My wife and I attended this concert purely for the music, not being related to band members in any way. I am 81 years of age, a jazz and swing fanatic since I was 14. I was buying 78’s of Goodman, The Dorseys, Basie, Herman and Miller. In those days I remember two of the record companies, Parlophone being one, used to issue one jazz or swing 78 per month. I have still got 78s by Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt and others.
Over the years I have attended many live big band performances including Kenton, Basie, Ellington ansd Buddy Rich, but seldom have I been so excited as I was this evening. I became very emotional because I was so aware that all these fine young musicians were carrying forward the music traditions that I grew up with. The furure of big band music seems to be very safe in their hands.
Thank you, Ian Hattersley for all the enthusiasm and sheer hard work that you put in. Some years ago I went to two or three rehearsals of your then big band in Finstall Village Hall and realised just what hard work it is to get something to work so very well.
Lastly, Trevor Emeny was terrific. I last saw him thirty years ago when I was President of Bromsgrove Lions Club and talked him into organising a big band concert by young musicians. This was in 1981 in the Dolphin Suite in Bromsgrove. He was a great guy and a fine musician then and tonight proved that he has just got better and better.
Thanks again to everybody responsible for this super concert but most especially to all those fine, talented and enthusiastic boys and girls that made up the two orchestras. You are all phenomenal!David TurnerThe Artrix TheatreJuly 2011