The Darktown Strutters

Jazz as it should be played

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Updated 4/9/19

A few years ago a couple of us put an ad in the local paper ‘Jazzmen wanted to complete band’. Within days, half-a-dozen elderly gents, who had presumed their best jazzing days were over, got together - found that most of them knew each other from years earlier - and couldn’t wait to get blowing and strumming again.

A few weeks later, in February 2011, the band held their first gig at Watchet’s Esplanade Club, playing rumbustuous Dixieland jazz in the Eddie Condon/Alex Welsh style. The audience assumed we had played together for years as something just seemed to gel. Perhaps more than 500 years of musical experience had something to do with it!

Having a world-class trumpeter (Geoff Nichols, who has now sadly passed away) certainly helped. But most of all, we love playing this kind of music and hope our performances reflect the fun we have.

We sometimes start our programmes with the tune ‘The Darktown Strutters Ball’. We stuck with the name ‘Darktown Strutters’ for the name of the band because we couldn’t all agree on other suggestions. ‘Geriatric Jazz’ was a close runner-up.

Photos by George Ody

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