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STOP PRESS! - M & J PROMOTIONS JAZZ WEEKENDS IN 2019!
LATEST ADDITION! - September 2019 Jazz Break. Also join us for Jazz Breaks in January 2019 and April 2019. All events at the fabulous Redcliffe Hotel, Paignton.
See full details of all THREE events
September 2018 Jazz Weekend at the Redcliffe Hotel, Paignton
'He would top my list for a top British All-rounder Award'
By Dennis Shaw
While travelling back in the after-glow of a jazz week-end par excellence, on the Devon coast in mid-September one question kept repeating itself in my mind in the midst of the multitude of musical memories created.
Is there or, indeed, can there be, a more multi-talented and versatile a musician among the many whose work we constantly enjoy, than Jeremy Huggett? It is possibly a question without an answer, of course, all down to personal opinion. And none of we jazz/blues/swing/r&b/mainstream aficionados have experienced them all. What I can state without fear of disagreement, however, is that in browsing back through my own seventy-odd years' love of the various genres I cannot name anyone from local musicians to world stars who has matched this maestro's range of true talents.
To give a snapshot of what I mean let me attempt to recall a spell during the week-end masterminded by him at the elegant and welcoming Redcliffe Hotel, from its prime Paignton position overlooking the panorama view of Torbay.
Huggett, leader and reeds man for the superb Dart Valley Stompers, plays all of the 'routine' Dixieland/trad/New Orleans numbers on clarinet or one or another of the glistening saxophones beside him, as do so many others of his soloist breed. He announces with typical musician wry humour, vocalises appropriately from time to time and leads the band along as necessary.
Then in a spell I seem to recall, he gave a raw and raucous rendition of the 1960s alto hit Flamingo, Earl Bostic-style and probably as good or better, then sat beside the keyboards player to pound out Pinetop's Boogie like Fats Domino on speed. From there he was back in the front line to give us a quite mesmerising End of the World on the flute, James Galway-ish, hauntingly beautiful and in a totally different mode to his previous upbeat pieces before giving us Some Day You'll be Sorry on sax and with jazzy vocal.
If that is not enough to illustrate his astonishing all-round talents then in another session he was part of the quintet backing the Ella Fitzgerald-style American Songbook singer Maggie Reeday, providing Lester Young tenor sax support and solos in standards such as These Foolish Things, Love for sale, I've Got you Under my Skin...lovely to hear them sung and sax-backed with such a feel for these wonderful classics of yesteryear.
OK, so I admit to having been more than a touch OTT in comparing his performance in different areas with the all-time greats but these were the names that my brain conjured up as I listened to JH's musical journey through decades of our kind of music. In short he arranges events, MCs them, leads and plays in a brilliant band, excels on clarinet and all the of the reeds, including flute, adds the keyboards and sings passably well, too, along the way.
No, no , he doesn't dance like either Fred Astaire or Sammy Davis Junior, (not built for it), but if there is a better all-round performer than him on the current UK jazz scene then I've not been fortunate enough to enjoy a week-end watching them.
And, as a final thought: I've no real idea about how the British Jazz Award winners are assessed but if there were a 'best all-rounder' category then he would be top of my personal short list of one.
Harlem 5, Wedding in Bristol, Saturday 16th August 2014
Just an email to say a huge thank you for a fantastic night last night. Everyone loved the music and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I think one or two are interested in having you at their parties too! Lots of people were talking about how good you were (many of them musicians in bands, they can be hard to please!). Great to see lots of people up dancing, even Rich's 87 year old nan threw away her walking stick and had a good jig!
Anyway you guys were very professional and it was great to see you all play again since we first saw you in the Old Duke.
We weren't disappointed.
Thank you so much, we hope you enjoyed yourselves too.
I also hope you managed to get enough from the buffet and have some drinks too. I was a little preoccupied trying to talk to people.
Thank you once again. We'll look forward to seeing you all soon when you are back in Bristol or at a friend's party I am sure.
Becky and Rich
Harlem 5, Bristol, August 2014
Harlem 5, Private Party, Saturday 5th October 2013
I had Jeremy and the boys to play at my party. It was the best thing I could had done. I knew they were good but boy they were fantastic. It was like being at a show and what a show, the music was great, both in varity and the professional way they conducted themselves. they made my party the success it was. I knew they were good but by the number of phone call and cards I received from friends and family (afterwards) they all thought they were great as well. One older neighbour said, I so wanted to dance but as I could'nt. I had the joy of watching that wonderful band, thank them for me it made my evening, no it made my year as I don't go out much..... What can I say ...yet again thanks so very much for just being so bloody good...
Jeannie Manning, Bristol
Band of Gold at Hospital Summer Ball, 5th July 2013
Dear Jeremy and Maria,
Many thanks once again for the great playing and entertainment from "Band of Gold" for our Hospital Medical Staff Committee Summer Ball and retirement celebrations on 5th July 2013 at the Moorland Garden Hotel, Yelverton.
Please could you pass my thanks to all members of the band.
I hope the hotel looked after you adequately in the bar with food and drink.
With best wishes
Harlem 5 at Verwood Jazz Club, 16th May 2013
Hi Jeremy and Maria,
What a fabulous night last night - thank you so much. We were delighted - but not at being unable to sleep for ages because we were still on such a high! We do hope that you treat the 1066 mob to much of the same tonight. Mind you, with the number of dancers that take the floor at the Azur, we wouldn't be surprised to find that half of them end up in Intensive Care! Rock On.
With great appreciation from Pru, Julie, Derek and Tony
Harlem 5 at The Old Duke, Bristol, 10th May 2013
We absolutely loved the music at The Old Duke, we had a great time! Looking forward to seeing you guys back again.
Rebecca Green and Richard Sidwick
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