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11,740 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 880 of them this year alone and, so far, 17 this month (August 4).

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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Darlington Jazz Festival. Sunday Morning April 27

(Review by Russell (AKA Tolstoy).
On the last day of the 2014 Darlington Jazz Festival musicians, event organisers and fans decamped from HQ (The Forum Music Centre) with all departures for the Head of Steam on North Road. The organisers’ team of volunteers worked non-stop to ensure the site at Darlington Railway Museum would be ready to welcome hundreds of visitors from 11:00 in the morning ‘til late at night. Drizzle greeted the early arrivals alighting the Darlington Jazz Festival Express. The red beans and rice catering outlet (aka the burger van) parked up at the entrance to the grounds of the old station, the main performance space a deluxe marquee and as a bonus festival goers gained free entry to the Head of Steam Museum!
Approaching the old station buildings - and using a little imagination - the scene could well be that of the decaying remnants of the Confederate Deep South. The day’s events - tagged Jazz in an unconventional setting - began with a New Orleans brass band playing on the porch. Jazz in My Pants play it like a band on the streets of the Big Easy. Young, energetic, committed, fantastic. Two trombones, two trumpets, two percussionists, alto sax, tuba, trainers and hoodies. Inspired by some of the ‘real deal’ musicians from New Orleans on a visit to the Durham: Brass Festival, these young north east musicians have embraced the music with enthusiasm. The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (non-stop funkin’ tuba), Pharrell Williams’ Happy (perfect material), Thriller (it was) and Billie Jean and more and more! St James’ Infirmary - the funereal opening with vocals, Louis’ joyous vocal coda - great fun, well done, as good as many a New Orleans outfit from Preservation Hall to Ned Kelly’s in down town Kowloon. 
Russell.

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