January Newsletter 2020

SPJC Newsletter  JANUARY 2020


A bright, shiny new year all ready for us to fill up with good things! Hope you’ve all got your diaries at the ready, with pens poised and hovering over January.

2020 has got quite a lot to live up to because her older sister 1920 certainly wasn’t shy of creating ‘firsts’, among them:

  • The Council of the League of Nations met for the first time in London,
  • The roller coaster at Margate’s Dreamland opened,
  • A new airmail service started from London to Amsterdam,
  • Bristol quarter sessions signed up the first women jury members,
  • The first night bus services were introduced in London,
  • Compulsory hand signals were introduced for all car drivers (though probably not the hand signals we see today…),
  • Rupert Bear first appeared in a cartoon strip in the Daily Express,
  • … and there are loads more. Cheeky 1920 made quite a thing of firsts.

We don’t know what innovations 2020 will bring us, but some things in the year ahead are already certain – the summer Olympics will be in Tokyo, the UK hosts the 2020 Climate Talks in November, and Parliament will no doubt find something to “vex-it”…

Just as importantly (some would say more so), Splash Point Jazz will continue at all of our current venues (and maybe we’ll unveil another one as the year pans out…). Time to get those pens and diaries together folks, because here are The January Listings!



Weds 01 Jan 11:00    NYDay jazz brunch: Andy Drudy + Neal   Alfriston
Fri 03 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Rod Hart    Alfriston
Fri 03 Jan 19:00    Jazz & Gin pno/vox with Neal    Hastings
Sat 04 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sun 05 Jan 12:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Weds 08 Jan 19:00    Shireen Francis + Neal’s Trio    Seaford
Fri 10 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sat 11 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sun 12 Jan 12:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal     Alfriston
Fri 17 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sat 18 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sun19 Jan 12:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Thurs 23 Jan 19:30    Julian Marc-Stringle + Neal’s Trio    Brighton
Fri 24 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sat 25 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Sun 26 Jan 12:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston
Weds 29 Jan 19:30    Sue Richardson + Neal    Battle
Weds 29 Jan 20:00    Tommaso Starace + Band    Eastbourne
Fri 31 Jan 18:30    Dinner Jazz piano with Neal    Alfriston


Wednesday January 1st, Alfriston
New Year’s Day Jazz Brunch
at Deans Place Hotel (Seaford Rd, Alfriston BN26 5TW)

With the fiery jazz Duo of Neal Richardson (piano/vocals) and Andy Drudy (guitar/vocals). Come and see the musical sparks fly between these two friends of 20 years, in the newly-awarded 4* country house hotel!  A great start to the New Year – and guaranteed to take you mind off your hangover. Book a table on 01323 870248, music is 11am-2pm.


Friday January 3rd, Hastings
Maxine’s Bar and Restaurant at Bannatynes Spa Hotel, Hastings (Battle Rd, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 8EA) features Neal playing solo piano and singing for their monthly Jazz & Gin night.

If you haven’t been before you’ll find that Maxine’s is quite a swanky venue, they’ve got a huge range of gins (plus other alcoholic beverages) and you get to hear Neal burning up the keyboard too. You can even ask for a request, something special, ‘our tune’, that sort of thing. No guarantees he’ll play it but worth a try… The music starts at 7pm, and both parking and gig are free.


Wednesday January 8th, Seaford
We’re starting the new year with some scintillating vocals at The View, Southdown Road, BN25 4JS when the fabulous Shireen Francis will be our special guest, with Neal‘s Trio.

Blessed with a deep, soulful voice and incredible range, Shireen has developed her own unique blend of jazz incorporating flavours of gospel, blues, calypso and reggae. She’s also a warm, likeable personality on (and off) stage and we think you’ll love her, Seaford. They certainly like her at BBC Radio: “Quite simply, one of the best British jazz vocalists of this generation” they said. And you can’t get much higher praise than that…

Neal’s Trio for this one is spectacular too: a very welcome return by the great Andy Hamill on bass and, making his SPJC debut will be Brad Webb on drums, who’s in between touring with Tim Minchin and next Jamie Cullum!

So this looks like being a stunning gig to kick off 2020 at Seaford. Don’t forget you can eat before the gig at The View, just give them a buzz beforehand (01323 890139) so they know how many to expect. Food is served all day until 8pm.

The music starts at 7pm, on Wednesday January 8th, tickets are £10, on the door on the night or in advance from WeGotTickets.com. (booking fee applies).


Thursday January 23rd, Brighton
Our January guest at The Walrus, (10 Ship St, BN1 1AD) is the renowned clarinettist Julian Marc-Stringle, who performed one of the gigs of the year in Seaford SPJC last year.  Julian will be accompanied by Neal’s Trio, which tonight comprises again the multi-instrumentalist Andy Hamill on double bass, and everyone’s favourite Austrian Alex Eberhard on drums.

First appearing on TV with Acker Bilk at the tender age of fourteen, Julian went on to become a virtuoso jazz clarinetist. In addition to leading his own bands Julian’s career has seen him performing with Peanuts Hucko, George Chisholm, Kenny Ball, Don Lusher, Kenny Baker, Dame Cleo Laine & Sir John Dankworth, Digby Fairweather, Craig Milverton and many others. In Paris he arranged and conducted a big band album for Charles Aznavour and he’s also worked with Meatloaf and Tina Turner – versatile or what?? Julian has been nominated in the Best Clarinetist category in the 2019 British Jazz Awards. Oh and by the way, he also plays alto and tenor saxes, and sings…

For anyone who hasn’t already been to The Walrus, you’ll find us in the room downstairs, which has a really nice jazz-club vibe. The food there is excellent too, so give yourself a treat, ignore the apron and oven at home, and indulge in a dinner-and-jazz night out (after all, it IS a new year, and you deserve it after all that cooking over Christmas…)

The music starts at 7.30pm on Thursday January 23rd, tickets are £10 (which includes your first drink), and you can buy in advance from thewalrusbrighton.com/#bookatable  or on the door on the night.


Wednesday January 29th , Eastbourne
There’ll be a European feel about The Fishermen’s Club (Royal Parade, BN22 7AA), at our January gig because our very special guest is Naples-born Tommaso Starace (saxes), plus on drums will be one of Spain’s finest, Javier Forero. Tommaso moved to the UK in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham Conservatoire with a BMus first class honours, and in 2000 at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a Postgraduate Degree in jazz studies. (Wow! Now that’s impressive…) He performs with his own quartet all over Europe, and has worked as a solo artist alongside some of the most respected jazz musicians worldwide. At the Fishermen’s we have the pleasure of hearing Tommaso playing with Mark Edwards (keys), Nigel Thomas (bass) and Javier Forero (drums). There will almost certainly be some European wines on sale (club prices, folks!) and Guinness – yes, that comes from Europe too, oh dear this is getting political now…

Doors open at 7.15pm on Wednesday January 29th and the music starts at 8pm, tickets are £10, on the door on the night or in advance from WeGotTickets.com. (booking fee applies).

Loads of free parking on site and drinks at club prices.

Wednesday January 29th, Battle 
Come along to the intimate jazz room at The Bull Inn (27 High Street, TN33 0EA), have your dinner cooked for you, and hear the wonderful singer/trumpeter Sue Richardson, accompanied by Neal.
Sue and Neal have performed thousands of gigs together, on ships, in jazz clubs, hotels and concert halls all over the world (55 countries so far.)…
Come and hear their intuitive communication in the music in this lovely venue.
The music starts at 7.30pm on Wednesday January 29th (free to diners) and you should phone 01424 775171 beforehand to book a table.



Every weekend, Alfriston
Dinner Jazz @ Deans Place Hotel, BN26 5TW

Fridays & Saturdays from 6.30pm; Sunday lunches 12.30pm
Book a table on 01323 870248

Rod Hart – 3rd January
Neal Richardson – 4th, 5th,  10th, 11th, 12th,  17th, 18th, 19th,  24th, 25th, 26th, 31st



SPJC’s good friend Andy Panayi re-starts his fortnightly sax workshops on Saturday 11th January, 9.30am-12pm.

His students put on a brilliant Big Band gig in Eastbourne last July, and if you were there you’ll know how impressive they were.

And new this season: He introduces a fortnightly jazz improvisation class (for players of all instruments) starting Saturday 4th January, 9.30am-12pm

If you’re interested in joining either of these, please contact Andy for more information on apanayisax@gmail.com


AND FINALLY, your New Year’s Resolutions are entirely your own affair, and we wouldn’t dream of asking you to divulge them to us… but we’ll stand a drink in the bar for the person who comes up with a prediction of the most amusing ‘first’ to come out of 2020!


All of us at Splash Point Jazz would like to wish every one of you


Keep supporting live jazz in Sussex in 2020!
The Splash Point mob.



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