Leigh Folk Festival | Digby Fairweather & Band
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Digby Fairweather & Band

Digby Fairweather & Band


Digby became a fulltime jazzman in 1977 after twelve years as a qualified librarian, working night by exhausting night in everything from local soul and dance bands to avant-garde jazz ensembles in Southend and all over his home-county of Essex. Since then he has worked amongst others with Lennie Hastings’ band (recording his first live ‘BBC Jazz Club’ in 1976), Dave Shepherd’s All Stars, Keith Nichols’ Midnite Follies Orchestra, the co-operative quartet ‘Velvet’ (formerly Stephane Grappelly’s Trio) with guitarists Denny Wright and Ike Isaacs, and the Pizza Express All Stars. Later, from 1983 he concentrated on a variety of solo projects (including collaborations with veterans Nat Gonella, Britain’s first star trumpeter, and double-bassist Tiny Winters) and from 1987 led his own band the ‘Jazz Superkings’. He also founded the charity ‘Jazz College’ with pianist Stan Barker in 1979; the National Jazz Archive in 1988 (Britain’s primary research centre for jazz music, and now based at the Jazz Centre UK, in Southend’s Beecroft Art Gallery). During the 1990s he branched out into broadcasting (for Jazz FM, BBC World Service, and BBC Radios 2 and 3 for their five-night-a-week series ‘Jazz Parade’). Since then he has worked with the late George Melly, Jacqui Dankworth, Paul Jones and Van Morrison, amongst many others. After almost forty years in professional jazz Digby Fairweather remains – in the words of ‘The Stage’ – ‘just about the best ambassador the music could have’. The story goes on……

Where to find them

Library Gardens (main stage): Sat 23, Start: 16.15 – Finish: 17.00

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Music, Saturday