Legendary British pianist John Critchinson passed away on 15th December at the age of 82. Beginning his jazz career performing with the likes of Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott, he became Ronnie Scott’s regular pianist from 1979 onwards performing with a number of visiting Americans such as Joe Henderson and Chet Baker. After Ronnie Scott passed away in 1996, Critchinson formed the Ronnie Scott Legacy Quartet and in recent years performed and recorded with Simon Spillett. He will be sorely missed.
The South Coast Jazz Festival returns for its fourth incarnation with a whole week of jazz concerts at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham-by-Sea, from Saturday 20th – 27th January.
The Ropetackle Arts Centre also has some excellent jazz coming up in 2018, including Jim Mullen Organ Trio, Arun Ghosh, Andrew McCormack’s Graviton, the Deppa Hirst Band and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars.
New Generation Jazz had a fabulous 2017 with artists ranging from Jam Experiment, Maisha, Sam Leak, Camilla George, Cassie Kinoshi and Sam Barnett appearing at The Verdict. Happily, New Generation Jazz have secured funding for 2018 and begin their programme again in February.
JazzHastings have a newly revamped website and bookings for 2018 include trumpeter Alexandra Ridout in April and the Martin Speake Quartet featuring former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson in May.
[Photo of John Critchinson by Brian O'Connor, www.imagesofjazz.com]