Worthing-based musician Derek Little is launching a new jazz venture for Lancing, bringing years of experience to a new monthly outing.
“The Lancing Impulse Leisure Centre are starting up a regular jazz evening in their Manor View Cafe featuring my band, the Featherstone Jazzmen, on the first Thursday of the month starting on February 1.”
Derek is hoping to get off to a rousing start.
“We are a well-known Worthing-based jazz band founded in 1983, playing in a traditional/dixieland style and have played practically everywhere in the Worthing area over the years including The Connaught Theatre, Denton Lounge etc and long residencies at other venues in the town and nearby.”
The Featherstone Jazzmen are a five-piece band featuring a line-up of reeds, trombone, banjo, drums and bass – though they occasionally play with guest performers.
“There were four of us when we started it. We had always been interested in jazz, Chris Barber and Kenny Baker and Acker Bilk, and so we decided to set up a band. I play reeds.
“For me, jazz goes right back to the late 50s when Chris Barber was playing, and I remember we would go across and see him in Brighton.
“Jazz is just lovely. It is the kind of music you just really get taken with.
“It’s lovely music. It is happy music. The thing about it is that you are always improvising around the tune that you are playing. If you play modern music, if you don’t play it exactly right then it is not correct.
“But with jazz, you can put your own personality into it, your own mood, your own feelings.
“You can play the same melody, but every time you play it, it will be different. You put your own thoughts and your own feelings and your own character into the music, and that’s what makes it great. You can play it again and again and again, and it will never be the same.”
The band has enjoyed a long and happy history of playing in the area, enjoying a long stint at the Connaught Theatre and in a range of other places including Sompting and Hammerpot.
“I have played all over the place, and we have played at other places. We have played the Gosport Jazz Club quite a few times, and we have also played Eastbourne.”
As for the new venture: “We have got a lot of fans in the Worthing area, and we want to make sure they know about it.
“I went to a social there and I got talking to the person that deals with events, and she was very interested in us playing there.
“They had had jazz in Lancing until two or three months ago, and I thought it would be rather nice if we could get some jazz again in Lancing so that the people don’t have to go without.
“We will be playing there on the first Thursday of the month, and it will be great to see lots of people there.”