Norman Warwick hears


Tuesday 28th March 2022

Having somehow found a wi fi service our world cruise on massive liner,….well, ok, a trip round the Canary islands in a boat, we have been able to look in on things at the Sidetracks & Detours office to ensure that our scheduled posts have been published in our absence, and so can take this opportunity to drop a normal post today as well, offering news for all the jazz jivers out there,….so come follow your art to find a touch of reality in this virtual world whilst we head for La Palma. See you somewhere down the line next Monday in the real world but for the rest of this week there will still be a daily post generated from somewhere in the ether.

This year, more than any other, the help of volunteers is needed to get the Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival (RVJBF) on the road.

Over the years it has become increasingly obvious that it’s the volunteers stewarding the events on the ground who ensures the festival is a great place to enjoy live music.

Brand new volunteers are welcome to join the team so if you know anybody, please invite them on board.

Roles vary from stewarding and helping at festival gigs, directing the audience to the next live music options in the vicinity, taking photos, writing a short gig review, chatting to audience members for feedback and exchanging links if they want to stay in contact with the club. 

RVJBF are holding a volunteer drop in session from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm on Saturday 1st April 2023 at the URC, Moor Lane Clitheroe.

There will be a café that morning so if you have time come and have a brew!

The drop-in is for everybody to check in and confirm their availability over the festival weekend 28th April – 1st May.

If you are an experienced volunteer you might like to have a look at the online brochure: https://www.rvjazzfestival.co.uk/online/2023/
and let us know by e mail for which events you would be available to assist. It would be helpful if you specified when you would be available plus how many events you could help with. 

If you are new to volunteering it would be especially beneficial to attend the drop-in so that we can familiarise you with the role, give you a stewards T-shirt and identify the role that would suit you best.

It would be great if you could let us know if you plan to attend the briefing meeting or if you can’t make the meeting but want to volunteer do let us know by emailing


If you have any queries just ring Ivana (07858 344774) or Miles (07807 944 031) and we’ll try to answer your questions.

Meanwhile, we at  Sidetracks And Detours will continue to bring you news from wherever jazz jumps out and so now we can bring you news sent to us by Jim Wade at Jazz in Reading.


Jazz in Reading stages regular events with top-class bands at Reading’s Progress Theatre.

See the current programme here

We list jazz events in Reading and the wider area at no charge – simply submit your gig details. We also offer an affordable service to further promote events – such as the one above – by email:

details here.

Jazz in Reading, using its extensive contacts in the jazz world, is in an excellent position to help you find the right band for your wedding, party or other special occasion.

TRACEY MENDHAM (saxophonist)

Backed by  the Pangbourne Jazz Club rhythm section:
Terry Hutchins (guitar) | Andy Crowdy (double bass)
Jim Pollard (piano) | Brian Greene (drums)

At Pangbourne WMJC

Sunday 2 April | 7:30pm start
Only £12.50 entry | Cheap bar | Raffle | Public Car Park
Pay on the door or book online here

Tracey (left) is a much in demand session saxophonist on the UK scene. She is also well known for her Jazz work and runs her own quartet.

She has been playing music since she was 6. She studied music at college and is comfortable in all style of music. She will often be found in Roberto Pla’s latin ensemble  and other Colombians including Angelica Lopez. Equally comfortable in small ensembles and big bands, you will find her in Onejumpahead (her own quartet), as well as a variety of big bands including Jon Bird’s Big band, The Big Beer Band, Willie Garnet’s Big Band, Kelvin Christiane’s Big Band, Brass impact, Jazz Knights. 

Crossing musical styles, she has regularly played in soul bands, various pop/soul/funk bands, the West End show ‘Crazy For You ‘, Rat Pack Party, an Elvis tribute show,  Phil Collins tribute big band.

A consumate performer Tracey loves playing Jazz and has performs regularly on the Jazz Clubs scene including Mill Hill Jazz Club, Eltham Jazz Club, Folkestone Jazz Club,  The Eagle Tavern (Rochester), The Oval Tavern (Croydon), Craft Beer Co (Covent Garden) and our own Jazz@PJC – Pangbourne Jazz Club.


Fri 28 April | Progress Theatre, Reading (details below) | 7:30pm |
£18.00 (£16.00 concessions, £9 under 16) plus maximum 5% booking fee

Leon Greening piano| Alex Garnett sax
Adam King bass| Steve Brown drums

Leon Greening studied piano at Leeds College of Music and the Guildhall. His extraordinary solos, inspired by the likes of Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons and Bud Powell, keep the audience on the edge of their seats and mark him out as one of the finest pianists this country has ever produced. His hard swinging style has made him a favourite on the UK Jazz circuit for well over a decade, and his intense performances have not only encouraged a loyal following but high praise from critics:

“One of the most swinging bands on the jazz planet” – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club promotion

“Leon Greening….epitomises the assured confidence of a new generation.’” – Jazz Journal

“Listening to Leon Greening’s playing is like hearing a history of post-Bop piano…authentic and yet personal echoes of (all the greats)…” – Clark Tracey

Alex Garnett has been one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Europe for over two decades, instantly recognised by his dark, husky sound. A versatile musician and first call sideman, he has enjoyed success as both a jazz artist, composer and arranger, and an in demand session, studio and commercial saxophonist, having racked up countless recording credits along the way and has performed in over 30 countries worldwide.

Bassist Adam King as a youngster started on the saxophone before moving to bass guitar and finally to the double bass on which he gained a 1st class honours degree in BA Jazz. Since then he has become one of the most in demand bassists playing with some of the most prolific musicians on the UK and international jazz scene and often playing at London’s top jazz establishments.

Steve Brown, always smiling, always swinging, and drummer with the Scott Hamilton quartet since 2000, studied in New York in the early 1990s. Subsequently working in the Far East and Europe where he was a finalist in the European Jazz Competition in Germany, he moved back to the UK in 1996 where he has become one of the most sought-after drummers in the country, and brings to any band a sense of relaxation and good humour.

Listen to Leon’s hard swinging action in this clip (with Adam King).… and to Alex Garnett here (with Leon and Adam).

Jazz artists enjoy a diverse workload, of course: practicing, rehearsing, scoutiog out new arrangers and arrangments, new musicians and prospective band members, rehearsing, gigging and recording,…. and for pleasure they rehearse and listen to other musicians.

Jenny Bray
in the studio

If you think all the above is something of an exaggeration then look out for an interview with Jenny Bray to be published on these pages next week.

With a new album duo out at the turn of 2023/4 Jenny talks about how the album is progressing as also chats about some live gigs and new musician-friends.

It is fascinating and gratifying that Jenny stays in touch to give us regular updates to share with our readers about the progress she makes as she follows her own sidetracks & detours to reach her goal.

Here in the office first we first became aware of Jenny Bray through an interview conducted with her by Steve Bewick on his Hot Biscuits jazz programme presented from the ethereal mix-cloud.

It is worth remembering that if you are unable to catch any live jazz, you can always tine in to Hot Biscuit, presented by Steve Bewick (right) from somewhere in the ether on his mix-cloud. Our good friend Mr. Bewick, an occasional correspondent on these pages, this week offers a musical journey with the adventurous Jordan Ferrin, storyteller and saxophonist. Joining him on the broadcast are Guillermo Hill Quartet, Toots Thielemans, The Mike del Ferro Quintet, and Adam Glasser before Steve leaves them all Strutting At The Barbecue with Balaz Szolnok. Let your friends know and follow Steve 24/07 at

Steve Bewick’s Shows | Mixcloud

Meanwhile, perhaps our most profuse provider of Jazz Listings, is Rob Adams, who sends them to us under the collective (and very appropriate) name of Music That´s Going Places.

Rob Adams tells us
it looks as though April has turned into
Helena Kay (above) month

The saxophonist, who won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year title in 2015 with a beguiling tone and admirably lyrical and logical solo building, has continued to develop these qualities.

Helena’s band-leading skills have also been confirmed by the release of Golden Sands, the second album by the KIM Trio which has the added attraction of pianist Peter Johnstone ostensibly guesting but really establishing himself as an integral part of the group. Praise from radio presenters keeps coming in and you can hear what they’re enthusing about when the group plays in Perth on Saturday 1st, Glasgow on Sunday 2nd, Edinburgh on Monday 3rd, and Lerwick on Tuesday 4th. 

Those who particularly enjoy the intimacy of a duo can catch Helena and Pete when they play in the ultra-intimate surroundings of St Peter’s Church in Linlithgow on Friday 14th. It’s the latest in a series of occasional and consistently enthralling duo gigs they’ve played. Original tunes from both are likely to sit alongside familiar jazz ballads and contemporary jazz classics, all imbued with a fascinating flow of ideas from two resourceful and expressive talents.

Pete Johnstone plays in another duo, with saxophonist Tommy Smith, in Dunoon on Friday 21st. Pete’s energetic and creative accompaniments give Tommy the perfect springboard to show his mastery on a range of music that includes original compositions, favourites by influential figures including Chick Corea, Stan Getz and Michael Brecker, and tunes gathered in their travels. Sparks are likely to fly. 

Pianist Gwilym Simcock is the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra’s brilliant, latest guest. Gwilym has played in bands led by guitarist Pat Metheny and drummer Bill Bruford and co-led the Impossible Gentlemen with guitarist Mike Walker. Gwilym also played a pair of memorable piano duo concerts with the late John Taylor in Scotland a few years ago. All that and more experience is likely to feed into Release, the music Gwilym is composing for the SNJO to be played in Edinburgh on the 27th, Glasgow on the 28th, Dundee on the 29th, and Aberdeen on the 30th.


Blue Lamp
Sun 2: Richard Bailey Band plus Neil Birse (2pm)
Thu 20: Richard Glassby Qrt
Thu 27: Mindaugas Stumbras
Music Hall
Sun 30: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Gwilym Simcock
Gardyne Theatre
Sat 29: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Gwilym Simcock
Burgh Hall
Fri 21: Tommy Smith & Peter Johnstone
Jazz Bar
Sun 2: Anna Vanosi
Wed 5: Keith Haldane Qrt
Fri 7: Coucou Swing
Thu 13: Allan McKeown Qrt
Fri 14: Foo Birds
Wed 19: Kershaw, Steele and Milligan
Thu 20: Elchin Shirinov Qrt
Fri 21: Boptimism
Wed 26: Mindaugus Stumbras Qrt 

Thu 6, 20: Playtime tbc

Queen’s Hall
Thu 27: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Gwilym Simcock

Traverse Theatre
Mon 3: Helena Kay KIM Trio with Peter Johnstone
Mon 24: Brian Kellock Trio

Glad Cafe
Tue 18: James Mackay
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Fri 28: Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with Gwilym Simcock
Merchants House
Sun 2: Helena Kay KIM Trio with Peter Johnstone
Beacon Arts Centre
Thu 27: Ali Affleck
St Peter’s Church
Fri 14: Helena Kay & Peter Johnstone

606 Club
Sat 1: Derek Nash’s Sax Appeal
Sun 2: Zoe Francis feat Jim Mullen (1:30pm)/Liane Carroll (8pm)
Mon 3: Jim Mullen Organ
Wed 26: John Etheridge’s Blue Spirits

Ronnie Scott’s
Sat 1 – Mon 3: Lee Ritenour Qrt
Tue 4: James Morrison Qrt
Sat 8: Jeremy Pelt
Mon 10 – Tue 11: Mike Stern Band
Mon 17: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra
Wed 19: Eddie Henderson’s International Septet
Sat 22: Alex Wilson-Omar Puente Qrt
Mon 24 – Thu 27: Kyle Eastwood
Fri 28 – Sat 29: Dave Weckl-Tom Kennedy Project
Perth Theatre
Sat 1: Helena Kay KIM Trio with Peter Johnstone

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