Originally named ‘The Blue Note Jazz Band’ and formed in Bristol in 1956, The Blue Notes are now the longest running band in the South West, having survived the inevitable personnel changes over the years, most notably that of Roger Bennett who led the band on soprano sax & clarinet from the start until his untimely death in 2005.
Having been resident at Bristol’s world famous ‘Old Duke’ pub in cobbled King Street for over 20 years, the Blue Notes now play every Wednesday evening at the Undercroft, St.Mary Redcliffe Church from 7.30pm to 10.00pm, where a selection of hot meals is served from 7pm, together with a fully licensed bar. We also continue to play at the ‘Old Duke’ on some Friday nights and Sunday lunchtimes throughout the year, plus the usual wedding, birthday, gigs etc. (see Contacts/Links page). With an extensive jazz repertoire embracing early Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbeck and Hoagy Carmichael, the Blue Notes promise to keep you entertained!
The rhythm section features myself (Geoff Roberts, aka Ivor E. Tinkler) on piano, Grant Raynor on bass, with Kevin O’Rourke (or Bob Watkins) on drums giving the band its driving force. The three front line members alternate from time to time, but we are always glad to have the inspirational trumpet, soprano sax & vocals of Swindon’s Alan Bateman, together with the trumpet, vocalising & drollery of Bradford on Avon’s own Martin Williams. Ron Brown features on trombone with Hugh Roberts on clarinet & tenor sax.
Every band needs someone special, and ours is greatly enhanced by the vocal talents of Hannah Wedlock, the youngest member of the band and by some measure the prettiest!