Newport Jazz Club


Bill's Birthday Bash

22nd May 2023

On Sunday Newport Jazz Club handed over the reins to club founder Bill Wills as he celebrated his 90th birthday with a hand-picked ensemble of musicians who gave the packed audience a magnificent afternoon's entertainment.

Opening the first set were vocalist Nette Robinson and Tony woods on sax who along with back line sup[port from David Newton on piano, Jon Thorne on bass and Jonathan Wills on drums gave us a trio of numbers that gave a nod to Bill's travels to the USA and the home of jazz. Opening with a rousing version of Take the A Train we were next served with a trip down south with Do you know what it means to leave New Orleans before travelling back north for a Scrapple from the Apple.

Time then for a change of front line and cue island favourite Alan Barnes on saxes, Andy Urquart on trumpet and Nick Page on guitar who opened their selection with Miles Davis's Four before a version of Body and soul and then closing the first set with Hank Mobley's This I dig of you. .

The second set opened again with Nette and Tony with old favourites Pennies from Heaven and Georgia on my mind before they gave way to Alan, Andy and Nick who were now joined by the island's very own Gary Plumley on sax who collectively treated us to another rousing set including a great version of A night in Tunisia.

The concert nearly over there was time for some audience participation with Happy birthday before everyone took the stage for a rousing finale of Route 66.

A birthday treat for Bill and a treat for everyone in the audience.

The next concert will be on Sunday 2nd July when the club welcomes the Chris Ingham Quartet who will be playing the music of Hoagy Carmichael. The concert starts at 3.00pm at the Apollo Theatre, Pyle Street, Newport and tickets are available from Bill Wills on 523879. .