On Thursday November 8, the Robertsbridge Jazz Club was treated to a virtuoso performance by Enrico Tomasso fresh from him winning the 2018 British Jazz Award for best trumpeter.
This is the fifth time that Enrico has won this prestigious award and his breathtaking performance at Robertsbridge left everyone spellbound and wanting more.
A packed audience squeezed into the village hall for an evening of superb jazz supplemented with food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere.
Enrico was accompanied by Ted Beament on piano, Adam King playing an exquisite bass and local Robertsbridge musicians Mike Hext on trombone and Pete Beament on drums.
Comments from the audience included: “You won’t finer jazz than this anywhere – it’s always first class,” and “what a fantastic evening of wonderful free flowing music – long may it continue.”
Despite his name, Enrico is Yorkshire born and bred, as was his father. It was his great-grandfather who first came over from Cassino in the 1870s, an orphan who would busk with a concertina and then played a kind of street piano.
His grandfather was also musical, but it was his clarinettist father Ernie and trumpeter uncle Freddy who were the first professional musicians in the family. They played together during the war then both joined Harry Gold’s band.
Enrico was born in 1961, and began piano lessons at the age of four. At the age of five he heard Louis Armstrong play ‘Basin Street Blues’ and he told his father he wanted to play the trumpet. His father was very encouraging and took him to hear many of the top American jazz stars—including Louis Armstrong. When Louis Armstrong visited Britain, the young Enrico (aged 7) was invited to play the trumpet for him during his visit, and Louis has continued to be an inspiration to him throughout his career.
The Robertsbridge Jazz Club was formed in 2014 by Pete Beament and Mike Hext and has enjoyed performances from many of the great UK jazz musicians. It meets every second Thursday of every month at the village hall in Robertsbridge. Details of future events can be found on the clubs website. Photo and words by Neil Garrett.