‘Without jazz, life would be a mistake.’ Boris Vian

UNESCO declared today International Jazz Day in 2011 ‘to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.’ The story of Jazz is written into the quest for human dignity, democracy and civil rights. It has given strength to the struggle against discrimination and racism.’ UNESCO believes in the power of Jazz as a force for peace, dialogue and mutual understanding.

Jazz musicians often speak of the incredible influence jazz has over them personally as well as it’s power as a global force. Here are a few of our favourites.

‘Jazz is the big brother of Revolution. Revolution follows it around.’ Miles Davis

‘Jazz stands for freedom.’ Dave Brubeck

‘Jazz is the sound of surprise.’ Whitney Balliett

‘It’s not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.’ Herbie Hancock

Celebrate International Jazz Day with us at the first of our 2018 jazz evenings with Claire Martin OBE & Ray Gelato

It’s a Swingin’ Affair Saturday 2nd June 8pm

Join internationally renowned vocalist and BBC Radio presenter, Claire Martin OBE, and legendary saxophonist and singer, Ray Gelato, for their new show, A Swingin’ Affair. Celebrating the release of their album, We’ve Got a World That Swings, described by The Observer as ‘Jazz Artistry’, these much celebrated and respected artists take to the stage to explore the Great American Songbook.

Alongside a world-class trio of musicians, Claire and Ray revisit classics such as Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, They Can’t Take That Away from Me, They all Laughed and Can’t We Be Friends? If you like your music sassy, sharp and swinging – this is the show for you. A swingin’ affair indeed!

Hugely entertaining and beautifully performed’ The Observer

‘Strikes all the right notes, played and sung with real joie de vivre’ Jazzwise

On Claire Martin OBE

‘Our finest jazz singer’The Sunday Times

‘She ranks amongst the four or five finest female jazz vocalists on the planet’ Jazz Times USA

‘A consummate jazz singer with old-school virtues … she wins plaudits everywhere she works’ The Guardian

On Ray Gelato

‘Not for nothing is Gelato known as ‘The Godfather of Swing’’ The Telegraph

‘Gelato’s dapper mixture of swing and Louis Prima jumping jive remains as invigorating as ever’ The Times

‘I love jazz and swing for many different reasons. I love the danger of improvisation, the musical flexibility and the opportunity to bounce ideas off other performances and the audience. It’s new and exciting every night, and never, ever boring. There’s something so exhilarating about the passion of jazz artists that makes them the most entertaining musicians and gives us the most wonderful music to play.’ Claire Martin OBE


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