Preview: Folkestone Jazz Club

The Folkestone Jazz Club always comes to notice for its strong mainstream programming, and March is no exception with VerPlanck, Waterman, Nash and more

Folkestone Jazz Club has been bringing leading jazz names to the people of Kent for many years thanks to its managers Derick Woodland and Beryl Wood, who have just released details of the club’s programme for the month of March.

The industrious and modest Derick Woodland told Jazz Journal when asked for a selfie for this story "Thank you, but I don't think that would be a good idea to show a picture of me - the audience numbers would drop like a stone. Also, the running of The Folkestone jazz Club is a real joint effort by Beryl Wood and myself. At the moment Beryl is in Barbados with her partner, the veteran jazz pianist Brian Dee".

Commenting on the club's programming, Derick said: "We have to have a strong programme, to attract a big enough audience. We only book top quality jazz outfits that are tried and tested, and we do the inviting - it's very rare for us to book a band that have asked us for a gig.

"We rely on an audience from a 50-mile radius - that is taking a sweep from Thanet to Gravesend to Hastings. Operating any business or jazz club from a coastal town is a risk with only 180 degrees to draw on - there are no jazz nuts in the sea! In the nine years that we have been operating only about 15% come from Folkestone - but people will travel for consistent quality and big names".

The March line-up features five gigs and a total of 30 musicians, from vocalist Marlene VerPlanck - on her spring tour - to the Humphrey Lyttelton Band.

The club’s March dates, all on Thursday nights starting at 8.00pm, are as follows:

2 March - Mornington Lockett and Dick Pearce with the Dave Barry Trio (Dave Barry on drums, Gareth Williams on piano, Dave Green on bass)

9 March - Steve Waterman All Star Septet, featuring Waterman (pictured right) on trumpet, Mark Nightingale on trombone, Alan Barnes and Dave O’Higgins on saxes, Gareth Williams on piano, Alec Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums

16 March - Marlene VerPlanck and her Trio (John Pearce on piano, Paul Morgan on bass, Bobby Worth on drums)

23 March - The Humphrey Lyttelton Band: with Tony Fisher on trumpet alongside original band members Jimmy Hastings and Robert Fowler (saxes), Ray Wordsworth (trombone), Ted Beament (piano), John Rees Jones (double bass) and Adrian Macintosh (drums)

30 March - Derek Nash and Tenor Madness: Nash is joined by Alan Barnes and Vasilis Xenopoulos on saxes, with John Pearce, Paul Morgan and Bobby Worth in the rhythm section

The Tower Theatre is on North Road, Shorncliffe, Folkestone.

Admission is £12.00 for each concert.

For ticket bookings please email or telephone 01303 277175.

Bruce Lindsay

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