Buddy Rich memorial: London debut

Buddy RichFormer Cream drummer Ginger Baker and Chick Corea Elektric Band drummer Dave Weckl are among the percussion masters who will appear at the first Buddy Rich memorial concert to be held in London. The concert has been held annually following Rich's death in 1987 and this, the 25th, takes place at the London Palladium on 2 April.

The BR memorial concerts came about after Rich (pictured ahead of his 1986 Capital Festival gig in London) asked his daughter Cathy to keep the band and its music alive for each new generation. She settled on the idea of an annual concert and the first was at Carnegie Hall, NY in 1988. Others followed in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Boston and the idea developed into a showcase for leading jazz performers of the day - not all of them drummers. Previous shows have featured Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Stan Getz, Steve Gadd, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta and Dennis Chambers.

This year's concert will be co-hosted by Cathy and feature the Buddy Rich Big Band along with British musicians who played with Buddy. As well as Ginger Baker and Dave Weckl, the players will include Gregg Bissonette (lately with the Ringo Starr band), John Blackwell (Prince), Ian Paice (Deep Purple) and Elliott Henshaw (Tony Christie) and singing legend Tony Christie himself. Three leading rock drummers will also receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the concert.

Dave Weckl said of his involvement in the London gig: "Anytime I get to pay tribute to one of the greatest players of our instrument, I am first in line. To be able to play with a great big band and play songs from the Buddy Rich book is one of my favourite things to do as a drummer."

Tickets, from from £25 to £60, are available from the box office (0844 412 4657) or online at www.seetickets.com. VIP tickets include the best seats, an opportunity to meet the headline artists, admission to the after-show party and signed merchandise.

Ginger Baker also appears at Ronnie Scott's club, 27-28 April, with his Jazz Confusion quartet, featuring Alec Dankworth (b), Pee Wee Ellis (s) and Abass Dodoo (pc).

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