HJCBB The Story so far.....
In August 2002 the Halstead Jazz Club was started by Buster Birch and Nick Beston on the hottest day of the year, in front of an audience of around 30 keen jazz lovers. The idea was to present small band jazz, in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, once a month in the Halstead Village Hall. Interest in the club grew and it soon built up an audience of 90-100 regular patrons. Over the years the house band had many special guests perform with them including some of the biggest names on the British jazz scene. The club became known as ‘a nice place to play’ and musicians were always keen to visit.
In making the listings for the club it was often debated ‘could we fit in a big band?’. We always decided against it because we felt the venue was too small and the band would be too loud however, the interest seemed to be there. We knew many of the patrons were big band fans and that, if we formed a big band it was bound to go down well.
So, after much discussion we hit upon the idea of the Halstead Jazz Club Medium Band, a ten piece band performing a variety of big band classics in the cosy venue of the village hall. The first performance of the band was a stormer to a packed house. After another two successful performances from the medium band, discussion once again turned to whether it was possible to squeeze a big band into the village hall. So, after much encouraging from the regular patrons, we advertised the first Halstead Jazz Club Big Band gig for October 2007. The band played its first gig to a sell out audience with standing room only. Two more performance ssubsequently followed and the audience grew and grew with every seat taken and every available standing place filled. Unfortunately this led to a very serious warning that we were overfilling the venue - the big band needed a new home. So for the last 2 years the big band has performed 3 gigs a year at the Warren MPC near Bromley in their stunning ballroom which has a wonderful acoustic for a big band.
In October 2010, after 100 shows at the village hall, the Halstead Jazz Club closed its doors for the final time however…the big band lives on! Determined to carry on the philosophy behind the club, the band strives for an incredibly high standard of musicianship and all who play in the band share a passion for jazz music.
The big band has never had a rehearsal and heavily relies on the sight reading skills of the jazz musicians involved. We have award winning jazz improvisers in the band and many well established session musicians. The band always starts with our theme tune ‘Things An’t What They Used To Be’, plays one TV or film theme, a Glenn Miller classic and a huge selection of other big band music form the 1920’s to the modern contemporary sound. We guarantee you’ll like at least one tune and....you’ll probably dislike one too!
Hire the band....
The band is available for hire and we have an extensive library of music so we could, in theory, perform a Glenn Miller concert, be the backing for a Frank Sinatra soundalike or play for many other events or concerts. We are happy to consider any booking, anywhere in the world but, be warned…we are very expensive!
Email: for more information.