The Duke and The Swamp Donkeys


Last weekend was truly eventful! I was down in deepest East Kent covering the Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Jazz Festival but a good jazz friend had tipped me off that The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys were starring at The Duke Of Cumberland in Whitstable on Sunday afternoon during their UK “Brexit Hot Jazz Tour”.

So having contacted the Duke and The Swamp Donkeys I headed for Whitstable with my pal Peter Clifford to film them. My YouTubes tell it as it was – brilliant jazz, brilliant entertainment – and The Duke was packed with fans young and older.

I had packed the lens away to head back for Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle when The Swamp Donkeys launched into this version of “St James Infirmary”. Sensing it was going to be something special, I re-geared as quickly as possible! It’s “St James Infirmary” Swamp Donkey Style!


“A Swamp Donkey is a member of a New Orleans based traditional jazz band that plays old style jass from the 1900s – 1930s.”

“The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys are an extremely versatile group of young musicians who play traditional jass, blues, vaudeville, original music, modern jazz adaptations, and many other jazz and New Orleans-derived styles. They started in the authentic, New Orleans, grassroots music scene, playing local festivals and second lines, and transitioned into world-class music programs, festivals, and events, playing in concerts all over the globe. Their sound is enormously accessible with their frontman, the Louis Armstrong-sounding, soulful and sweet James Williams.”

Be sure to view their own movies on:

Peter M Butler
Editor & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

(YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

An Afterthought:

Back at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Pete Lay mentioned to me his Editorial in this July’s Issue of Jazz&Jazz. It’s very pertinent:

Where are the younger bands and where is the younger audience?

“Bringing in younger bands to jazz clubs and festivals doesn’t guarantee that young audiences will follow. And, not only that, it doesn’t guarantee that the regular club/festival goers are willing to push out their comfort zone to try something new.

“In today’s world, young people have a plethora of entertainment options at the tap of a screen, a veritable ‘supermarket’ of choice. And they employ ‘smart’ m marketing techniques through social media to reach a vast audience. They don’t seem to embrace the monthly or bi-monthly jazz club and festival circuit as we know it.

“How do we encourage the younger bands to come to clubs or festivals if he regular attendees are reticent to spend on something they think they might not like? Do we take a gamble? Do we come up with brilliant marketing schemes as well?

“Or do we continue on with the status quo, bemoaning the fact that audiences are dwindling and clubs are folding? I don’t know the answer. What I do know is that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, So perhaps it’s time to gamble, to push out of the comfort zone and try something new to achieve a new result.

“Anybody game? You tell me”

Pete Lay
Editor, Just Jazz

Pete, I wonder if our clubs and ageing fans would react as positively to The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys and other younger bands I have featured on Jazz&Jazz as did The Duke of Cumberland fans to The Swamp Donkeys. On a positive note, fans reacted very, very favourably when Hippocampus Jass Gang featured at The Bay Jazz Club, Enfield.

Cheers, Peter

PS We would welcome and value Readers’ comments!

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Fun in Faversham with Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims

I have a special affinity with jazz in Kent…


… and especially in East Kent! After all, that’s where the adventures began all those years ago in the late 1950s and early 60s. My oldest school chum is also a keen jazz fan which is great because he lives in Kent and whenever I visit we take in local jazz. Plus I still have my spies strategically placed throughout the region who keep me posted on events.

Brian Summers is one of my chief under cover agents and when he gets scoops he sends them to me to share on Jazz&Jazz. So here is his very latest scoop – one of Kent’s favourite jazzmen, Burt Butler with his Jazz Pilgrims captured on YouTube at Faversham’s Car Classic Car Show in May!


Photo courtesy of Brian Summers. Be sure to watch Brian’s YouTube below. The musicians’ names are listed at the end.

So with no further ado, because in Kent they prefer their jazz to their ado (particularly another friend who recently moved from Gillingham to Faversham), here is Brian’s YouTube. Thank you Brian! Fee on the way when paymaster permits!

Portrait of Burt
And, as an aside, I simply couldn’t let this go without including my portrait of Burt which I painted of him when the Jazz Pilgrims played in The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable. Nowadays they play regularly in Whitstable’s Two Brewers – sounds altogether more appropriate in more ways than one!


Peter M Butler
Spymaster & Proprietor Jazz&Jazz

“Keep Doing What You Are Doing”: Just Jazz Magazine Features Jazz&Jazz



Jazz & Jazz: honoured to be featured in the May,

2012, issue of Just Jazz.

So much so, that we are pleased to reproduce the article here for our online followers:


 By Peter Butler 

“The art of life is to know when to seize on accidents and make them milestones.” Chairman Humph. (A gem from Humphrey Lyttelton’s autobiography, “It Just Occurred to Me”).

It all began in my teenage years in Herne Bay on the North Kent coast in the late 1950s and the early 60s. Jazz was the in thing back then. Memories flood back of gigs at The Kings Hall and The Queen Vic in Herne Bay and Rechabite’s Hall in Canterbury. In those days Sammy Rimington’s early hunting grounds were in East Kent at such venues as Man of Kent in Rainham.

But when I moved to Hertfordshire in 1966, life changed course and  jazz was consigned to the back burner … until just a few years ago when Roger Pout, my oldest and closest friend from school days, told me “Peter, when you’re next down we’re going to take in some jazz gigs”. And we did – at The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable when Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims played there and at Thursday night gigs at The George in Shalmsford Street, Canterbury, and now at The Star in Old Wive’s Lees.

The New Milestone

Then back in 2008 Chairman Humph’s “accident” kicked in. Roger and his wife Chris had booked for the Ken Colyer Trust Autumn Jazz Parade in Hemsby, Norfolk, along with other close friends, Derek and Barbara. But at the last minute, due to illness, Derek and Barbara had to drop out and insisted my wife Ginny and I took their places, gratis.

We seized the opportunity and so began Humph’s new milestone in my life. For years I had painted landscapes and seascapes as a hobby. Following the 2008 Autumn Parade I couldn’t resist painting portraits of the jazz musicians at the festival, including Sammy Rimington who topped the bill that year … especially of him in a sax duet with brilliant young star Amy Roberts

New Orleans Bound

Then at the 2009 Autumn Parade I displayed my first collection of jazz portraits. But that wasn’t all. Incredibly my wife won the prize draw for a trip for two on the Southern Sounds tour of New Orleans in April 2010! It was an incredible experience and I gathered material for a whole series of jazz portraits.

Now the die was cast and the “accident” was turning into a phenomenon!

My wife and I felt we had to give something back to jazz, especially as the scene had changed so much since those earlier glory years.

So rather than just sell my jazz portraits, I hit upon a plan to launch a new website to help promote and support traditional jazz, with costs covered by the sale of my portraits, fine art prints and photographs.

So jazz& was launched in June, 2011 – not just to feature my jazz art but also as a forum for jazz bands and jazz fans. And above all to support, promote and help revitalise Traditional Jazz. is dedicated to promoting jazz and more jazz for Jazz Bands, Jazz Musicians and Jazz Fans. The aim is to raise the profile of jazz and to develop a sounding board for jazz by inviting bands, musicians and fans to share news and views about the jazz scene. As more jazz paintings are commissioned and sales of the fine art prints and photographs increase to help cover costs of the site, the aim is to expand the scope and reach of in support of jazz.

Celebrating the successful launch of the 2012 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle season: Peter (third from left) with Committee Members John Myhill (left), Ron Sheldrake (second left) and John Morgan (right). Chis Pout was too busy with Shuffle fans to be included in the photo!

Helping Promote Traditional Jazz

Now Jazz&Jazz is going from strength to strength and as a result last year I was able help launch and promote a brand new UK jazz festival, Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, providing advertising and promotional materials. This year Jazz&Jazz is again heavily involved in promoting the 2012 Seaside Shuffle Festival and associated monthly gigs at Court Stairs Manor & Country Club. The first gig held on 25 February with The Gambit Jazzmen was a huge success and Pete Lay congratulated the Seaside Shuffle Committee on their successful launch of the 2012 season. So it’s a huge pleasure to be working with Chris Pout and the rest of the Committee on this, especially as Chris is my jazz chum Roger’s wife.

My wife Ginny is a graphic designer and last year she suggested we look into using my jazz photos to help promote events and festivals. She wanted to produce a Jazz Guide ad for the Hemsby Autumn Jazz Parade for Pete Lay as a thank you for our trip to New Orleans. We have worked with Pete again this year to produced the 2012 Parade ad which includes some of my photographs.

Closer to home Jazz&Jazz is involved in helping promote our local Welwyn Garden City Peartree Monday Jazz Club. Working closely with Brian Smith, aka “Smiffy”, I produce the club’s six monthly programme and monthly flyers and Jazz Guide ads as well as heavily promoting the club on the Jazz&Jazz website.

Getting Involved

So do take a look at and if you would like a mention on the site, email me: Above all please get involved and use the Comment boxes at the foot of each item to add your views and opinions. This helps boost – and traditional jazz – in Google rankings. Come to that, since getting so re-involved, I’ve met a number of “lapsed fans” now getting back into jazz like myself. All grist for the mill!

I want to thank Pete Lay for his interest in my jazz portraits and photos and for the support he is giving me with Jazz& Thanks too go to Trefor Williams, Bob Thomas and Emile Martyn, a fellow artist, for their support and encouragement. Also special thanks to Barry Martyn who wrote to me urging me to “keep doing what you are doing”. is dedicated to promoting jazz and more jazz for Jazz Bands,
Jazz Musicians and Jazz Fans. The aim is to raise the profile of jazz and to develop
a sounding board for jazz by inviting bands, musicians and fans to share news
and views about the jazz scene. As more jazz paintings are commissioned and
sales of the fine art prints and photographs increase to help cover costs of the site, 
the aim is to expand the scope and reach of in support of jazz.

Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims

The Jazz Pilgrims at 2011 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

Burt Butler and His Jazz Pilgrims hail from Kent where they play a variety of venues throughout the county. For Burt’s upcoming events take a look at his Gig List.

The Jazz Pilgrims at The Duke of Cumberland (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

During recent trips to New Orleans, Burtie has played with Steamboat Willie and his New Orleans Jazz Band at Cafe Beignet on Bourbon Street.

When I visited New Orleans for The French Quarter Festival in 2010 I was thrilled to get shots of Steamboat in full flow on trumpet with Burtie on banjo, in socked feet as is his want, and Don York on trombone. It was back in the Sixties with the Tuxedo Jazz Band that Burtie took to removing his shoes, as the stomping of his feet proved to be too much for the rest of the band.

You can discover more about Burtie and his band members on his website.

Steamboat’s site is at:

Burt and Don York jazz it up with Steamboat Willie (Photo by P.M.Butler, Art&Verse)

Burt’s Jazz Pilgrims website contains a wealth of information about jazz bands, musicians and venues, both past and present. A visit is a must for any avid jazz fan.

Click here to view the Art & Verse portrait of “Burt on Banjo” under Jazz Art.

Betty Renz Steels the Show

I first met Betty Renz at The Duke of Cumberland in Whitstable, Kent, singing with Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims and she instantly inspired my jazz portrait of her. Back in 2010, Betty was the inspiration and driving force behind “Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle”, a brand new jazz festival launched in July, 2011, and still going strong to this day. 

Jazz Portrait of Betty Renz

Betty Steels the Show

In deepest Kent
At The Duke of C,
Betty steels the show
At the Jazz Jamboree.

Portrait and poem by Peter M Butler.
‘Art & Verse’ Copyright © 2011 Peter M Butler. All rights reserved.

Fine Art Giclée Prints of this portrait are available, with or without my descriptive poem. Simply email: to place your order and help support jazz.

Betty Renz, her life, her loves and her JAZZ


Betty leads the 2011 Brolly Parade

Betty leads the 2011 Brolly Parade

Betty Renz is my foremost jazz heroine. It is she who inspired the launch of Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle in 2011 – the UK’s youngest jazz festival which continues to grow from strength to strength each year.

BettyNow aged 82, Betty’s enduring love is jazz and one of her ambitions is to sing with as many jazz bands as possible, and even to sing with, wait for it, André Previn!

It is my huge privilege to have been involved with Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle and with Betty since it’s launch through the good offices of the organising committee.

Following this year’s festival this remarkable lady was interviewed by Kent Atelier about her life, her loves and her music – including her love for jazz. It’s so worth listening to – and Betty’s immense humanity shines through. Please click here to listen to the interview.

Plus, I just had to paint Betty’s portrait from back in the days when she sang with Burt Butler’s Jazz Pilgrims in The Duke of  Cumberland, Whitstable, Kent. Click here to view.

Guest Vocalist, the Seaside Shuffler who was the inspiration behind the Ramsgate Jazz Festival

Betty guesting with Brian Turnock’s New Orleans Z’hulus, Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, 2012.

Jazz&Jazz will feature a selection of YouTubes of Betty singing with jazz bands. Here she is singing with Pete Lay’s Gambit Jazzmen, Chris Marney, Alan Gresty, Roger Myerscough and Roger Link at Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle, 2014. (Best viewed on YouTube in HD.)

Photos & YouTubes © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz