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The Year 1999
  • The Belfast Jazz Orchestra

  • Under the musical direction of Arthur Acheson this 19 piece swing band plus vocalist Rodney Foster has had a good year.The band plays a repertoire of Basie, Ellington, Glen Miller and a few others and is to be heard (download clip, guess soloist!) on its home ground at the Belmont Social Club, Circular Rd.
    The highlights of the year have to be the two sessions featuring firstly, Ken Peplowski, clarinet and saxophone player par excellence, and then the top-rated swing saxophone star, Scott Hamilton. House-full notices were up for both performances with extra seating improvised on the dance-floor. These were relaxed gigs in a club atmosphere allowing dancing and listening alike. Much enjoyed by all including the celebrity guest musicians and the band, which rose emphatically to the occasion.
    The band was also privileged to welcome three high ranking players to take rehearsals during the year; Scott Stroman,Ian McDougall and Hugh Fraser, all skilled instrumentalists and well-known teachers and educationalists. We all learnt a great deal from these sessions,(another clip,  guess the soloist!).
    The BJO will be featuring more celebrity guests next season commencing October 1999. Regular gigs are on the 1st Monday of every month, details: Knights Records, Botanic Ave.

  • The Belfast Jazz Workshop

  • This is a modern jazz enterprise which has rehearsed and improvised every Sunday night throughout the year at the Old YMCA, (home of the Beat Initiative and the Belfast Carnival, an end of June riot of primary colours, dancing girls and Latin American rhythms). Regretfully this venue is no longer available to anyone.
    The workshop has provided local musicians, some who come from as far as Coleraine, with opportunities to play jazz music styles from the forties(bebop) to the nineties(post-bepop and beyond), (there are not that many opportunities to play such music in this part of the world!). The practice sessions led to a successful gig in the Queen's Fringe Festival last year.

  • Executive Swing

  • A Dixieland style swing band led by trumpeter Clive Black from the BJO.To be heard typically at the opening of new shopping centres and earlier in the year at a residency at Whites Tavern, reputedly the oldest pub in Belfast.
  • Oriole Jazz Band

  • Featured at the Holywood Jazz Festival (this year welcoming the return of a 78 year old Humphrey Littleton). The Oriole band is led by trumpeter and cornet player Sammy Orr (whose hand you can see image to the side). Sammy Orr sound-clip, Feb 2001 John Hewitt, Belfast.

    Tel: 02890963605/ 07779651426
     piano/keyboard, clarinet, saxophone, theory, classical, jazz and improvisation:
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