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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Opus 4 Full House Greets the Darlington Big Band

(Report by Russell/Tony).
Tony Eales, Bebop Spoken Here’s Deep South (Tees Delta) correspondent reports a full house at the Traveller’s Rest, Cockerton on Friday night to hear local heroes the Darlington Big Band. Andy Bennett (alto/soprano) led the band, allowing tenor man Ritchie Emmerson the luxury of being ‘one of the boys’ in the saxophone section.
Bennett and Emmerson turned-in effective solos, as did Chris Hibbard (trombone). Bill Watson, trumpet, (following his stint on the recent Sinatra television show) to quote our man on the spot, ‘played his socks off!’ Next month (February 13th) Opus 4 welcomes the Debra Milne Ensemble. Speaking of Bill Watson, one of the year’s great events – the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival – takes place once again at North Shore, Charles Street in Sunderland, March 6th-8th. Watson and his dedicated team of assistants work round the clock to put on a great show. Big bands travel from all points to compete at an event that has become one of the great gatherings of big band talent (spanning the generations). An unmissable event, unreservedly recommended. 
Russell.

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