Darlington New Orleans Jazz

2024 Events

Ray  Sams  ray@darlingtonjazz.co.uk   Graham Foster graham@darlingtonjazz.co.uk

Saturday 3rd February

Alan Barnes and Swing Manouche

Saxophonist and Clarinettist Alan Barnes is one of the UK’s foremost jazz musicians, a composer, arranger and educator, he has received over 25 British Jazz Awards and has twice been made the B.B.C Jazz Musician of the Year. His unique musicianship, together with the rapport he has with his audiences, has made him uniquely popular in British jazz.

Today he is joined by Swing Manouche, led by Mick Shoulder, and together they will feature music from the great New Orleans clarinettists Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Edmund Hall, and some classic tunes from Django Reinhardt’s Hot Club Quintet and early Benny Goodman Trios.

Saturday 17th February

Jim Wright’s Rhythm Deluxe

With a repertoire which includes jazz, rhythm & blues and perhaps some country and rock & roll, this five-piece band are guaranteed to create a happy atmosphere. As Jim says ‘We play tunes which get your feet tapping and put a smile on your face’.

Saturday 2nd March

Frog & Henry from New Orleans.

We welcome back this amazing band who delighted the audience at their last visit to Darlington, with their performance of hot vintage jazz and blues.

Formed in New Orleans in 2013, as a collective from several street performing groups, their instrumentation of brass and strings is reminiscent of that of the original bands heard in the birthplace of jazz.

How can one musician play both tuba and six stringed banjo simultaneously? Look out for their own designed and built, foot operated tuba machine.

Saturday 6th April

The Jake Leg Jug Band.

Returning after their great performance which closed our 2022 Season, this band just love playing the sounds of America in the 1920s and 1930s -  and putting their own twist on it. But beware, they give it to you straight with songs of murder, betrayal, gambling, liquor and redemption.

Saturday 4th May

Jeff Barnhart’s Mr. Men.

It’s Spring, it’s May and that means pianist Jeff Barnhart has returned to our shores from across the pond. Jeff will have gathered around him his Mr. Men, John Hallam reeds, Keith Stephen guitar and banjo, and Bruce Rollo string bass, for another afternoon of exceptional jazz and good humour.

Saturday 1st June

Enrico Tomasso’s Swing Company.

Classic jazz from the 30’s played by these wonderful virtuosi now in an exciting ensemble, led by multi award winning trumpeter Enrico Tomasso. Charismatic Spats Langham on guitar and vocals, Trevor Whiting at the clarinet and saxophone, Nick Ward on drums and Malcolm Sked on bass, and by popular request from audiences of the jazz circuit, Cia Tomasso on vocals. They will serve you an entertaining and contrasting menu of great tunes from this era with total mastery and passion.

 Saturday 29th June

Thomas ‘Spats’ Langham’s Hot Fingers

Our audiences in Darlington always demand the return of Hot Fingers; they know the group captures that lazy Sunday afternoon feeling, and their programme is always played beautifully, with wit and aplomb, held together by their unique style and musicianship. The demand for this group is such that over the twenty years they have been performing together they have performed over 1500 gigs – defiantly one not to miss.

Saturday 6th July

Warren James’ ‘The Lonnie Donegan Story’

The story and songs of Lonnie Donegan’s rise to fame, from the banjo player with the Chris Barber and Ken Colyer bands, to becoming the ‘King of Skiffle’ and the ‘God Father’ of British pop music.


Saturday 3rd August

The Savannah Jazz Band

In October 2022, enroute to play at the Ayr Jazz Club, the band’s long serving ‘Glorious Leader’ and drummer John Meehan suffered a serious stroke, and it was thought that the band had played its last gig.  Such was the reaction to this news, the band were encouraged to reconsider, and under the leadership of Brian Ellis, and by the recruitment of Graham Smith in the drum chair, together with Roger Bird on reeds they are back.  Savannah continue to be one of the most popular and hardworking bands on the jazz circuit.

Saturday 17th August

Windy City Weatherbirds

New addition to the programme

The Windy City Weatherbirds are a London based Trad Jazz group specialising in Swing and Dixieland music inspired by our love of Bobby Hackett, Jack Teagarden, Louis Armstrong, Muggsy Spanier and Wild Bill Davison to name a few!​

Formed several years ago during our time spent studying at various UK conservatoires they now perform concerts, shows and gigs and are also available for private function bookings.

Saturday 7th September

The Big Easy Swing Band

The Big Easy Swing Band have continued to be busy playing at some of the UK’s top venues, festivals and touring throughout the UK.  Their performances are dynamic and energetic playing high energy swing, but interspersed with moments of soulful melancholy.

Saturday 14th September

Jeff Barnhart’s Silent Film Fest

Its back again by popular demand,

Weaving his musical magic from scene to scene, Jeff returns to provide another unforgettable afternoon of education, entertainment, and above all laughter, as he performs live era-appropriate piano accompaniment to classic silent films.

Saturday 5th October

Sarah Spencer’s Transatlantic Band

As a change to the printed programmes we are pleased to welcome Sarah Spencer who formed the Transatlantic Band whilst living in the USA. She has travelled across the USA and the UK with the band from 1997 to the present day. An acclaimed reeds woman and a fine blues singer in the classical tradition of the blues,, her creed has always been to “Play it Hot and Dirty”   

Saturday 19th October

Paula Jackman’s Jazz Masters

As an addition to the printed programmes we have arrange the return of:-

'Paula Jackman’s Jazz Masters, is named as a tribute to Paula’s husband, Brian Masters - one of Britain’s finest jazz banjoists. There is no banjo in the band because Brian was irreplaceable. The, band is made up of great musicians and great friends - we enjoy our music and enjoy our time together. When a band has fun, you can guarantee the audience will too. We play Dixieland jazz from its roots in New Orleans through to its heyday during the British Trad boom.’

Saturday 2nd November

Red Stripe

Red Stripe are back – Jump jive and rock & roll all performed in true foot tapping boogie woogie style.  A non-stop show, with Red Stripe himself on piano and vocals; supported by some of the top session musicians on the London circuit, including an accomplished horn section to give that authentic big band sound.

Saturday 7th December

The New Century Ragtime Orchestra

The New Century Ragtime Orchestra are closing our 2024 season.  Since their formation in 1998 they have grown from an eight-piece band, formed to preserve the rags of Joplin, Joseph Lamb and many others, into a unique thirteen-piece orchestra.  Their repertoire continues to include rags, but also the hot dance music of the 20’s and 30’s.

Events take place at St Augustine's Parish Hall Larchfield Street Darlington DL3 7TG
Entry is £10 on the day, Children under 16 free with Accompanying adult

Sessions are from 12.30 to 3.00 usually with one interval
Doors open at 12.00