Adrian Cox by Adrian Cox

Recently released, Adrian reflects on Adrian Cox and Jazz.

A Tribute to Smiffy a very special Treasured Friend . . .

Smiffy” our Washboard Rhythm King at Lemsford Jazz Club in October 2022
playing with Henri Harrison and Dave Rance’s Rockin’ Chair band.
Go Smiffy Go, take it away!

Brian Smith aka “Smiffy” sadly passed away last week. He was 80, like me, and we had been close friends for many years in Lemsford.

Smiffy was born in The Long Arm & Short Arm pub in Lemsford Village just outside Welwyn Garden City, long enough ago to have followed some of the great jazz bands on the 1950s and 60s. Those were the days when Hatfield, Potters Bar, Enfield and Welwyn Garden City were hot beds of jazz.
Terry Lightfoot and Acker Bilk used to live in Potters Bar.

One of our greatest adventures was when Smiffy, Bob Thomas and I went to Potters Bar on 31st May 2012 to meet and see Acker Bilk and his
Paramount Jazz Band.

Left to right: Bob Thomas, Peter Butler, Acker Bilk and Smiffy back stage at the
Wyllyotts Theatre, Potters Bar, 31st May 2012.

Smiffy was not only an Ambassador for Jazz, he was a showman and an entertainer. He was one of the kindest and most generous people my wife and I have ever met and yet so modest. We miss him dearly.

Smiffy, this Jazz&Jazz YouTube is forever for you!

FiddleBop Spring Newsletter

FiddleBop's logo

OK Jazzers… it’s time to spring into spring!

Yup, Spring! Jo suggested that I start this newsletter with something positive. Something to lift the spirits. Something with a spring-scented, lamb-skipping, buds-bursting, bird-singing, full-of-optimism vibe! Especially as the world and UK news can be just a trifle gloomy from time to time.

Hopefully then this up-and-at-’em, keep-’em-smiling beginning will distract you. Not just from miserable news, but also from my poor performance as FiddleBop’s official newsletter writer. Awful indeed. It has been ten months (gasp!) since the last FiddleBop news missive! That’s dodgy going even by my own low standards.

Skipping lambs at dusk
It’s definitely spring! Skipping lambs at dusk.
Yellow crocuses
Yes it is spring! Even in Wales… Yellow crocuses bursting into bloom!.

No excuses, of course. I could say that I’ve been busy. But I won’t. Really.

So – moving swiftly on – let’s look to the future. Because there are some looking good and feeling happier FiddleBop gigs in the coming months, for your delectation! Some in Wales and some in England, and more being arranged as I write.

FiddleBop! Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper
Those springtime FiddleBoppers! Left to right, it’s Dave, Paul (with added beard), Graeme, Jo. Photo: Ruth Redmond-Cooper. Click to enlarge (if you’ve a strong stomach)

Not to mention lots of new songs and tunes in the FiddleBop repertoire. And a new way of describing our music, “Gypsy jazz: re-imagined”. (More about that below.)

Yup, FiddleBop has been busy. Which I could use as an excuse for my bad newsletter-writing performance.

But I won’t.


The Bank Vault, Aberystwyth
The Bank Vault, Aberystwyth. FiddleBop are here on Saturday 8 April.

First on our forthcoming gig list is a new venue for us: the Bank Vault at Aberystwyth, An intimate craft beer and live music bar!. And they don’t just serve beer, they also have a lovely range of artisan Welsh ciders, spirits, soft drinks, and wines. You could say its Xmas again!


In case you were wondering, the Bank Vault really was a bank! A 200 year-old bank. (Let’s hope that they don’t have regular lock-ins there, ho ho!)

We can’t wait! FiddleBop will be giving the best possible account of ourselves (Geddit? Ho ho!) playing “Gypsy Jazz: Re-imagined” from 8 pm on Saturday to
8pm on Sunday, April 2023. And it’s free admission! So come and cheque us out! (Ho Ho again…)

The Bank Vault, 1 New Street, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 2AT. 01970 600220

The Rose and Crown, Oxford
Sunday 7 May: FiddleBop return to the picturesque Rose and Crown, Oxford. Click to enlarge

Next, FiddleBop head east.

Where we’re making a very welcome return to the Rose and Crown, Oxford, on Sunday 7 May 2023. This is an Oxford Jazz Kitchen gig (thanks, Trish!), and the Rose and Crown is one of our most favourite pubs, with great beer and wine, brilliant food, and a fascinating history. Plus Andrew is one of our most favourite landlords ever. So we’re definitely looking forward to this gig! FiddleBop will be playing from 7 pm.

Admission is £5, and booking is recommended. There is a coronation occurin’ during this Bank Holiday weekend, and things just might get busy…

The Rose and Crown, North Parade Avenue, Oxford OX2 6LX Tel 01865 510551

And now for some festival gigs!

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye. FiddleBop are playing here on Saturday 27 May and Monday 29 May. Click to enlarge

FiddleBop will be playing twice at the HowTheLightGetsIn Festival in Hay-on-Wye. With a smashing location beside the River Wye, this is “the world’s largest music and philosophy festival which electrifies the idyllic town of Hay-on-Wye during a magical Bank Holiday weekend”. The festival runs from 26-29 May 2023, with a thrilling speaker lineup which includes Slavoj Žižek, Esther Freud, and Brian Greene; a sensational music lineup, and hilarious new acts in the comedy lineup.

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye
Another view of HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye. Click to enlarge

FiddleBop played here last year, and we loved it! This year, we will be playing from 3 to 3.45 pm on Saturday 27 May in the Blue Moon Tent, and from 3.30 pm on Monday 29 May in The Stage venue.

If you are wondering about the title of the festival… well no-one seems to know exactly who said it first, but a much-quoted version is from Leonard Cohen’s 1992 song “Anthem” which includes these lines:”Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

Tickets for HowTheLightGetsIn are available here. This will be a really great weekend. We’d love to see you there!

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Hereford HR3 5BZ

HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay-on-Wye

Which brings us to Upton Jazz Festival!

This marvellous two-day event, in the highly photogenic town of Upton-upon-Severn beside the (you guessed it!) River Severn, takes place this year on 24-25 June 2023. No flash-in-the-pan, this. The festival was founded by a group of friends in 1985. Pubs, hotels, and clubs are transformed into jazz venues “hosting the very best in Dixieland to boogie woogie, hot club to European, trad to swing and gypsy jazz”.

Upton Jazz Festival, by the River Severn
Upton Jazz Festival, by the River Severn. Saturday 24 June for FiddleBop! Click to enlarge

This year there are some brilliant jazz musicians playing: Alex Clarke Quartet, Alligator Gumbo, Ben Holder’s Hot Club Quartet, Cate Cody Trio, Debbie Arthur Trio, Dorine De Wit’s Tremé, Hotsy Totsy, Jake Leg Jug Band, Jeremy Huggett’s Boogie Band, Moscow Drug Club, Pedigree Jazz Band, Richard Leach’s Street Band, Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Band, Swing from Paris, Tenement Jazz Band, ‘Spats’ Langham and Hot Fingers, The Vintage Jazz Collective, Washington Whirligig… and more!

So FiddleBop are very pleased to also be making our music (“Gypsy jazz: re-imagined”, to be precise) at Upton Jazz once again. Yaaaaay! We’re on from 4.30 pm on Saturday 24 June 2023 (venue TBA).

Tickets for Upton Jazz Festival are available here. And yes, it would be brilliant to see you at Upton Jazz!

Upton Jazz Festival, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs WR8. 07759 342073

Money collected for Ukraine when FiddleBop played at the Muse, Brecon, on Valentine's Day 2023
Money collected for Ukraine when FiddleBop played at the Muse, Brecon, on Valentine’s Day 2023. Click to enlarge
A springtime stream
This springtime stream (at the bottom of Jo and Dave’s field) is always the same but is always changing (so “You can’t step in the same river twice”). Gypsy jazz is the same. Click to enlarge

OK, that’s enough about the future. What about the year so far?

On Valentine’s Day, FiddleBop played at The Muse, Brecon, to raise money for Ukraine. Not only did everyone (including us) have a great time (we won’t forget the delicious Ukrainian food), but ‐ in our trusty yellow buckets ‐ we collected 320 quid for Ukraine.Smiley

And finally, what’s all this about a new way of describing our music: “Gypsy jazz: re-imagined”? Well, if you want a long answer then take a look here. But the short answer is that we’ve thought for a while now that, while FiddleBop certainly plays Gypsy jazz — as was jointly created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris — we are moving more and more towards a version which has been updated for the 2020s.

So that’s what we now say that we play: Gypsy jazz re-imagined, updated, re-invented. Brought up to date, and very eclectic. But still with all the pizzazz and excitement, the “zing”, of the original. Which comes naturally, since we love what we play.

OK. How about seeing you at a FiddleBop gig soon, for some “Gypsy jazz: re-imagined”?

And finally finally… as usual I need to check that you wish to continue to receive FiddleBop newsletters. If no, then click here to unsubscribe. Or send an unsubscribe-request email to If you don’t do either of these things then I’ll assume that you are happy to receive future FiddleBop newsletters.

Thank you! Stay well.Smiley

Dave (and Jo and Paul and Graeme… the FiddleBoppers)

Gypsy jazz: re-imagined!

info@fiddlebop.orgPhone01982 560726 Mobile Phone07968 950870
FiddleBop@FiddleBopGet our email newsletter

Future FiddleBop gigs!

This list of gigs is correct at the time of writing, but the list on our website is always up to date.

The gig!When is FiddleBop playing?Venue, occasion, whatever…Where is it?
Bank Vault AberystwythFree admission!From 7 pm
Saturday 8 April 2023
Bank Vault,
Bank Vault
1 New Street
Ceredigion SY23 2AT, UK
Phone01970 600220
The Rose and Crown, Oxford£5 admission
Booking recommended
From 7 pm
Sunday 7 May 2023
Oxford Jazz Kitchengig at
The Rose and Crown, Oxford
The Rose and Crown
North Parade Avenue
Oxon OX2 6LX, UK
Phone01865 510551
HowTheLightGetsIn Hay-on-Wye 2023 
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival tickets here
3 – 3.45 pm
Saturday 27 May 2023
Blue Moon Tent
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay

26-29 May 2023
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival
Hereford HR3 5BZ, UK
HowTheLightGetsIn Hay-on-Wye 2023 
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival tickets here
3.30 – 4 pm
Monday 29 May 2023
The Stage
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival, Hay

26-29 May 2023
HowTheLightGetsIn Festival
Hereford HR3 5BZ, UK
Upton Jazz Festival 2023 Upton Jazz Festival
tickets here
From 4.30 pm
Saturday 24 June 2023
Upton Jazz Festival
24-25 June 2023
Upton Jazz Festival
Worcs WR8, UK
Phone07759 342073
Gypsy jazz: re-imagined!

info@fiddlebop.orgPhone01982 560726  Mobile Phone07968 950870 
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FiddleBop · The Barn, Cefn-Yr-Allt · Crickadarn · Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3AJ · United Kingdom 

Jazz&Jazz Launches …

On Thursday 24th November, 2022, I celebrated my 80th birthday and Ginny, my wife, urged me to promote a project I have been mulling over for years – to launch my very own online studio featuring my Jazz ART. So here goes!

Old Timers that we are, we tend to present new projects rather more sedately than in our earlier years. But the advantage of this is that now you can watch each new project grow and encourage us along the way.
To date I have painted over 50 jazz musicians and bands, many of them featured on jazz& Now they need a category of their own. I don’t get about so easily these days, but I can still film and bring jazz to you and into your homes via my Jazz ART and Jazz YouTubes.

I began painting over 65 years ago and became known for my use of vivid colours, especially for my landscapes and seascapes. I wrote a verse for each painting and compiled my Art&Verse Collection. But like so many of life’s ventures, it had to be sidelined as our family grew.

In 2008 Roger Pout, my closest friend from schooldays, reintroduced me to jazz and we attended the Hemsby Autumn Jazz Festival. I was hooked! Jazz&Jazz was launched and along came my jazz portraits and caricatures. Now it’s time to share these with you.

Here’s how you can see and enjoy JAZZ ART on my website. You might already have noticed that we have been updating the website and have changed a few things around in the navigation bar.

Jazz Bands” continues to feature Jazz Bands. So anyone who would like their bands featured should email me on:

“Jazz Fans” has given way to the new heading “Jazz Events” where new and upcoming gigs and festivals are announced and promoted.

“Jazz Features” includes a variety of posts about jazz bands, jazz musicians and jazz in general.

In addition we have created a new category for YouTubes and videos. This will include previously produced YouTubes and newly launched Jazz&Jazz YouTubes. I will also breathe new life into older Jazz YouTubes that I feel are worth promoting again.

Next – Jazz ART!
Jazz ART is dedicated to featuring my jazz paintings. First a brief introduction, then each week a new painting will be featured. Prints of my paintings are available in two sizes – A4 and A3. They are printed on special materials including Giclée prints which are guaranteed for 75 years. In due course original paintings may also be for sale.

Under Jazz ART there will be a Jazz ART Gallery. This can also be used as an index enabling you to find any of my paintings on

Over the next few weeks and months we will take you on an online tour of my Jazz ART where you will be introduced to the musicians and bands I have painted from all over the world.

Each signed Jazz ART print captures my vivid use of colours and includes my verse reflecting the inspiration for the painting. I hope you enjoy my Jazz ART and that you will be tempted to purchase and cherish prints reflecting the joy that Jazz can bring.

Keep Jazzing!

Peter M Butler
Editor and Proprietor Jazz&

Final Countdown to Jazz Piano Favourites at The Walnut Tree

Join us for a selection of Jazz Piano Favourites at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth.
12.30 pm, Sunday 4th December.
Alan Barnes on sax, Tomas Pedersen on bass and Ronnie Fenn on drums.

Good food available!

Tickets £15 from Tad Newton: Tel ‭01604 858549‬ / ‭07748 176332‬
Tel: Alan Barnes on 07882 606554.

Looking forward to you joining us!

I simply had to share this!

King Charles is set to star in an episode of The Repair Shop as part of celebrations for the BBC’s centenary.

Repair Shop

The monarch will choose a piece of pottery made for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and an 18th Century clock to be restored by the programme’s team of experts.


Birthday Greetings for a Formidable Octogenarian …

Fingers fleeting and nimble
Each thimble a cymbal
Washboard Rhythm King supreme!

*** *** ***

Brian Smith (aka Smiffy) on Washboard,
Maitre Di of Lemsford Jazz Club,
Celebrating with
Sarah Spencer’s Jazz Band

(Sunday 9th October, 2022)

Watch out for forthcoming Lemsford Jazz Club announcements!
YouTube courtesy of Virginia Butler

Celebrating Louis Armstrong


Louis Armstrong

Lemsford Jazz Club Welcomes Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Jazz Band

Lemsford Jazz Club leaps back into action at 1:00pm this
Sunday, 9th October 2022 at Lemsford Village Hall,
Brocket Road, Welwyn Garden City AL8 7TT.

Stars of the show will Include Sarah Spencer and her internationally
renowned Transatlantic Band.

Admission is £12 payable at the door.
Tea and coffee will be available, free of charge, and you are
welcome to bring your own refreshments.
Car parking is also available and free of charge.

Don’t miss this very special event as the Club will also be celebrating
Smiffy’s 80th Birthday and his and Marion’s Wedding Anniversary.
Sarah Spencer – reeds and vocals
Peter Leonard – trumpet 
Rob Pearce – trombone
Hugh Crozier – piano
Heather Birt – string bass
Rod Brown – drums

Jazz&Jazz YouTube featuring Sarah soon after she settled in the UK

Sarah Spencer Stars with Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends at Olney Jazz Club 6th September 2022