A very sad day: the HIGH SOCIETY JAZZ BAND is no more after 50 years.

After almost twelve years this week I eventually returned my set of keys to Theale Village Hall and with an unprecedented number of road closures, a round trip of 44 miles, which we used to do every week.

I say “a sad day” as our weekly Tuesday nights gave us and so many followers so much pleasure.  Certainly the best residency the High Society Jazz Band, in its fifty years, ever enjoyed but twelve years of playing with some of the best musicians on the jazz scene, producing for me some wonderful memories, many, in my retirement, I can watch on DVD as I  filmed many of those wonderful evenings.  May be worth putting on ‘You Tube; when I eventually learn the art.

In those twelve years we made some wonderful friends, lovely supporters who came week after week.  Eve, who was as local to the club as any one and we met her as we left having handed the keys back, said how much she missed Tuesdays and I know she is not alone.

The final line-up of Steve Watling, our lovely drummer, Andrew Clancy, an incredible pianist, Roger Davis on bass, Terry Hutchins, our brilliant guitarist, Mark Aston, and what at talented .musician – trombone, baritone sax tenor sax, soprano sax – even clarinet, and our various trumpet players, Andy Dickens, Peter Rudeforth, Lester Brown, Ben Cummings,  and going back to the earlier years, Denny Ilett – they all gave wonderful support to our music.   It would extend this email were I to include the names of all who have joined us to several pages but John Lang and Clive Burton were long time players with us as was Perry Lock and Dave Moorwood. Paul Sealey too. It is sad to say our music will never, ever be the same again.

We had some wonderful guests join us, Kenny Ball was always such a joy – and a star – full of fun and some great playing, Chris Barber did three with us and that was incredible as he did not go out and do guest spots with other bands so I did deem those nights as very special. But the list of those who shared our stage would fill a book.

And finally there is one person who gave so much to our evenings,. Everybody loved her, always full of smiles, her contribution in organising the finances every week, such an important part, – calling the numbers of the raffle and the most important person in my life, just an outstanding partner, friend, nurse, she does it all – MARIAN.  I love her madly.

I will keep you posted if and when we organise a final special evening of jazz, hopefully around Christmas, and Sue at the hall is standing by.

Graeme Hewitt