Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club has a couple of red-hot lunchtime gigs to get you through the cold grey start to 2018.

The Big Easy kicks off the 2018 programme on 12.30pm Saturday 3 February. They’re a young and energetic swing band from Leeds with a repertoire that’s designed to showcase their lively and varied performances of the best swing from the 20th century. They exude class – but not at the expense of fun – when they play their brand of early jazz, New Orleans deep-south classics and lively jump-jive. Their dynamic combination of piano, vocals, wind, strings and drums never fails to thrill whenever they play. Hear them on their website.

On Saturday 3 March the legendary Mr TJ Johnson is back with his band. TJ is one of the country’s finest jazz and blues pianists and singers. Backed by his group of top British musicians, TJ plays an extraordinary blend of music that transcends the boundaries of jazz, blues, soul, country and gospel and is influenced by the likes of Ray Charles, Dr John, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, BB King, Nina Simone, Alberta Hunter, Jimmy Witherspoon and many more.

TJ’s distinctive voice and unique personal stage manner brings both the band and the audience together to create an intimate yet exciting atmosphere rarely equalled. For his Darlington gig TJ is joined by standout jazz trumpeter and Club favourite Jamie Brownfield. It’s a good idea to arrive early to get good seats for all the gigs – capacity audiences are becoming the norm at the Club.

  • Darlington New Orleans Jazz Club meets at St Augustine’s Parish Hall, Larchfield Street, Darlington 12.30pm on the first Saturday of every month
  • Entry is £10 on the door, and children 15 and under go free
  • Darlington for Culture members are eligible for discounted entry on production of their membership card
  • St Augustine’s Parish Centre has a licensed bar and tea and coffee is available; and everyone is welcome to bring their own food along for a picnic while the band is entertaining
  • There’s plenty of free onsite car parking. It’s also just a short walk from the bus stops on Tubwell Row and Darlington railway station
  • For more information go to www.darlingtonjazz.co.uk or contact Ray Sams ray@darlingtonjazz.co.uk, call 07860 368022, or email Graham Foster graham@darlingtonjazz.co.uk