Robertsbridge Jazz Club continues to astound local music audiences

When Pete Beament moved to Robertsbridge some seven years ago, his aim was to to start a jazz club in the village.

Together with Mike Hext, he has been working to fulfil that dream.

Pete has enjoyed an eclectic career as a drummer and percussionist. He has played in many West End shows, films and recording sessions, backing major artists in a wide range of styles from pop to opera, small groups to symphony orchestras. He was a member of the BBC Concert Orchestra featuring regularly in Friday Night is Music Night. He also taught drums and percussion at the Purcell School.

Mike Hext moved to Robertsbridge in 2010. He came to prominence winning the first ever BBC TV Young Musician of the Year competition in 1978 and has had a versatile career as a trombonist and composer/arranger.

Mike has been in demand as a jazz and studio musician. As a jazz artist he began his career with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and has since worked with Stan Sulzmann, Tina May, Guy Barker, Mark Lockheart, John Paricelli, Gwilym Simcock, Alan Barnes, Andy Panayi, Steve Waterman and Pete Hurt amongst others. In 2006 he was featured in Radio 3’s Jazz Line Up performing the music of Mark Lockheart and Richard Rodney Bennett.

On May 8 2014 their plotting paid off with the first event held at the Robertsbridge Village Hall with critical acclaim from jazz enthusiasts not only from the village but also far and wide. Well renowned jazz artists have appeared since such as Malcolm Edmonstone, Liane Carroll, Ted Beament, Paul Eshelby, Mike Hatchard, Charlotte Glasson and Pete Long to name just a few, many of which have appeared at the famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.

Last Thursday a thrilled audience experienced a great performance from the sensational Frank Holder Quintet featuring Frank Holder (Vocals/Latin Percussion), Shane Hill (Guitar), Michael Coates (Sax), Jeff Castle (Keyboards) and Mark Rose (Bass).

In the early 1950s Frank Holder joined John Dankworth’s band, The Dankworth Seven. Along with the band, Holder often topped the Melody Maker Jazz Charts. During his time working with The Dankworth Seven, Frank Holder appeared at the Royal Albert Hall on the same billing as Nat King Cole. He also toured and recorded with well-known musicians including Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Don Rendell, Peter King, Hank Shaw, and more.

Once again the venue was packed as jazz enthusiasts demonstrated their appreciation for a fabulous evening’s entertainment. Robertsbridge Jazz Club is held on the second Thursday of each month bringing different artists to entertain a now well established Jazz Club. The next Jazz night will be held on the 12th of May featuring Henry Lowther Trumpet, Pete Hurt Sax, John Donaldson Piano and Jeremy Brown on Bass with Pete Beament on Drums. For more information http://www.robertsbridgejazzclub.com. By Neil Garrett.