Friday 14th July at 8.00pm
(pre-show supper at 7:00pm)
21st "SPEAKEASY SESSION"
with GRAHAM HUGHES
Tickets £12 (£26 including pre-show supper) can be booked on 01460 54973
Mike's guest for this "Speakeasy" is a very well known character from our UK jazz scene, who plays several different instruments at gigs and festivals with many different bands of widely varying make-up and styles, led by himself or others. Mike's choice of partners for his duo sessions over the last eight or nine years has never let us down and this one will be no exception. Expect a fun evening with stories, anecdotes, jokes and above all with music which never fails to provide a hugely entertaining evening.
Graham Hughes is a freelance jazz musician living in North London. As a trombone player he toured the UK and Europe with many renowned musicians for years: Keith Nichols, Enrico Tomasso, the Charleston Chasers, Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, TJ Johnson, the Passadena Roof Orchestra, Barry Martyn and the Young Bloods, Alan Barnes, James Evans etc. and he is now in demand as a name in his own right at dozens of clubs and festivals.
Some years ago he also took up the sousaphone, and over time has built up quite a reputation as a leading player, pinning down the bass-lines solidly in traditional jazz, funk, latin and other styles of band. He also took up the double bass and has been playing this with gipsy jazz style bands for many years. Even his chromatic harmonica is a popular addition to some concerts - an instrument he was given when he went travelling when he was young. As a youth he spent many hours singing in choirs, and now sings many a song with the Sunshine Kings and other bands. He has also done a bit of composing as a side-line, and the Brass Volcanoes band has provided an opportunity to air some of these compositions.
His desire to play the music he loves with musicians he enjoys playing with spurred him to set up bands, and with his versatility on various instruments it inevitably meant running a number of different bands. Seeing how so many other people run and front bands has been a great education for him, learning from the good and the bad. He has been doing it for many years now, and the number of repeat bookings for his bands suggests he's doing something right.
He runs his own bands in between his engagements playing with others, a little bit of teaching (spreading the love of music), practicing, and trying to finding time to have a life outside music.
Mike Denham has played at the Meeting House many, many times, and has always been immensely popular, with his performances generally are played to a full house. As well being a brilliant pianist, playing across a wide variety of styles, he is a great story teller with a sense of humour which adds hugely to his act. His in depth knowledge of early jazz is second to none, and his fascination with his subject is clear for all to see. He is always a pleasure to listen to.
Mike is a fine solo pianist, with an interesting and tasteful repertoire of American jazz from the early years of the century through to 50's Rock and Roll. He plays classic rags by Scott Joplin, the blues and stomps of Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller, and popular songs by George Gershwin and Irving Berlin, as well as eight-to-the bar boogie and blues from Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons through to the somewhat more up-to-date "Fats" Domino.
A self-confessed ragtime junkie, Mike loves to play not only Joplin rags but also those of James Scott, Joe Lamb, Artie Matthews and others, along with some of his own compositions.
Mike plays a large number of concerts each year in attractive venues with fine pianos. Invariably well attended, these concerts give both Mike and the audience a great deal of pleasure.
Introduced to the piano by his father, who needed someone to accompany his violin, mandolin and guitar playing, Mike's music career suffered an early set back when he was "asked to leave" the school madrigal group. History does not record whether this stemmed from a tendency to syncopate the baroque ensembles, or perhaps from a complete inability to sing. However, the chance to play jazz at Exeter University and a short but enjoyable time with The Teign Valley Stompers set Mike's musical path in the jazz direction.
Stints with various Midlands bands followed, before Mike moved back south, and became co-founder of the Sunset Cafe Stompers. Based in darkest Dorset, the Sunset Cafe are a popular and busy band who have played at clubs and festivals all over Britain.
Mike is also a part of the successful duo Original Rags with leading trumpet player Steve Graham, who doubles on mandolin. He also plays in Steve's eight piece ensemble, "Classic Jazz", which focuses on the classic recordings of Joe "King" Oliver, and "Jelly Roll" Morton
Mike's first solo album "The Pearls" was a great success and his second, "Heliotrope Bouquet", has also been well received.
LICENSED BAR serving a range of wines, bottled beers and soft drinks.
PRE- SHOW SUPPER (must be booked at least 2 days before the concert).
Tonight's Menu: TBA; Dessert; Coffee
Vegetarian option available. Please ring the Arts Centre on 01460 54973 at least 2 days before the concert