/Steve Hackett/Mike D’Abo) has released his second solo CD in 17 years entitled ‘Winds of Change’.

This follow-up to ‘About Time’ is a self-produced collection of original songs reflecting the changes in his life over that period.

It features contributions from Steve Hackett, Nick Magnus and Pete Hicks – all former colleagues from the original Steve Hackett live line-up 1978-80, following Steve’s departure from Genesis; also from his daughters Lucy and Holly, keyboards ace Andy Neve, accordion whizz Karen Tweed, steel pan from Notting Hill Carnival founder Sterling Betancourt (MBE). . .  plus former Decameron chums Geoff March (‘cello and vocals) and Al Fenn (mandolin) – plus two lyrics from Dave Bell – amongst others.

Drums for six tracks were laid by Keith Baker in John Acock’s dining room in Herefordshire about 6 years ago and the project has evolved in numerous living rooms and studies and on Dik’s dining room table since then.

Dik plays guitars, bass, ‘violinola’ and provides the main vocals on all but one track, ‘You Are My Heartbeat’, co-written with Lucy and featuring her vocal.

Lyrics and full credits can be found, the tracks sampled and either purchased on CD or downloaded in digital format (mp3) via Amazon, i-Tunes or Spotify, by visiting

‘About Time’ and his 2015 duo album ‘Cadbury-Hicks’ (Americana collection with Pete Hicks) are also available via

(Photo : Rosie Byrne Doherty)
Well, it must be time for a cuppa by now. Oh! Before I forget – there’s some  intriguing exhibitions on at Northampton Museums and Art Galleries just now.
‘Give it some Welly’ – a History of the Wellington Boot (until 24th April) and ‘Bees – Pollinators of the World’ (until 15th May). Tel 01604 838111 for details.

And here’s the happy band that won the Longford Parade. . .

(Photo : Olivia Lennon)

. . . . .and tin whistler, Oran Lennon with the trophy – his first!

And finally, a beautiful image of a cloud, sent to me from Tom McElvogue.

From: Tom McElvogue
To: Karen Tweed
Subject: Beautiful cloud

Enjoy the lighter evenings. . .



Tues 12th / Wed 13th April : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila teaching at Newcastle University

Tues 19th April : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Wed 20th April : Karen Tweed solo concert, CHELTENHAM
Venue : Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1HQ

Tickets : £12
Info :  01242 572573

Thurs 21st April : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :
Fri 22nd April : Karen Tweed: Solo, SHREWSBURY
Venue : Bradbury Hall, The Trinity Centre, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury SY3 9HF
Tickets : £10 / £7 unwaged

Concert : 8pm
Info and tickets : 07522 606871

Sat 23rd April: Karen Tweed 
10am – 4.30pm
Venue :  Glebe Hall, The Trinity Centre, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury SY3 9HF
Tickets : £40
 Bring and share lunch
Info and contact : 07522 606871

Fri 29th April : Karen Tweed: Solo SOMERSET
Venue : Roxy Cinema, 36 High Street, Axbridge, Somerset BS26 2AF Tickets : £10 / £7 unwaged

Info and tickets :
01749 870078


Sun 1st May : 
Karen Tweed SOMERSET Accordion Day : MUSIC from SCOTLAND, IRELAND and FRANCE
10am – 4.30pm
Venue : Priddy Village Hall, Somerset BA5 3BE
Tickets : £40 
Bring and share lunch
Info and contact :
01749 870078

Tues 17th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Thurs 19th May : Karen Tweed Teaching at Worcester
To book your slot, see :

Sat 21st  May : Karen Tweed: Solo YORK
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £10 advance / £12 on the door

Info and tickets :
07522 606871 /

Sun 22nd  May : 
Karen Tweed YORK Mixed Ensemble Day
10am – 5pm
Venue : The Wolfe Room, The Black Swan Inn, 23 Peasholme Green, York YO1 7PR
Tickets : £25

Info and contact :
07522 606871 /

Mon 23rd  May : Karen Tweed: Solo CROYDON
Venue : Croydon Folk Club, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road
Croydon CR0 1BD
Tel: 020 8660 5919
Ticket URL:
Tickets: £8 (£6 members)

Fri 27th May : Karen Tweed & Friends Birthday-Concert-Party, BRISTOL – free event
To commemorate my 27th year as a professional musician, I’m having a bit of a do. . .Guests include Roger Wilson, Karen Street, Richard Hughes, Kirsten Hellier, Ivan Miletitch, Johnny Coppin and Andy Tweed.
Venue : The Hen & Chicken, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 1JF
Tickets : Free by reservation – email : or tel / text : 07522 606871
Donations on the night welcomed towards Alzheimers UK and The Samaritans.

Mon 30th  May : Karen Tweed: Solo (& with Karen Street) The New Horrington Fair, WELLS
Venue : Wells Cricket Club, New Horrington, Wells, Someset BS26 2AF
12 noon – 4pm
FREE event

Residents of South Horrington are resurrecting the Family Fun Day that took place every summer on the old Mendip Hospital site.
Throughout the 1960s to 80s the Mendip Hospital Summer Fete, run by the League of Friends, evolved to become one of the biggest events of the summer, opened by a local celebrity and with attractions such as The Red Devils, police display teams, the Somerset Light Infantry, maypole dancing, an antiques market, a donkey derby, skittles, children’s fancy dress and a pig roast.
The new Horrington Fair will take place at South Horrington at Wells Cricket Club on Mayday Bank Holiday Monday, May 30, from noon to 4pm.
There is music all day with L’esprit du jazz and Karen Tweed and others tbc.
There will also be a dog training demonstration and games for children, and various stalls including a plant sale.
Refreshments will include BBQ, a licensed bar, tea and cakes and Mendip Moments ice cream.

Fri 17th June : Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis CONCERT
Venue: Kombüse 53° Nord
Address: Hauptstraße 28, 21787 Oberndorf
Time: 19:00
Tickets: 11€ adv./13€ on the door.
Tel: +49 4772 8608913

Mon 27th June – Fri 1st July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila teaching and in concert, FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Summer school 
Dates : 27th June – 1st July

Information :

Saturday 2nd July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND
Venue : Haapavesi Festival

Info and tickets :

Sat 9th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila in concert FINLAND

Venue : Rääkkylä Kihaus Festival

Info and tickets :

Mon 11th – Tues 12th July : Karen Tweed & Timo Alakotila at KAUSTINEN FESTIVAL, FINLAND

Tickets and info :

Mon 8th – Fri 12th August : Karen Tweed teaching BATH
Venue : Bath Folk Festival Summer School, The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY 

Info :


Sat 24th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH in CONCERT

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 adv./£12 on the door.

Info : or tel: +44 7522 606871



Sun 25th September : Karen Tweed Karen Tweed & Nick Wiseman Ellis NORWICH WORKSHOP

Venue: Silver Road Community Centre
Address: 34 Silver Road, Norwich, Norfolk NR3 4TB

Time: 9.45am – 5pm

Tickets: £25

Bring and share lunch

Info : or tel: +44 7522 606871


Fri 14th  October : Karen Tweed : SOLO BANGOR
Cafe Caban Caffi, Brynrefall LL55 3NR
Tickets, Info and contact : 01286 685500

Sun 16TH  October : Karen Tweed BANGOR Accordion Day
10am – 4.30pm
Tickets : £40
 Bring and share lunch
Info and contact : Annie 01286 673696 /

Sat 29th  Oct : Karen Tweed: LLANDINAM, MID-WALES The Severn Suite (with John Kirkpatrick) 10 Years On
Venue : Llandinam Vllage Hall, Llandinam


Round and about. . .

1. Ian Storror’s Jazz at the Albert
JAZZ at the Albert GIG-UPDATE3. Ian Storror The Finest ‘LIVE ‘ ~ Jazz & Acoustic Music in
Bristol since 1989
The Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bristol, BS3 1JF


APRIL 2016: News & Gigs

This month we have four gigs, 3 x Jazz and 1 x Acoustic/Folk.

The first on
Sun 3 April is Kit Downes new trio The Enemy, which was one of the stand out gigs of last year and my personal favourite of 2015. This visit should be even better with six months more development and the addition of guitarist Chris Montague coming in on the second set.

The gorgeous voice of
Joe Topping will engage us on Fri 8 April, with Matt Ridley’s Quartet (feat; Jason Yarde on saxes) back for a repeat visit on Sun 17, with music from his new album Metta Last but by no means least, is a late addition to the programme featuring an exciting French trio by Laurent Coulondre who doubles on piano & keys with a strong Hammond sound. This gig has been arranged with french saxophonist Julian Alenda, who is currently residing in Bristol and is a friend of Laurent. This is only the second UK visit for the trio; and one of only three gigs over a short weekend tour

NEW innovation I’m starting from today, is to let you know which gigs may well sell very quickly. Our audiences have been growing steadily over the last 18 months and three or four this year have reached near sell out numbers. As members of the mailing list you will get a nod and a wink about the gigs that might need to be booked early, so look out for this logo:
*EBA* This will indicate ‘Early Booking Advised’
Kit Downe’s is first; see the right hand column for further ones. The logo will only appear when the ticket system is ready to take bookings

Kit Downes’; The Enemy w/Chris Montague *EBASunday
3 April
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£14 /£12                   Jazz
Kit Downes (Piano), Petter Eldh (Bass), James Maddren (Drums), plus Chris Montague (Guitar)
Even with the current plethora of brilliant piano trios who have emerged in the last five years, this is a stand out group, full of high quality playing and ridiculously fantastic music. The further development of this line-up is only to be relished.

During the coming months we will be fortunate to hear some great music. I promise you, the gig list is of the highest calibre I’ve ever put together, this gig is at the top end of that!!!

Kit Downes is a phenomenon! One of the most gifted pianists to have emerged in the last fifteen years: Contemporary, fantastically energetic, edgy, lyrical, melodic, intriguing and exhilarating, The Enemy are based in London and Berlin.
The inclusion of Chris Montague to the band in the second set is mouth-watering, considering he and Kit are serial collaborators with Troyka.

Joe Topping
Friday 8 April
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£10 /£8                 Acoustic / Folk
A few weeks ago I went to Yorkshire to attend the Birthday party of Chris While of While & Matthews fame. The guest list read like a ‘Who’s who’ of UK acoustic musicians. The evening was an outstanding musical evening by such performers as While & Matthews themselves, Chris’s daughter Kelly While; Martin Simpson, Christine Collister, Charlie Dore, Helen Watson, Ken Nicol, Ben & Joe Broughton and some of South York’s & Sheffield’s best local players. A great night with a line-up that would grace any festival! However one of the highlights came from Joe Topping, who I knew of, but never heard before.

From the first note out of his mouth he had my attention, even among all the fine voices I’d been hearing, he sang a beautiful love song; self penned to his wife, and sang it with amazing quality, feel and clarity. Despite his CV to date, he astonishingly combines his music with a day job working to support his young family. I say astonishingly because when hear this guys voice you won’t believe it either?

… an unclaimed musical treasure – discover it yourself, soon. ~ Living Tradition magazine

I had the briefest of conversations with him on leaving and offering to put a gig on in Bristol if he fancied it… here it is, this guy is worth a night of your time!

Joe has played on stage and in the studio with many legends of the British folk scene including members of Fairport Convention, While and Matthews, Andy Irvine, Maartin Allcock and most recently as stand-in lead vocalist in the BBC2 award winning “Best live Act” Home Service whilst John Tams recovered from surgery. Joe also currently plays in the bands Elbow Jane and The Rainbow Chasers (with Ashley Hutchings).
…an innovative resonator guitar style and a real song writing talent. ~ Folk on Tap

Matt Ridley Quartet feat; Jason Yarde
Sunday 17 April
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£14 /£12                   Jazz
Jason Yarde (Saxes), John Turville (Piano), Matt Ridley (Bass), George Hart (Drums)
Following up his debut release on Whirlwind Records (Thymos, 2013), his new album Metta – a title and concept referencing themes of benevolence and goodwill – finds him progressing his shared creativity again with his quartet of pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and soprano saxophonist Jason Yarde, who appears here in a fuller, more centrally melodic role. Captured within a single day, this is a studio recording brimming with passion and spontaneity, now transferred to live tour.

Ridley’s musical landscape is one of focused rhythmic, chordal and improvisational invention which can both challenge and delight. Since graduating from Trinity College of Music in 2005, Matt has established himself as one of the most versatile, creative and hard-working bass players on the UK scene. Known for his imaginative soloing, solid time keeping and great sound, he is (somewhat unusually) in demand for both straight-ahead and modern jazz. He also has much experience in the spheres of World Music, Folk, Classical and Pop.

Aside from his own project, Matt leads the MJQ Celebration. A straight-ahead yet modern outfit, the band comprises Brit-jazz award winner vibraphonist Jim Hart, pianist Barry Green, and Brit-jazz award winner Steve Brown on drums. Propelled by Ridley’s ebullient swing, the group lend an exciting modern sensibility to the well known and loved repertoire of the Modern Jazz Quartet

One of Britain’s very finest contemporary quartets. ~ Jazzwise

Laurent Coulondre Trio  (France)
Sunday 24 April
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£13 /£11                   Jazz
Laurent Coulondre  (Piano & Keys), Jérémy Bruyère (Bass), Martin Wangermée (Drums)
Apart from one appearance at the London Jazz Festival, on the Barbican Freestage last year, this will be only this trio’s second UK visit. In Europe however, Laurent has been a very busy chap, playing nearly many major jazz and music festivals; from the really big ones such as the Dutch North Sea JF, Marciac and Paris in France to Tokyo and beyond. His high energy trio employs Laurent on both piano and keyboards that use many sounds from Hammond Organ to Fender Rhodes, whilst reliant on the traditional piano for standards and ballads.

Laurent Coulondre belongs to a young generation of musicians who with talent and freedom have contributed to the evolution of Jazz in modern day France. Possessing a matchless instinct for rhythm and harmony, he expresses himself at the piano and at the organ with a unique musicality that is rare for a musician of his age, and a sensitivity that leaves you breathless.

This gig has been arranged with French sax player Julien Alenda who currently lives in Bristol and is a friend of Laurent. It may well be that Julien will sit-in as a guest on some part of the evening.

The harmonic palette of a young musician who already knows a lot. ~ Jazz Magazine

For more details of upcoming gigs go to the ‘Jazzata’ website;

Available all year round for gift options for friends and family.
Simply buy online at the website
I will post or deliver the voucher/s to you with an invite for the recipient to join the mailing list to be able to choose any Jazz, Folk or Acoustic gig they would like to attend. Vouchers last for 1 year.
You can buy any combination to suit your price range.
Ella Fitzgerald   Sandy Denny     Billie Holiday
£20                   £10                    £5

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3. Leighton House ‘Pre-Raphaelites on Paper’ Exhibition of Drawings by the PRB from the Lanigan collection

4. Johnny Coppin Tour dates!


18-22  La Jeusseliniere – The Reunion 2016     Workshops at Halsway Manor, nr Crowcombe Somerset TA4 4BD– I will one of the guest tutors.
Hosted by Martyn & Danni Wyndham-Read, with Iris Bishop, Stan Graham, Carolyn Robson and guest tutors.
Martyn & Danni started the La Jeusseliniere music weeks form their home in France in 2002. These relaxed and friendly courses, featuring well known folk artists

and musicians, continued until Martyn & Danni moved back to the UK in 2007. The La Jeuss Reunion began the following year, continuing to flourish as a meeting
place where like minded musicians – and their partners and friends – can relax and enjoy each others company whilst exploring and improving their musical talents.
The week is suitable for musicians of all levels of ability, from beginners to advanced, and there will be art classes and other activities for non-musicians.
BOOKING    for information and to book please contact Stan Graham, / 01904 758228.

Thu 28  EVESHAM Arts Centre  – “Folk in the Foyer”- with support from singer/songwriter Colin Pitts
Prince Henry’s School, Victoria Avenue  WR11 4QH  7.30pm

Tickets   Box office 01386 446944

5. Royal Portrait Society’s Annual Exhibition in the Mall Galleries, central London from May 5th to May 26th 2016. Includes a portrait by David Eyres.

6. HARP ON WIGHT 2016 6TH – 10TH OCTOBER 2016

7. HIBERNIA – Irish Music Classes in BRISTOL
Venue : St Andrew’s Church Hall and Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, Avonmouth Village BS11 9EN


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