Old Hat Jazz Band – “Capturing the Quintessential Sound of Early Jazz”

Old Hat Jazz Band

Old Hat Jazz Band

Since the Old Hat Jazz Band burst upon the scene a little over a year ago it has been my aim to feature them on Jazz&Jazz. Why? Because, to quote Mike Pointon writing in Just Jazz (July, 2013, p21), they are “Not so old hat … [but] a talented young group – all in their twenties – playing a repertoire that owes nothing to British influences or Euro Trad and that eschewed over amplification.”

L to R: Mike Soper, Lizy Exell and Will Scott

Musicians, all in their twenties, championing two quintessential causes of Jazz&Jazz – the promotion of a new, young generation of jazz musicians dedicated to New Orleans Revivalist Jazz.

Old Hat at The Winning Post! Symbolic!
It’s thanks, not only to Mike Pointon, but also to Laurence Cumming that I am able to feature the Old Hat Band before I have had the personal privilege of seeing them live. Laurence was at their gig at The Winning Post, Twickenham, back in August and sent me a selection of photographs he took of the band for inclusion in Jazz&Jazz.

Unquestionably I need to cover an Old Hat Gig in person, but with Mike Pointon’s acclamation and Laurence’s photographs I consider the band merits earlier exposure on Jazz&Jazz.

A Return to the Quintessential Sound of Early Jazz

Band Leader Lizy on Drums

The musicians are mainly students from London’s Trinity College of Music. Drummer Lizy Exell is the band leader and organiser and they proclaim to bring an energy to “a return to the quintessential sound of early jazz.”

Anything but Old Hat!
Mike Pointon concluded his article in Just Jazz Magazine: “The Old Hat ensemble’s contagious enthusiasm gives one hope for the future of such music. Watch and listen out for them – they are everything but old hat.”

Mike Soper

That’s just what I intend to do – watch and listen out for them so that my next report can be from a glorious personal perspective of their zeal for the roots of jazz.

Jazz is far from dead. Jazz is alive and kicking, reinforced by a whole new generation of up and coming young musicians and bands.

Peter M Butler
Owner and Editor of Jazz&Jazz

Visit The Old Hat Band online and sample their music at: http://www.oldhatjazz.co.uk


Chris Eldred

Lizy and Louis Thomas on bass










Will Scott

Louis Thomas
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  1. Ian Brameld says:

    We should encourage this young band to play at the established trad clubs. Publicise widely and pull in a younger audience while keeping the older members happy with the jazz they like. Am I dreaming?

  2. Peter Butler says:

    Follow that star! Something we should all be working towards!

  3. Fred Burnett says:

    Ian Brameld says, “… and pull in a younger audience while keeping the older members happy with the jazz they like. Am I dreaming?”.

    I think you may be Ian. Why do we expect them to come to us? I can see it now. A crowd of young people turn up at the appointed start time and find that most seats are taken and/or reserved by bald headed or white haired people several times their age. That’s OK, because they want to stand at the bar anyway, and have a good chat and a laugh, before getting on the dance floor. Of course that will mean they’ll need to ignore the stares and dirty looks from the regulars trying to listen to every note.

    Now imagine this new venue members of the local jazz club had been invited to come down and support. You arrive, there are very few seats, the band is loud, and everybody is laughing, joking, and shouting their heads off above the music, the place is so dark you can’t find your glasses, yet nobody is complaining. Sounds familiar? Well it might do if you went to a jazz club in your teens, except there’s no smoke in this venue. Would you stay? Would you come again? I’ll leave you to come up with that answer.

    If we want young people to enjoy and discover our kind of music, I would suggest it has to be on their terms not ours.


  4. Peter Butler says:

    Yet, Fred, I don’t think we should go along the road of “never the twain shall meet!” Young or old we are all Jazzers. Sure, the younger bands have their younger fans, but witness The Rich Bennett band at The 100 Club today, the older fans revel in them, especially when they are true to New Orleans Revivalist Jazz. We must overcome this chasm, if indeed there is one. Scrape beneath the surface and I think we’ll find there is no huge divide.

  5. The future is in the hands of the youth with the help of people like yourself.

  6. The future is in their hands. With the help and encouragement of people like you playing along side each other the future looks great.

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