Monday 26 January 2009
Jazz originated in the USA - but gained an early following in the UK. I spent the weekend in Milton Keynes and on Sunday attended a talk (with music) at the Stables, Wavendon [http://www.stables.org/ - the venue set up by Johnny Dankworth & Cleo Laine http://www.quarternotes.com/].
Peter Vacher spoke about the Afro-Caribbean contribution to Jazz in Britain. He described how a small group of West Indians played a key role in the early years of jazz in the UK - learning from and playing alongside American visitors to British shores such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Some of their careers were outlined and some super recordings played. He then described the 'second generation' who were part of a larger migration after the second world war. Finally he mentioned today's British born black musicians who have further developed this important legacy.
The jazz scene in Britain - particularly during the 1930s to 1950s was described. I found it fascinating and enjoyable. It was particuarly interesting to hear comments from Sir John Dankworth who knew many of these Afro-Caribbean players. At the Stables, Sir John has promoted these weekly "Jazz Matters" sessions - some are talks, with music - others are live performances. We also went last week and heard Julie Dunn http://www.juliedunn.co.uk/