Announcing a New Jazz Club for Cheltenham and Gloucester


JB’s Jazz Club

Opening on Sunday evening, 20th March 2016, JB’s Jazz Club will welcome and entertain fans on the third Sunday of each month at the Civil Service Social Club, Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham GL51 9SL. Music starts at 8.00pm. Admission £8.

John Beckingham

John Beckingham

Who’s involved?
The club is being organised by John Beckingham, a local pianist with a long career in jazz, pop and function bands. JB started the very successful JB Jazz and Blues Band nearly 20 years ago, and the band has become a firm favourite among jazz club and dance club audiences.  Its popularity is based on a distinctive mix of swing standards, jive music and a high work rate that audiences love. In recent years they have become favourites with Saga Jazz Holiday customers in the UK and abroad. John is assisted by Phil Probert.


Philip Probert

Philip Probert

The Club’s Policy
The club plans to offer a good variety of jazz and swing styles, with its heart in the swing era, rather than in the N.O. Revivalist genre. We think there are already plenty of outlets for traditional jazz in the West Midlands and, although we will include ‘trad’ bands from time to time, our aim is to welcome as many musicians from other genres as we can. That said, we will be strongly guided by audience feedback as we go through the first few months. Bands already booked cover swing, jive, gypsy jazz, Bessie Smith-style blues, mainstream and traditional styles.

The Venue
We have been lucky to be offered a good room at the Civil Service Club in Cheltenham. The

Roger Manwaring - Front Man for JB

Roger Manwaring JB’s Front Man

premises are modern and smart, have excellent parking and are less than a mile from both the centre of Cheltenham and the M5. There’s a good bar, with moderate prices and there will be basket meals on offer.

Web presence
Our main medium is our Facebook page “JB’s Jazz Club”, which is already attracting some interest after only two days. We will develop links to both band and community sites and pages as we go along.

We’re putting our own money behind the venture, to get things rolling.  Survival will depend on attracting sufficient numbers to engage attractive bands, and a key aim is to build a self-financing band fund to enable this. Wish us luck!

Contact Phil on 01684 540506 or John on 01452 862328

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  1. Hi John, Please let me know any info re your jazz club. I’ve shared the Facebook link and of course will tell my clients but anything else I can share by word of mouth or email, will be gratefully received. Similarly if you’d like me to come and play and try and bring along a few people, I’d be very happy to do one (or a support for your good self) for nothing, to try and help. Particularly if I could deposit a few flyers for my tuition. I can’t make the first one as I’ve already booked to go and see Larry Carlton in Bristol but of course I wish you all the best. Not coming to that one wouldn’t stop me trying to drum up support if you let me know who’s on etc. Regards, Andy Brotherton

  2. Chris Walker says:

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck in the future of the club. In my experience the secret is plenty of FREE advertising through the local press, good quality bands and a friendly welcome on the door.

    If I may also put in a plug for my PEDIGREE JAZZ BAND featuring popular hits material from the British Traditional Jazz Revival – we’d love to come a present our “Salute To Trad Jazz” Show for you one evening. You can find out all about us at

    Once again – Good Luck with the new venture

  3. Pete Simkiins, from Cheltenham, England says:

    Any new jazz club in Cheltenham is to be heartily welcomed and I wish the organisers all possible success. Having, in the past, been personally involved in running jazz clubs in Sussex and Suffolk I know the potential pitfalls all too well. Whatever the personal tastes of the organisers, please do not erect artificial stylistic barriers too early. ‘Trad’ (an awful term) is almost non-existent between Birmingham and Bristol and, if played well, deserves more of an airing locally than it currently gets. The term actually broadly embraces the classic jazz of Armstrong, Oliver and Morton; the early big bands of Jean Goldkette, Ben Pollack, Fletcher Henderson and Don Redman ; Bix and the Wolverines ; the Chicago/New York Dixielanders such as Eddie Condon, Wild Bill Davison, and Bud Freeman ; and the early swing stars like Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman, Red Allen, and Hot LIps Page. Some, like Billy Butterfield (who starred with Bob Crosby, Artie Shaw and Goodman) crossed easily from one style to another !! ‘Trad’ is therefore not just banjo propelled British bands of the 60s, and if played well, merits a fair chance.

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