Preview: The 606 Returns to Suffolk




The 606 Club brings a strong line-up to Butley Priory in rural Suffolk, for the club's second A Night At The 606 outdoor jazz event

Following on the success of the first A Night At The 606, a star-studded outdoor concert held at Suffolk’s historic Butley Priory last year, London-based jazz and live music venue the 606 Club will present its second annual show featuring the UK jazz scene’s premier artists on Saturday, 10 September 2016.

The second A Night At The 606 will once again feature some of the club's renowned performers, including vocalists Liane Carroll (pictured right by Monika Jakubowska) and Georgina Jackson, supported as before by pianist Gareth Williams and his trio. The 606 Club's owner Steve Rubie - who has been running the Club since 1976, making this its 40th Anniversary in October - will compère the night.

Butley Priory is an extraordinary building, a former medieval monastery between Woodbridge and Aldeburgh in an area of outstanding beauty on the Suffolk Heritage Coast sometimes referred to as a cathedral in the woods. Butley Priory has hosted artistic and musical performances for the last 20 years. With accommodation for up to 16 people and only two hours from London, the house is also available to let as a wedding and events venue.

The 606 was originally located in a basement accommodating a mere 30 people at 606 King’s Road. Musician Steve Rubie acquired "The Six" (as it’s colloquially known) in 1976, and the venue moved to its present location on Chelsea's Lots Road in 1988. The club presents jazz, blues, R&B, soul, groove and Latin music seven nights a week, and has fostered the careers of many leading jazz artists, including the likes of Jamie Cullum, Gwilym Simcock, Claire Martin and Polly Gibbons.

Featured at Butley Priory in 2016 will be another artist who played early in her career at the 606 Club - Liane Carroll. The recipient of two BBC Jazz Awards and a Parliamentary Jazz Award among many other honours, Carroll is a dynamic vocalist and pianist whose talent has been captivating audiences around the world. A world-class artist, she has a powerful blues-tinged voice which she combines with strong piano playing and exciting material, not to mention a wicked sense of humour. These make her a remarkable performer, described by The Observer as seeming “... in some magical way to be made out of music”.

Also featured on the night is the dynamic singer and trumpeter Georgina Jackson (pictured left). After acquiring what she likes to describe as “a strange and somewhat unfashionable obsession with jazz and big band music” Georgina began her musical career as a professional trumpet player. However, harbouring, as she describes it, “a desire to wear a posh frock” she decided that adding singing to her repertoire could be fun. These days her terrific swing-jazz vocals can be heard in a variety of impressive settings, not least as featured vocalist with the BBC Big Band, the BBC Concert Orchestra and as resident singer with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. This is swinging straightahead jazz from one of the most talented performers on the scene: “A talented trumpet player and singer with a sassy, vibrant style” as All About Jazz put it.

Saxophonist Alex Garnett (pictured below right) enjoys a varied musical career as a jazz artist and in-demand session and studio saxophonist. His powerful, flowing, hard-bop style has been heard with some of Europe's leading jazz ensembles and he’s one of the few headlining UK jazz musicians in the current Ronnie Scott’s All Stars pool. He has performed worldwide with John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Peter King, Van Morrison and Jools Holland, as well as leading his own highly acclaimed bands, Bunch of Five and Organism, among other projects. To add to his appeal, his onstage wit and patter are a delight.

Expat US vocalist Kay Elizabeth, probably best known on the festival and club scene as the lead singer with the highly acclaimed band The Fontanas, completes the bill. A performer with a powerhouse voice and charisma to match, Kay is equally at home singing groove and blues as she is her own singer/songwriter material.

Accompanying Kay and the rest of the talent is the Gareth Williams Trio. The musical director for the Claire Martin band as well as a featured performer with the "Godfather" of soul sax Pee Wee Ellis, Gareth has also worked with the likes of jazz-funk group Us3, Iain Ballamy, Tim Garland, Art Farmer, Jerry Bergonzi and Gwyneth Herbert. He trained as a doctor and received a degree in English from Cambridge before switching to music (initially on guitar, which he still plays at professional level). Gareth is one of the most sought-after accompanists to play at The Six.

The evening will conclude with all of the night’s performers onstage to play a grand finale. The stage will be set up in front of the spectacular facade of the house, and guests will be seated on the lawn, or (if need be) under the shelter of a marquee. Guests are welcome to bring a picnic and locally sourced hot and cold food will be available. A cash bar will be open during the evening.

A Night At The 606 starts at 7.30pm, with access to the venue from 6.30pm. Tickets, priced at £18.00, can be bought from the 606 Club website, or by phone on 020 7352 5953.

Bruce Lindsay


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