Farewell from the Outgoing Festival Board
Just a note to thank all the musicians, fans and stewards who have made Swanage Jazz Festival so enjoyable and have helped it to survive over 28 years. It’s been a labour of love for me, though I’ve always had to keep a rein on my desires to book more bands than we could really accommodate or afford. Playing a small part in keeping the jazz scene healthy was important, booking established musicians (many of who I regard as friends) but also giving space to younger and frequently very adventurous musicians. There has always been a sufficient number of fans willing to give the smaller venues and new bands a hearing, and sometimes a standing ovation! The Festival has acquired a good reputation among musicians and fans for friendliness and a professional and effective but relaxed organisation, as well as for the variety and quality of the music we have presented. It has been organised by fans for fans. We’ve made a lot of friends, some of whom have been coming since the first small event, and who we hope to see again at Swanage and at other festivals.
The 28th festival sold-out and was our most successful since 2011, when we sold out several weeks before. I’m very grateful to all the fans and musicians who said how much they enjoyed it. I’d like to say a special thank to three people who have been specially important to the history of the Festival: to Roger Horton, long-time owner of the 100 Club, our President for many years, who helped enormously at the beginning, and has been a friend since: to Dave Brennan, our Vice-President, now recovering from a long illness; and to Alan Barnes, lately our President, for much great music and advice and friendship over the 28 years, since he came as a stripling with Humph’s band in 1990. “Swanage was the perfect place for a summer weekend of jazz”. “It always offered contrasts”, as Peter Vacher wrote in his review in Jazzwise September issue, with most of the variety of music we call jazz on offer. The final night of the Festival offered John Maddocks brilliant New Orleans band with young diva Sinead McCaine, and the Dave Newton-Clark Tracey’s Octet playing ‘Bootleg Eric’. To quote Peter again:”To say this sequence of performances was exceptional is insufficient: the writing was outstanding, the on-stage dynamism palpable and the solo power of Messrs Fishwick, Nightingale, Barnes, Garnett and Fowler only exceeded by the rhythmic levitations of Newton, Cleyndert and Clark themselves. What a way to go!” The Festival Board decided last year that this would be the final Festival for them: as I said in my introduction to the Festival programme, age and illness have taken their toll on most members and we wanted to go out on a high. We had several approaches from people anxious Swanage Jazz Festival should not die. The only one which seemed to us to have a prospect of succeeding came from the guitarist Nigel Price, who has played at the Festival many times. It will be a new event, no doubt with some differences from the past. We offer him our best wishes. Fred Lindop Retiring Director
MUSICIANS AND SWANAGE 1990-2017
On behalf of Swanage Jazz Festival I’d like to thank all the bands and individual musicians who have played at our Festival over the years. Its been a great experience.