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SHOWS

Martin, a graduate in music, has had a lifelong interest in syncopated music and in this talk will explain the history of ragtime from the piano. Ragtime is an original musical genre which enjoyed its peak popularity between 1897 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged", rhythm. Scott Joplin was the most famous composer of Ragtime, but there were many others. After being forgotten and neglected, ragtime re-emerged when the film "The Sting" brought Ragtime to a wide audience with its soundtrack of Scott Joplin tunes. The film's rendering of Joplin's 1902 rag "The Entertainer" was a top 5 hit in 1974. (Live Music)

This trio, featuring the virtuoso banjo and guitar playing and crooning of Tom 'Spats' Langham, with the piano playing of stride expert Martin Litton and the fine double bass work of Richard Vernon, originated with the Sporting House Quartet, led by the popular pianist/entertainer the late Tommy Burton. Their eclectic repertoire encompasses Ragtime, Blues, Jazz and popular and novelty songs from the 1920s and 30s.

Martin Litton's Sextet deftly recreates Artie Shaw's Gramercy 5, one of the greatest 'bands within a band' from the Swing era.

Stepping into Shaw's shoes is the outstanding clarinetist Mark Crooks, who has performed Shaw's music at Cadogan Hall and at the Lincoln Centre in New York, and is a regular member of the John Wilson Orchestra.

The playlist includes such classics as Summit Ridge Drive, My Blue Heaven, and Special Delivery Stomp..

Martin Litton’s Red Hot Peppers was originally formed as the band on stage for the play ‘Mr Jelly Roll’ for which Litton transcribed and arranged the music.

The play premiered at the 1990 Bude Jazz Festival and subsequent performances included London’s Purcell Room and the Royal Court Theatre, and festivals in Ludlow and Hay on Wye.

The Red Hot Peppers continues to enjoy a life of its own and has broadcast on Radio Two’s ‘Jazz Parade’ and ‘Jazz Notes’ and has appeared in concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Snape Maltings Proms.

Featuring some of Europe’s finest musicians in the classic jazz style, the band is a perennial favourite at such jazz festivals as Swanage, Keswick and Whitley Bay, confirming their status as the world’s most popular Jelly Roll Morton tribute band.  

Martin Litton’s Red Hot Peppers was originally formed as the band on stage for the play ‘Mr Jelly Roll’ for which Litton transcribed and arranged the music.

The play premiered at the 1990 Bude Jazz Festival and subsequent performances included London’s Purcell Room and the Royal Court Theatre, and festivals in Ludlow and Hay on Wye.

The Red Hot Peppers continues to enjoy a life of its own and has broadcast on Radio Two’s ‘Jazz Parade’ and ‘Jazz Notes’ and has appeared in concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Snape Maltings Proms.

Featuring some of Europe’s finest musicians in the classic jazz style, the band is a perennial favourite at such jazz festivals as Swanage, Keswick and Whitley Bay, confirming their status as the world’s most popular Jelly Roll Morton tribute band.  

"YER FEET'S TOO BIG"

A tribute to Fats waller and his music

Thomas 'Fats' Waller was born on the 21st May 1904 and packed into his 39 years an amazing lifetime of music. His favourite instrument was the organ, which he played in church as a boy but his cheeky tendency to 'jazz up' the hymns upset his lay preacher father. He found work as a pianist at the Harlem Rent Parties where he discovered a fondness for the demon drink. He became a hugely popular recording artist with fans all over America and Europe, who delighted in his tongue-in-cheek vocals, comic asides, and superb stride piano playing.

His music has been arranged by pianist Martin Litton, who has made several appearances on BBC Radio 3's Jazz Library as a noted authority on early jazz piano styles. The show programme includes such renowned Waller compositions as Ain't Misbehavin', Honeysuckle Rose and A Handful Of Keys, but also much lesser-known gems, all introduced with a host of anecdotes and entertaining information.

Recreating Waller's studio band 'His Rhythm' are some of Britain's finest jazz musicians: ENRICO TOMASSO is arguably the country's top swing trumpet player and TREVOR WHITING is a musicians' musician who has few peers on clarinet and tenor saxophone; on guitar, banjo and vocals is the raconteur TOM 'SPATS' LANGHAM, a popular entertainer at festivals with a huge repertoire including many seldom-heard tunes; GRAHAM COLLICOTT is an expert vintage-style percussionist, manipulator of the spoons, and purveyor of novelty effects, skills which served him well during his long association with the Temperance Seven.

JANICE DAY & MARTIN LITTON present THE DANCE BAND DIVAS, featuring their newly-formed all-girl band of the same name with Sue Greenway (reeds), Annette “Sox” Brown (trumpet), Ellie Smith (trombone), Emily O’Hara (guitar) Julie Walkington (bass), Lizy Exell (drums) and the superb jazz piano of Martin Litton. 

Accompanied by Martin’s lovingly authentic arrangements, Janice tells the tale of the mostly forgotten girl singers of the 1920s and 30s. THE DANCEBAND DIVAS is a tribute to no less than 15 of those wonderful vintage vocalists, including Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, Ethel Waters, Ruth Etting, Annette Hanshaw, Anne Lenner, Mildred Bailey etc.

 If you like the 1920s and 30s you will love this. It’s the real McCoy.

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