And so, as one door closes tonight for Stratford Jazz…

Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton in December 2013. (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble at the Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton in December 2013. (Photo © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk)

Tonight is the last Stratford Jazz gig at its home for the last eight years, No.1, Shakespeare St, Stratford-upon-Avon. Helping with the farewell speeches, the goodbye looks and that one more for the road will be Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble, the fun starts at 8pm and the entrance fee is £12.

But another door is opening… This is not goodbye for good from Stratford Jazz but just au revoir and see you not far away. At what used to be called the Civic Hall in S-upon-A and is now called Stratford Arts House, in fact, with the first gig there on 10 February with a local showcase of two bands: Almost Blue and KERBB.

Here’s Stratford Jazz’s main man, Jay Riley: “This could be a great move for SJ as it has the potential for huge growth. We will conduct the majority of performances in the foyer (which has mod cons like carpet, chairs, tables! – but also a fully licensed bar with rotating guest ales…). We can offer the artists parking and even dressing rooms (swanky). We can have access to the main auditorium for larger scale gigs – seating for approx 400! We can use the Arts House booking system which is way slicker than my bodge job on the website!”

Jay stresses that there is some increased financial risk attached to the move, but it has to be this way and so for the club to continue to do its good works presenting not only some very fine national touring bands but also supporting the local scene, it needs a goodly number of bums on seats. Do try to make sure that yours is one of them, and get along to No.1 tonight but, probably even more importantly, remember to reprogramme the satnav after that and attend the Stratford Art House gigs.

  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Stratford Jazz is here


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