Herts Jazz Festival 2014 opens in Welwyn Garden City
The 2014 Herts Jazz Festival opens in Welwyn Garden City on Friday night.
On the eve of its annual festival, Herts Jazz Club has found a new patron.
Renowned sax player Art Themen has agreed to take on the role which was vacated after St Albans jazz legend and club patron Stan Tracey died.
Festival director Clark Tracey said: “Last year we lost our honorary patron and jazz legend, Stan Tracey CBE.
“A tough seat to replace but we’ve decided to appoint Art Themen, who has worked for Herts Jazz for decades now.”
Stan Tracey’s drummer son added: “My own experience of Art goes back to the early 1970s and I was lucky enough to work with him for many years from 1978 in Stan’s various ensembles.
“Simply put, Art Themen epitomises that challenging but crucial ingredient of true jazz, immortally cited by Ken Burns: ‘the sound of surprise’.
“He is a true original and we are therefore very proud he has accepted our appointment.”
Art appears next with his quartet at the Herts Jazz Festival at the Hawthorne Theatre on Saturday from 1pm to 2pm, and as part of the Three Tenors band opening the new season at Herts Jazz Club on Sunday, October 5.
The 2014 Herts Jazz Festival opens at the Campus West venue tomorrow (Friday) and runs for three days.
Among the big acts performing at the Hawthorne Theatre over the weekend are headliners Chris Barber, John Taylor and Georgie Fame.
The Big Chris Barber Band will headline the opening night, with trombonist Chris Barber returning to the town of his birth.
Pianist John Taylor will top the bill on Saturday night, with Georgie Fame teaming up with the Alan Skidmore Quartet the following night.
Among the many leading British jazz musicians also playing are Ben Castle, Jean Toussaint, James Pearson and JJ Wheeler.
* For more information about the festival, and to book tickets, go to www.hertsjazzfestival.co.uk