18 January - Jo Fooks

Jo Fooks, born in Edinburgh, began learning the saxophone at 15. In 1992 she won 'The Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year'. Inspired and encouraged by local Edinburgh musicians, Jo went on to study saxophone at the Guildhall School of music in London (1995-99). She also studied at the Berklee School of music in Boston after receiving a full fee scholarship for the summer jazz programme. After recording her debut album "Here and Now!", the legendary British trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton invited her to join his eight-piece band. With whom she toured and performed in some of the most amazing theatres and venues in Britain. Humphs fun filled and melodic approach to music was to be a huge influence. And through performing in his band Jo also recorded and worked with Acker Bilk and played alongside Tina May, Joe Temperley, Scott Hamilton, Elkie Brooks,and many others. Jo's other influences include Illinois Jacquet, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gorden, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans. Her mellow tone is often compared to Stan Getz and Zoot Simms.


22 February - Nick Beston

Nick’s musical career began at the age of 11 as a chorister at the Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy, London. At the age of 12 he took up the saxophone after finding an old instrument in the back of the cupboard at school, and by the age of 14 had decided to try and make a career as a professional musician. Nick worked his way through various youth bands, orchestras, sax quartets and big bands and, in 1991, went to study music at London University. 

Nick graduated from London University in 1994 having specialized in jazz saxophone, studio music technology and composition. During his time at there Nick was already playing professionally for a number of bands and orchestras and composing music for his own ensembles and various media projects. He also started teaching saxophone and took on several beginner students as well as half a day at a school. 

After leaving full time education Nick began working as a freelance sax, clarinet and flute player and also started building up his teaching work. He began teaching at Sevenoaks School (where he still works today, now as Head of Jazz and Contempoary Music) and also taught at St Olave’s School, Orpington (his old school). 

In 1996 Nick formed his own jazz quartet, NBQ, with a view to recording a jazz CD for the label Recorded Time. This CD was to be the first of 3 and CD four is currently in production. The quartet was intended for the studio only and had no intention of playing live however, they began to receive requests to play concerts and perform for other events. From this Nick developed NBQJAZZ.COM a small business supplying live music for events. 

After more than 20 years Nick is still enjoying life as a professional musician. He has recorded sax solos for BBC, ITV, films, advertisments and many other bands and musicians.  He has toured the world performing, composed music for education and media and also written a book for Schott Music. Nick lives in South East London with his wife and 2 young children and besides music and family life enjoys running, skiing and motorhomes. 


29 March - The Ben Crosland Quintet plays The Ray Davies Songbook 

BEN CROSLAND - BASS

JOHN ETHERIDGE - GUITAR

DAVE O'HIGGINS - SAXOPHONE

STEVE LODDER - KEYBOARD

BUSTER BIRCH - DRUMS


Ben Crosland began his musical education at the age of 13 by taking up the drums and the Kinks’ singles were constantly on the Dansette as he played along in his bedroom. 50 years on, as bandleader and composer/arranger, he is again discovering new subtleties and strengths in these wonderful compositions and has assembled a Quintet of international quality to perform these imaginative arrangements.


ALL ABOUT JAZZ REVIEW... 

What distinguishes this set from the ghastly orchestral cover versions of hits of the 60s, prevalent during that decade and beyond (perpetrated as cinema intermission muzak), are the sensitive and sophisticated arrangements, such as the score for "Tired Of Waiting For You." The poignant "Dead End Street," arguably one of the first pop songs to reflect a socio- political message (intentionally or not), is imbued with even more pathos courtesy of Dave O'Higgins's wistful soprano sax. This is a very welcome release of deft and intelligent interpretations, celebrating the idiosyncratic songs of Ray Davies, a man without whom twentieth century popular music would certainly have been the poorer.