INTERVIEW: Clark Tracey (2017 Herts Jazz Fest, 13 - 15 Oct )


Nikki Iles Printmakers were at the 2016 Festival
Photo credit:Melody Mclaren


Sebastian writes: 

We carried a news story when the full programme was announced for this year's seventh Herts Jazz Festival. (LINK)

I spoke to Festival Director Clark Tracey about some of the concerts he was particularly looking forward to:

Georgie Fame with the Guy Barker Big Band.
Friday 13 October 8.30pm  

The original idea for this festival feature had come to Clark thanks to Jim Mullen who is in Guy Barker's Big Band. They will be coming to Welwyn having just performed a week's residency at Ronnie Scott's that week. That led to a conversation about...

Guitarmageddon
Saturday 14 October 2pm Theatre Foyer - free admission 

This trio of guitarists, Jim Mullen, Nigel Price and bassist Mick Hutton, play what Nigel Price describes as "high octane jazz guitars". I asked Clark if he knew who had chosen the band name: "It was definitely Jim!"

Bobby Wellins' “Culloden Moor Suite” featuring Mornington Lockett
Sunday 15 October, 7.45 pm


This concert devised by Mornington Lockett will be in two parts, with Mornington leading a quartet in the first half, playing tunes associated with Bobby Wellins, going back to various of his albums: Jubilation (1978), Dreams are Free (1979) and Birds of Brazil (1989).

The second half will see two tenor saxophones sharing front line duties in the Culloden Suite - Mornington Lockett will be joined by Art Themen. Clark has been listening to the original recording of the suite on which Bobby Wellins was joined by Lol Coxhill. "It sounds... more like a war. Bobby and Lol Coxhill seem to really 'lock horns'." The band for Culloden Suite also has a Hertfordshire connection - from the Purcell School in Bushey. Within the band are some young stars-in-the-making, trumpeter Alex Ridout and saxophonist Sean Payne.

Art Themen's New Directions
Saturday 14 October 5pm

The mention of Art Themen, who is a Patron of Herts Jazz, led Clark to mention Art's own gig as leader. He is bringing his quintet with trumpeter  Steve Fishwick, pianist Gareth Williams, bassist  Arnie Somogyi and drummer (and also vocalist) Winston Clifford.

Gary Husband Trio
Saturday 14 October 3.15pm

"Gary is someone we've been trying to get for a number of years," says Clark. This is his trio is with bassist Sam Burgess and drummer Ed Richardson." (pp)

Currently there are full weekend passes on sale. (LINK
Day tickets and individual gig tickets will be on sale from 1 August.

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