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South Mill Arts celebrates new name with open-air gig by Bill's Jazz Katz




Newly-renamed South Mill Arts will get into the swing on Wednesday afternoon (August 26) with an al fresco performance by Bill's Jazz Katz.

Tickets for the 4pm concert are free but must be booked in advance for groups of up to six.

Veteran drummer Bill Cornell is best known for his Golden Era Jazz Band, which he has run since 1986. But in 2014, a smaller ensemble emerged to entertain at parties, charity events and jazz evenings at the former Rhodes Arts Complex.

Alan Goldsmith with veteran jazz drummer Bill Cornell, who is 92 at the end of August (40907762)
Alan Goldsmith with veteran jazz drummer Bill Cornell, who is 92 at the end of August (40907762)

This group became known as Bill's Jazz Katz. Originally based around multi-instrumentalist Derek Scofield, who has now retired, the line-up has changed over the years depending on availability, leading to the current membership of Andy Morgan on trumpet, Brian Hart on clarinet and tenor sax, Ollie Benson on banjo and guitar, Colin Free on bass guitar and drummer Mark Howard.

Bill, who turns 92 at the end of August, still sits in on the drums and runs the band. They have a varied repertoire which includes music from the 1920s through the decades to later material.

Tables will be socially distanced and guests can take seating if they prefer. Parking will be restricted.

Que Pasa performing in the open air at Rhodes Arts Complex on Saturday, two days before the venue was officially renamed South Mill Arts (41163835)
Que Pasa performing in the open air at Rhodes Arts Complex on Saturday, two days before the venue was officially renamed South Mill Arts (41163835)

Similar arrangements were in place for Saturday's (August 22) rescheduled open-air gig by jazz quintet Que Pasa in Rhodes' gardens – the last before the venue's rebranding to South Mill Arts took effect on Monday (August 24). The afternoon concert wasrained off the previous Saturday (August 15).

Donations from visitors are welcome at Wednesday's Bill Jazz Katz gig. Email info@rhodesartscomplex.co.uk or call 01279 710200 to reserve space.



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