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Monday, November 30, 2009

USE IT - OR LOSE IT - Jazz at the Saville.

Hello everybody – please do read all of this!
On Friday December 11 at 8.00pm we hold our celebrated Christmas Extravaganza: this year it's KEITH NICHOLS with the WEST JESMOND RHYTHM KINGS. Our theme will be “The Good Old Good Ones”.
The WJRK, augmented by the celebrated Mr Nichols, will play a session that reveals two very different interpretations of this phrase: in the first half, a selection of classic jazz pieces from the 1920s repertoire of Oliver, Morton and Armstrong, followed in the second half by a programme of “traditional jazz favourites” – the tunes for which we most frequently get requests, played more in the Barber/Colyer Bilk style of the 1950s.
In the true spirit of Christmas, Mr Nichols will make his own special gift to the audience in the shape of his inimitable piano and vocal renditions of the works of Mr Thomas Waller.
There will also be our celebrated Grand Christmas Raffle, with more than a dozen prizes of seasonal goodies, wines and spirits and the odd CD or two.
We hope that there will be a really strong turnout for this event: in the last twelve months, we have lost a fair amount of money, but a mere 15 more paying customers per concert would have seen us breaking even. The cash reserves we had carefully built up over the preceding two years have now been just about exhausted. We hate to utter gloomy thoughts at Christmastide, but with costs set to rise in the New Year, with the loss of help from the North Tyneside Arts Support Team - sadly made redundant as the Council struggle to balance their budget - and with no continuing support from Arts Council England, we really need a boost in audience numbers in the months ahead if we are to continue to present overseas bands and UK bands from outside the North East. So, do make the effort to get along to the Exchange, maybe drag a friend or two along with you, spread the word whenever you can, and hopefully we can keep the flag flying for high-quality traditional jazz at the Saville Exchange. Like our American cousins say, it really is a case of “use it or lose it”……….
Lastly, the latest word on Box Office arrangements is that the phone number will remain the same (0191 643 7093) but there will be no-one on hand at the Saville Exchange to take advance bookings in person. Also, the Council inform us that from January onwards it will not be possible to reserve specific seats - while we have no fears of anyone being turned away for lack of space, we can only advise you to arrive early if you want to be sure of sitting with friends or in your favourite spot. Doors will be open from 6.00pm.
With best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a splendidly jazzy New Year,
Mike Durham.

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