Three in a row for Darlington jazz fans

IT’S going to be a bumper year for jazz lovers as Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club welcomes a record number of bands to play lunchtime gigs at the town’s St Augustine’s Parish Centre on Larchfield Street.

After a record year that saw capacity audiences, the club is going into 2019 with its best-ever line up of gigs that showcase some world-class performers. There’s a total of 18 gigs booked during the year, up from the usual 12.

Things get off to a New Orleans start on Saturday, February 2, with what’s bound to be a stellar performance by Dale Storr on piano. Dale’s inspiration is the rhythms of New Orleans, bringing sharp twists to everything from a classically influenced minuet, a Latin rhumba and some junker-blues piano, to a red-hot stomping boogie-woogie.

On Saturday, February 16, the club is proud to host an international band based in the Big Easy itself – the popular dynamic young street group Frog & Henry. Formed in New Orleans French Quarter as a collective of several street performing groups, Frog & Henry play and record old dance and jazz music from the early 1900s on brass and string instruments, with plenty of vocals.

Most of F&H’s repertoire was obtained by digging up forgotten songs and early dance tunes from the dawn of recorded music, and from even earlier 1800s sheet music. Bringing that tradition to life, they feature violin and mandolin-banjo as melody instruments along with clarinet and baritone saxophone. And if the audience is really lucky, they get to see and hear the foot-operated tuba the band has designed that allows one person to play tuba and six-string banjo simultaneously.

On Saturday, March 2, there is a visit by clarinetist and composer, Adrian Cox, and his show ‘Profoundly blue’ (in the jazz sense!), which celebrates the music of his favourite clarinet player Edmond Hall. Adrian’s a star of the European jazz circuit, playing with masters including Wynton Marsalis, Dr John and Ronnie Wood and the gig is guaranteed to delight.

Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club meets at St Augustine’s Parish Hall, Larchfield Street, Darlington, near the bus stops on Tubwell Row and Darlington railway station. Doors open at noon and entry is£10 on the door (children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult). For more information, go to