Presenting Oxford’s Monthly Dixieland Jazz Band – the lively Eastside Rhythm Kings

The Eastside Rhythm Kings have for the last decade been playing at
The Gladiator Club in Oxford on the last Tuesday of every month.
Their next live gig is on Tuesday, 25th June 2024.

Jazz & Jazz highly recommends this lively, traditional jazz band
for a brilliant night out. Here’s a link to their website:

“The Eastside Rhythm Kings are a lively, traditional jazz band (New Orleans / Dixieland) of experienced musicians. Whether you’re a seasoned jazz fan or are just looking for a fun night out then try the Gladiator Jazz Club.”

“Entrance is free and there is a bar with drinks at club prices but cash only, no cards. The jazz is self funded so there is a raffle and bucket collection to cover the band’s travel and other costs. There is no pressure to buy raffle tickets or make bucket contributions, but without them the jazz club would not exist”, so please show your appreciation.

The show starts at 8:00pm – so best not be late!

Playing live are the unforgetable Henri Harrison on Drums, Dave Arnold on Bass, Rod Wall on Trumpet and Cornet, John Aust on Clarinet and Saxophone, Harry Crook on Trombone and Gordon Dawson on Banjo.

Pete Allen Jazz Band Launches 45th Anniversary Album

Pete Allen celebrates his 45 Years of band leading at Pizza Express Soho on Monday,
4th December 2023.
Doors open at 6:30pm, concert starts at 8pm.

Be sure to book early.

During his professional career in show business there is so much Pete has achieved that it’s impossible to list everything. His band has always featured a host of British talent and his present line-up is no exception:
Jim Newton (drums), Dave Hanratty (bass), Roger Marks (trombone),
James Clemas (piano) Pete Allen (clarinet and saxes),
Chris Hodgkins (trumpet) who has rejoined the band after 40 years.
The Band have just released a 45th Anniversary Album on Upbeat Jazz.

Pete joined the Rod Mason Jazz Band in 1976 and formed his own fully professional band on the 1st of October 1978.

Throughout the late seventies, eighties, and nineties, the Pete Allen Jazz Band was the most featured band of its style on a host of popular BBC Radio Two programmes, including regular slots on the Terry Wogan Breakfast Show and others presented by Jimmy Young, John Dunn, Ray Moore, Gloria Hunniford, Pete Clayton, Humphrey Lyttleton, Sheila Tracey, and Brian Matthew.
He also featured on “Music While You Work”, “Friday Night is Music Night” and a number of Bank Holiday Special broadcasts for Pete Murray
and Paul Daniels.

In addition to radio, the band made regular appearances on television for BBC Pebble Mill at One and Harry Secombe Highway, plus Jazz Specials for Border TV, TSW, TV South, HTV West, BBC South, and BBC West. He also made appearances on various European TV shows in Germany, Denmark, and Holland whilst on tour.

Over the years Pete has played alongside many  American jazz legends including Billy Butterfield, Benny Waters, Peanuts Hucko and Bob Wilber.

Throughout his career, Pete has released over 100 recordings. The band represented England at the Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilee USA in 1983,  1984 and 1986,  attracting audiences of 85,000. Pete was also chosen to lead the Worldwide All Stars – a band that included Barrett Deems (drums) and Jack Lesberg (bass), both ex-members of Louis Armstrong’s All-Stars.
In 1992, whilst playing tour dates in St Louis and New Orleans USA, Pete was awarded Honorary Citizenship of New Orleans for his services to British music and tourism”

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

John Petters Presents …

Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz” – John Petters Recordings

I don’t usually play my own tracks on Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz,
but at the request of Chris Hyde, the owner of Sound of Spitfire, I will be offering a chronological overview of my recordings.

This is not to blow my own trumpet or more to the point, bang my own drum, rather it is a celebration of the many unique musicians whom I’ve had the honour of working with over the past 40 years.

There will be tracks from my first vinyl LP in 1977 with my Dixie Seven, on to Stealin’ Apples, the second LP in 1982 by my Swing Band, a session with Ken Colyer, an album with Humphrey Lyttelton, Wally Fawkes and Al Casey, a live concert recording with American clarinet virtuoso, Kenny Davern, a Dixieland session with American trumpet star, Yank Lawson, trio sessions with American Blues pianist Art Hodes, with reedmen Kenny Davern and Trevor Whiting and my first release on the New Orleans based Jazzology label.

John Petters

`Meantime visit this recent Jazz&Jazz YouTube
“The Joint Is Jumping!

Tune into Now You Has Jazz, Jazz, Jazz here:

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.

A warm welcome back to the UK, Intrepid Disney Land Explorer, Sarah Spencer!

On a scale of one to ten how can I rate the mind boggling
Disneyland Adventures of my very special jazz friend,
Sarah Spencer?

Best leave it to the star of the show herself.
So why not check her out on Facebook.

Meantime here is one of her Global Rambler’s “Covid Wary”
Combo YouTubes.

Recorded by Sarah Spencer’s Global Ramblers (“Our Music Is Infectious”): Sarah Spencer – vocal; John Service – trombone; Sarah Spencer – tenor saxophone; Hugh Crozier – piano;
Jim Swinnerton – string bass;
Jack Amblin – drums.
Composed by Robert Blackwell, McKinley Millet, 1958

We have a Paypal tip jar – Donations are gratefully accepted but not expected. All proceeds will be shared among those on the video.

The Global Ramblers have a cd out. There are various ways to purchase it (including digital download). Visit Sarah for the details:

Peter M Butler

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.


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)


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.

Ewan Bleach Releases New Album

I’m pleased to announce that my debut album ‘Ewan, the Night’n the Music’ is to be released next week.

You will be able to buy it from Friday the 11th of March off my brand new label: Old Style Records. Here’s the link:

It’s ballads album, a tribute to the poetic side of jazz improvisation and the rich melodic compositions of the old songwriters and features John Kelly and Martin Wheatley on guitar, Colin Good on piano and Jim Ydstie on bass and of course myself on, clarinet, and soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. 

And on the 22nd of April we’ll be presenting an official launch concert at 
St Giles In The Fields, a church in London’s West End. You can buy tickets here:

Any questions about above, or anything else including booking, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

All the best


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