Musicians hit the right note

TWO Suffolk based musicians have come to the rescue of a major big band event that is to be staged near Ipswich on Easter Sunday.The John Colianni Big Band is due to play out the finale of the 3rd International Jazz Weekend that is being staged at the County Hotel at Copdock over the Easter Weekend.

TWO Suffolk based musicians have come to the rescue of a major big band event that is to be staged near Ipswich on Easter Sunday.

The John Colianni Big Band is due to play out the finale of the 3rd International Jazz Weekend that is being staged at the County Hotel at Copdock over the Easter Weekend. It has attracted fans from all over the country and Europe and the hotel has been booked out for several weeks.

The weekend is in aid of the British Jazz Foundation that aids musicians who are struck down by ill-health, and it is the third year that it has been staged in Ipswich.

The cream of Britain's jazz talent is joined by top musicians from the United States, Belgium and Poland.


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But there was an unexpected setback when Humphrey Lyttelton trombonist, Pete Strange, was taken ill and has had to pull out.

An appeal went out for two trombonists to stand in. The only stipulation was that they had to be good and able to sight read music quickly.

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Two musicians who fitted the bill were Ipswich-based Paul Shepherd and Alan Collier who both play in top bands and have agreed to play.

One of the organisers of the event, Liz Lincoln, said: "We are fortunate in that such good trombonists were living locally and are available. John Colianni who is coming over from New York for the occasion has written the arrangements and they require three trombonists, and so Paul and Alan will sit in alongside Ray Wordsworth who is usually touring with the official Glenn Miller band."

Mr Collier said: "I'm looking forward to sitting in with such illustrious company, and it will be a great experience."

Alan is a former member of the championship winning Newham Brass Band and took an interest in big bands when he moved to Ipswich 13 years ago. He plays regularly with the Norwich based Chris Walls band and he's also a member of the Ipswich based Horn Factory.

Paul Shepherd teaches music at several Suffolk schools and he's a regular member of The Squadronaires. He too sits in with Horn Factory.

Led by former Lionel Hampton pianist, John Colianni, the Weekend big band features a rhythm section that includes former Cleo Laine bassist Malcolm Creese and, from the John Dankworth Generation Band, Ralph Salmins on drums.

The saxophone section includes Derek Nash, Alan Barnes, Gary Scott, and Ipswich raised Karen Sharp, now a regular member of the Humphrey Lyttelton band.

There's also a Suffolk connection in the trumpet section that includes Paul Lacey who started his musical career with a brass band at Leiston. He sits in with Bruce Adams and Polish star Janusz Carmello, and the trombone section features Ray Worsworth, Paul Shepherd and Alan Collier.

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