All About FiddleBop …

Wales-based FiddleBop plays Gypsy Jazz updated!
On violin, Spanish guitar, keyboard, and fretless bass.
And we sing too, with four voices in harmony.

FiddleBop’s jazz is sophisticated yet never pretentious or stuffy. It’s danceable but not rhythmically bland. Has plenty of improvised solos
but is tuneful and melodic.

We play jazz that’s drawn from all of the genres’ century-long history. Look forward to our unique beggars-in-velvet treatment of get-up-and-dance jazz from the 1920s (when “jazz was king”), 1930s chilli-hot swing, and bop and cool post-bop. Also jazz-flavoured classic pop, some folk-jazz, as well as our very own creations. All with Gypsy zing and passion!

Gypsy Jazz-Zing: Updated


Yes, FiddleBop plays Gypsy jazz – which was jointly created by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in 1930s Paris — updated for the 2020s.

And the “jazz-zing” bit? That’s the pizzazz and excitement that comes from loving what we play! And from being (ahem!) pretty good musicians.

All of which is why – please excuse us, we’re about to blow our own trumpet (and mix our own metaphors) – audiences love FiddleBop’s unique gypsy-tinged flavour of jazz music. Music which can be sweet, chilled, yet even mysterious at times. Such as:

  • our delicate instrumental explorations of the great John Coltrane’s exquisite “Naima”
  • our bluesy takes of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” and “Well, You Needn’t”
  • classic cool jazz by Miles Davis. “So What”!
  • FiddleBop’s nostalgic close-harmony vocals in Paul McCartney’s “Here, There, and Everywhere” and Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek”
  • jazz-favoured folk tunes including “O Give Me Your Hand” written c. 1603 by harpist Ruairdi Dáll Ó Catháin
  • Jo’s poetic late-night-smoky-bar “Thirteen-and-a-half Days In The Desert”, and Paul’s sea-soliloquy “Sailing All Alone”.

Also music which, with its roots in the fiery Gypsy jazz tradition, is hot unto cooking. FiddleBop will get your feet stomping and your heart thumping (in a good way, of course) during:

  • “The Charleston” from the early days of jazz;
  • Traditional Gypsy jazz tunes: “Minor Swing” “Dark Eyes”, and the more modern “Swing Gitan”;
  • Gypsy jazz staples such as “Dinah”, “Bei Mir Bistdu Shein”, and “Sweet Georgia Brown”;
  • Irish reel “Drowsy Maggie” and East European rouser “Odessa Bulgar”;
  • Duke Ellington’s classic “It Don’t Mean a Thing”;
  • the John Coltrane Quartet’s interpretation of “My Favourite Things”;
  • FiddleBop’s very own searing take on Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia”. Yaaay!

FiddleBop is:

So how about having FiddleBop liven up your next event or party with some “Gypsy jazzing: updated”? We’re friendly, we don’t bite, and we cost less than you might think.

Why not check us out? Simply email us or phone us (01982 560726 / 07968 950870) for a quote.


Olney Jazz Club Presents “Harlem” at the Carlton House Club

FiddleBop Newsletter No 29 24 April 2022

FiddleBop's logo

Here it is! The first FiddleBop newsletter since July 2019! A surprise, we’re sure! And we hope that it is a good one.

From https://pbs.twimg.com

So… after a gap of nearly two years, how have you been? Whatever your story, here’s hoping that things have been OK for you. And that right now, you are well and happy.

OK. Maybe you’re not exactly thriving, and maybe you’re not exactly riotously mirthful (tho’ we’re pleased if you are). Because who is feeling great and who is doing brilliantly right now? (Excuse me while I turn off the lights and write this in the dark to save electricity. Also so that I can avert my eyes from UK and world news…).

Enough gloom! Let’s catch up with the FiddleBop news.

FiddleBop version 2. Left to right is Dave, Paul, Graeme, Jo. Be amazed at Paul's rather wonderful beard (there's a story about it...)
FiddleBop version 2. Left to right DavePaulGraemeJo. Be amazed at Paul’s rather wonderful beard (there’s a story about it…).

And you’ll surely recall that FiddleBop version 1 — very sadly — came to an end shortly after we moved to Wales. Boo-hoo!

Yet just as the glorious phoenix rises from its own ashes, FiddleBop version 2 arose! Glittering in the sun and better than ever! Still comprising Jo and Dave, but now with keyboard wizard Paul Stevens and superb fretless bassist Graeme Lamble. (Don’t worry if you can’t remember all this. We won’t be testing you.)

So FiddleBop v2 got ready. We built up our new repertoire, got to know each other better, then did some local gigs and began work on a recording. All was looking good. And then along came Covid!!!.

A FiddleBop recording session in Feb 2020, just before lockdown. All those wires!
A FiddleBop recording session in Feb 2020, just before lockdown. All those wires!
Taking a break from recording. Engineer whiz Baze is the tall one. But where is Jo? (And note the absence of Paul's beard!)
Taking a break from recording. Engineer whiz Baze is the tall one. But where is Jo? (And note the absence of Paul’s beard!) Click to enlarge.

We in FiddleBop all survived, which is the main thing. But the recording which we had started (in the very capable hands of friend Baze) ground to a locked-down halt. And – of course – we could not do any gigs. Which is a problem for an improvising band like FiddleBop, which thrives and grows from the excitement and interaction of live performances. So whenever we safely could, we kept our spirits up with the occasional socially-distanced practice. Some indoors and some outdoors, amongst those glorious green hills that I mentioned earlier. One of the best things about living here!

Also it was time for some musical rethinking. Nothing too profound! But some thoughts re what could we categorise ourselves as? (“Gypsy jazz-folk” maybe? Hah, too clumsy probably! Got any ideas?) And more thoughts (my head hurts!) about the future musical directions for FiddleBop. There was time too, to patch up some of our battered, much-gigged equipment. And to tinker with the FiddleBop website. Like it?

Jo during a socially-distanced outdoor practice, summer 2020.
Jo during a socially-distanced outdoor practice, summer 2020. The damaged cloth on her amplifier isn’t from gigging, it is where our cats like to sharpen their claws.

Jo and Dave started learning Welsh, too. Dyn ni’n mwynhau dysgu Cymraeg, ond mae hi’n yn araf…

Oh, and Dave cheered himself up by getting a new fiddle. Well, not exactly new. This is the acoustic violin (German?) that Dave had played for many years, as far back as the Rollright Stones and Mortlock and Underwood. (This fiddle has had a hard life. The neck fell off it once: fellow fiddler Chris Leslie very kindly glued it back on.) During lockdown, Richard (“Titch”) from Sonic Violins converted this violin to an electric instrument. All done in a socially-distanced way, using emails and delivery services! Dave is very happy with his new toy.

Paul being shaved for charity, November 2021.
Paul being shaved for charity, November 2021. Click to see the video by the Mayor of Brecon, John Powell

So eventually, at last, in late summer 2021 we were once again able to play a few gigs. Yaaay! What a relief!

Later in the year, Paul the keyboard had his beard (an impressive one, grown throughout lockdown) and his hair shaved for charity. Take a look at the video! Then came the winter, and the resurgence of Covid. We all hunkered down again — Paul feeling a bit chilly, minus hair — and waited for spring.

And here we are now, in April 2022, once more crawling out from under our stone! We’ve moved on with our recording so expect to hear more about that “real soon now”. In the next FiddleBop newsletter, probably.

Right now our calendar holds three festival gigs for FiddleBop during the coming summer: one (almost) in Wales, two in England.

If you can get get to Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire, on Thursday 2 June, we are playing at 5.15 pm on The Stage venue in the “HowTheLightGetsIn” festival. This is “the world’s largest Music and Philosophy Festival on the idyllic bank of the River Wye”. World-class speakers and great music (including FiddleBop!) make this a fascinating weekend, one that you won’t forget. So why not treat yourself and come along? Festival tickets are available here.

Graeme the bass with a traffic cone. No comment.
Graeme the Bass with a traffic cone. No comment required!

Next in line, on Saturday 11 June, is the “Party in the Park” Festival in Adderbury, Oxfordshire. FiddleBop are playing at 7.30 pm in the Acoustic Tent. We’ve played here before, a couple of times, with FiddleBop v1. Always a great atmosphere and some really good music too! “Party in the Park” starts at 1.30 pm. Adult tickets are £15 (£20 on the day), age 5-16 are £8, under 5s are free. See you there?

And our third festival this year – so far, anyway – is Hook Norton’s “Music at the Crossroads” on Sunday 3 July. We love playing “jazz with Gypsy zing” at MAC! We’ve made music here many times over the years (again, with FiddleBop v1) and it has always been oodles of fun! This year, for the first time, there is an “acoustic day” on the Sunday, which is free entry. And Pete Watkins has some fine music planned! FiddleBop are on stage at 2 pm. We’d love to see you at MAC 2022!

Finally, if you are nearer the Welsh end of things, you might be interested in FiddleBop’s occasional experimental mini-gigs (or should that be “public practices”?) in the back room of the Brecon Tap pub. (Which is in Brecon: yes, you guessed it!) So far, we haven’t publicised these, but in future, look out for details on FiddleBop’s Facebook page.

The Fiddleboppers, standing next to a rather psychedelic wall. Paul still has his beard
The Fiddleboppers, standing next to a rather psychedelic wall. Paul still has his beard.

Thank you! And OK, that’s the lot for now. Stay well, and all the best! And don’t get too gloomy:

Receive what cheer you may; the night is long that never finds the day.” (Will Shakespeare: Macbeth)

Dave

Jazz Piano Gems Featuring the Alan Haughton Trio


The piano trio is my favourite small group format, closely followed by the piano quartet and the standard sextet. The trio gives plenty of space for all three individual instruments to complement each other, interact and take musical risks!

We’ll be having fun at The Walnut Tree, Blisworth, NN7 3DS  on Sunday April 24th at 12.30pm with a variety of numbers dating from the 1920s until the present day.

Tickets only £10 from Tad Newton. Tel 01604 858549 to reserve yours.

Good food is also available if you are hungry.

Hope to see you there,

Cheers,

Alan (Haughton)

Copyright © 2022 Olney Jazz Club, All rights reserved. 

John Petters Shares “Timely Food for Thought!”

YouTube courtesy of John Petters (Drums), Richard Exall (Clarinet, Sax),
Pete Rudeforth (Trumpet), Keith Donald (Bass), plus Ace Harlem Stride Pianist,

Dave Browning.

“Many millions have been grateful to know what Jesus and his family went through – what Ukrainian refugees now endure. God PERMITS the Herods and the Putins victories only to bring a greater good.

“No Anxiety” – that does not mean ‘Be Stoic’ – no feeling. It means enduring the feeling and the sense of panic, like anyone in danger but never surrendering. Finding ways to combat the panic. Joseph is the obvious example here. He was sitting pretty. All the anxieties about how to deal with a miraculous conception behind him, he had a home with Mary installed, her parents nearby, all set for the coming of the child.

“He never knew that a Dictator some 2000 miles away had sent orders about a “Poll Tax”! Joseph and Mary had to get down fast to Bethlehem or the soldiers would want to know why. All Joseph’s peace was shattered – Jesus born more or less in a ditch, like a tinker’s child. Then the order came not to go home but to become an overnight refugee in a desert and another country. To find a job and lodgings. Sounds familiar?
To say “Don’t Worry” to Joseph would have been stupid and callous.

“Since then many millions have been grateful to know what Jesus and his family had gone through – what Ukrainian refugees are now enduring. But “No Anxiety” means awareness that God PERMITS the Herods (and the Putins) victories only to bring about a greater good – even in this life – and most certainly in the ‘FOREVER LIFE’ to which the only condition is “Were you kind to anybody in need”?

“We face the possibility of war – and a likely financial collapse, where people in your neighbourhood could have to choose between food or heat. Covid hasn’t gone away.

“Was Christ anxious? As we approach Holy Week, ponder on the suffering Christ, who died on the Cross and rose in triumph.
Hang on to the fact of the Resurrection.”

YouTube courtesy of John Petters (Drums), Richard Exall (Clarinet, Sax),
Pete Rudeforth (Trumpet), Keith Donald (Bass), plus Ace Harlem Stride Pianist, Dave Browning.

Olney Jazz Club Presents Julian Marc Stringle with Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends

OLNEY JAZZ CLUB NEWSLETTER  MARCH 2022
Hello OJC Supporters…. It has been very gratifying that we have been
able to provide some fabulous jazz nights for you at The Carlton House Club in recent months despite the trials and tribulations of current times. We have all enjoyed the wonderful sessions recently with Graham Smith’s Jazz Allsorts and Kevin Grenfell and the Jazz Giants. Long may this continue! Government Covid restrictions are being eased. However,
I hope you agree that for the time being it is sensible to be cautious especially in the light of rising infections at the moment, and so we intend to continue to monitor our numbers carefully in order to keep everyone safe. We will also continue to operate without the raffle. We will continue to reappraise as and when is necessary. All being well, we have some great bands and musicians in the pipeline for you, amongst others… Julian Marc Stringle guesting with Tad Newton’s Jazz friends, Andy Dickens Hot Gumbo, Harlem Big Band, Clarke Tracy/Alex Clarke Quartet, see details below!… and more to follow hopefully!
Our next session at OJC on Tuesday, April 5th features Tad Newton’s Jazzfriends with very special guest the fantastic Julian Marc Stringle [clarinet/sax]. Call me on 01604858549 or email tadjazzfriends@gmail.com to reserve tickets or tickets are also available at Phonebox Magazine in Olney.
OLNEY JAZZ CLUB… coming up… all sessions 8-10.30pm
Tuesday, April 5th-Tad Newton’s Jazz friends.
Gary Wood [trumpet/vocal] Mike Wills [clarinet/saxes], Tomas Pederson [bass] Ronnie Fenn [drums], Alan Haughton [piano]
Tad Newton [trombone/vocal].
“Basin Street to Basie and Beyond!” …with special guest
Julian Marc Stringle [clarinet/sax]. Julian was voted best clarinettist at the British Jazz Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2019. His major influences have been Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Buddy De Franco. Julian’s highly melodic music and unique sound excites the jazz audience wherever
he performs.
“The best clarinettist to emerge in British jazz in decades”
Sir John Dankworth.
Tuesday, May 3rd – Andy Dickens’ Hot Gumbo – “Evoking the warmth and exuberance of Mardi Gras New Orleans; the jazz heat of Chicago and the excitement of New York Swing”. Featuring some of the top jazzmen from the south and south west of England. Andy Dickens [trumpet/voacals], Trevor Whiting [sax/clarinet], Mark Aston [baritone sax/trombone], Simon Picton [guitar/banjo], Brett Nevill [bass] and
Richie Bryant [drums].
Tuesday, June 7th – Harlem Big Band – vintage big band jazz from
New York in the late 1920s and early 1930s in the electrifying style of Duke Ellington, King Oliver, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson, McKinney’s Cotton Pickers et al. Top trombonist and “Tricky Sam” stylist Bob Hunt has reformed the legendary Harlem previously the creation of the late Paul Munnery. Now directed by Bob Hunt and Michael Kilpatrick and featuring Trumpets: “Magic” Mike Henry, Charles Manning,
Wil Robinson Trombones: Bob Hunt, Mick Bruce Reeds: Zoltan Sagi, Richard Exall, Michael Kilpatrick Piano: Art Tobin Guitar/banjo: Rachel Hayward Drums Nick Ward Vocals and presentation: Sarah Spencer
Yours in Jazz……Tad Newton
Copyright © 2022 Olney Jazz Club, All rights reserved.

Too Soon Tina, Far Too Soon!

Born30 March 1961
GloucesterGloucestershire, England
Died26 March 2022 (aged 60)
LondonMiddlesexGreater London, England

I was so stunned by the news of Tina May’s passing that I simply had to take first opportunity to pay tribute to her by re-posting this selection of the Jazz&Jazz YouTubes I have filmed of her.
Tina May and Rachel Johnson at a Tad Newton Bedford Golf Club Jazz Session.

Peter M Butler
jazz&jazz.com

Olney Jazz Club Welcomes back Tad Newton’s Jazz Friends

With Guest Star Julian Mark Stringle on Clarinet & Saxophone

8.00pm Tuesday 5th April

Featuring Gary Wood [trumpet/vocal], Mike Wills [clarinet/saxes],
Tomas Pederson [bass], Ronnie Fenn [drums], Alan Haughton [piano],
Tad Newton [trombone/vocal]: “Basin Street to Basie and Beyond!”

Special Guest Julian Marc Stringle [clarinet/sax]
Julian was voted best clarinettist at the British Jazz Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2019. His major influences have been Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, and Buddy De Franco. Julian’s highly melodic music and unique sound excites the jazz audience wherever he performs. ”The best clarinettist to emerge in British jazz in decades!” (Sir John Dankworth).

It’s been very gratifying that we have been able to provide some fabulous jazz nights for you at The Carlton House Club in recent months despite the trials and tribulations of current times. We have all enjoyed wonderful sessions recently with Graham Smith’s Jazz Allsorts and Kevin Grenfell’s Jazz Giants. Long may this continue!

Although Government Covid restrictions are being eased I trust you agree that for the time being it’s sensible to be cautious, especially in the light of the current repeat in rising infections. We intend to continue monitoring our numbers carefully in order to keep everyone safe. We will also continue to exclude the raffle. And to reappraise circumstances as and when necessary.

All being well, we have some great bands and musicians in the pipeline for you including Andy Dickens Hot Gumbo, Harlem Big Band, ClarkeTracy/Alex Clarke Quartet.

Hopefully our next session at OJC on Tuesday April 5th will feature Tad Newton’s Jazzfriends with very special guest, the fantastic Julian Marc Stringle [clarinet/sax].

Our two previous sessions were disappointing as regards audience numbers and didn’t cover the costs of the bands/advertising etc.! We really do need to boost support. An audience of 70 plus is needed to make our sessions viable – more to continue to attract top class bands and musicians. 

Please try and come along if you can. Call me on 01604 858549 or email  tadjazzfriends@gmail.com. Alternatively tickets are also available at Phonebox Magazine in Olney.

It would be a great shame if Olney Jazz Club were to be put in jeopardy in any way after all the fabulous evenings we have had over the years. Especially as we have some great sessions lined up for you, including: Andy Dickens’ Hot Gumbo, Harlem Big Band and Tad Newton’s Jazzfriends with special guest Julian Marc Stringle.

After the strife of so many months they need and deserve sell out concerts.

Wishing Olney and all Fans Happy Jazz ahead!
Tad Newton

Announcing Fest Jazz 2022

Tuba Skinny special guests visiting from the USA

We are delighted to announce that Fest Jazz 2022 is on course for 28th/31st July! 
We look forward to meeting all our UK festival goers again after the disappointment of 2020 and the difficulties of 2021. The festival in 2021 was a great success, but sadly those from the UK were unable to travel to France. That’s why we just can’t wait to welcome you back at
Fest Jazz 2022!

The Online Ticket Office is open so don’t leave it until the last minute to reserve your accommodation.  As one of the regions in France happily least affected by the Covid-19 virus, Châteauneuf-du-Faou is yet again a tourist hot spot!

So why delay? Be sure to explore the full programme and place your bookings post haste!
We truly look forward to seeing you back at Fest Jazz 2022.

The Fest Jazz Team

The Fest Jazz Programme:
http://www.fest-jazz.com/in-english

HOT OFF THE PRESS
straight from

FEST JAZZ 2022 at Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Brittany.

This year, Fest Jazz, one of the most talked about jazz festivals on the European classic jazz scene, welcomes one of the most celebrated classic jazz groups in the world: Tuba Skinny.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hop over the Channel and see them.

The eight-piece group with its relaxed, informal approach to life and music will fit perfectly in the atmosphere of this legendary Breton festival, with its slogan “More Woodstock than Conservatoire!”

Nestling on the banks of the beautiful River Aulne in central Brittany, Fest Jazz is a four-day explosion of music and swing dance that attracts around 4 000 festival goers every year.  There are four covered venues with spectators freely strolling from one to the other, as well as music in the bars in the town where there is a rally of Classic Cars.  120+ musicians perform over 40 concerts during the weekend.

The atmosphere is relaxed and convivial with a great mixture of nationalities and generations. And there are swing dancers everywhere!  There is a “young and democratic feel” to Fest Jazz with young artists, young spectators and young organisers.  There is no “Artists’ Bar”, everyone mixes together.

It is likely that this year (as in 2021) that festival goers will have to show they have been fully vaccinated.  But Brittany has happily been spared the worst of Covid.  It is said that Châteauneuf-du-Faou is so far from anywhere, the Spanish ‘flu hasn’t arrived yet !

The early names on the programme 2022 include: Tuba Skinny (28th/29th July), the wonderful Gunhild Carling and her Family (30th/31st July), Tatiana Eva-Marie and Joe Santoni, Anastasia Ivanova (young Russian trombone star), Sabine Sassi, The Mama Shakers and many others.

Lots of people in the jazz world are talking about Fest Jazz as a “new kind of jazz festival”.  Why not come and see for yourself and join in the fun?

Write to contact@fest-jazz.com  for information and any questions you wish to ask.  Brittany Ferries (Plymouth – Roscoff) is the nearest ferry terminal (70 minutes easy drive away), Brest is the nearest airport.

4 day tickets 80€/Single day tickets 25€

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