The ChesterfieldJazz Club
Words: Wendy Kirkland
Chesterfield Jazz Club, formed in 2012, has moved venues. From 2020 onwards, it will run at the Olde House, Loundsley Green Road, on the third Thursday of every month, doors at 7:30 pm and concerts begin at 8pm.
The club was set up by touring jazz musicians Wendy Kirkland and Pat Sprakes, who invite other musicians from the UK, US and beyond to perform with them at the club. Past guests include Alan Barnes, Jim Mullen, Karen Sharp, Phil Robson, plus a host of other jazz musicians who are the cream of the jazz world.
In December 2019, Wendy and Pat played at the Chesterfield Library theatre, as they have done for around 4 years. Andrew Marples, who curates the Saturday concert series at the library, launched a campaign to replace the grand piano there. Andrew has overseen the concerts since 1990 and decided that a change of instrument would be good – but the existing piano still had plenty of life in it, and Andrew was asking a good price. Nobody had taken him up on his offer, so Wendy stepped up and purchased the instrument for their new jazz club launch in April!
To further aid the funding of the new piano, which cost £7000, Wendy and Andrew came up with a plan – to hold a two-piano concert in the library, showcasing both pianos. Wendy invited one of the UK’s top jazz pianists, Steve Melling, to join her in concert. Steve has worked with a plethora of jazz giants in the UK and US including Elvin Jones, Ravi Coltrane, Delfeayo Marsalis, Stan Tracey, Mornington Lockett, Martin Drew, Alan Skidmore, Pete King, Claire Martin, Georgie Fame, and has worked at Ronnie Scotts.
Steve and Wendy have put together a special duo duet? programme, which includes some of the arrangements they performed last March at the Steinway Two Piano festival at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho. This concert takes place on 27th March at 8pm.
Tickets for this event are priced at £15 and are available from Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre or from the library at Saturday Concerts which start at 11:45 every week; or online from www.chesterfieldjazz.com. All profits go to the piano fund.
Chesterfield Jazz Club concertgoers can also get tickets for the Two Piano Jazz Concert at the next jazz club night which is 20th February, featuring top saxophonist Chris Bowden with Mike Green, in-demand bass player from Birmingham.