The Archives

2012: The Year at the Cavern

In our second year, the monthly jazz nights in the Cavern at the Freeholders became firmly established, with most also playing host to pre-gig workshops run by our visiting artists.

The year opened with tenor saxophonist Simon Allen, with Barry Green and Jon Scott, followed by Gareth Lockrane with John Elliott and Dave Ingamells, and for our first anniversary in March we had the first visit of many from Alan Barnes, with Dave Newton and Jon Scott.

Our first vocalist, Anita Wardell , with Robin Aspland and Tristan Maillot, drew a record turnout to the club, and Art Themen made his first visit in May also, with Paul Clarvis and Malcolm Edmonstone.

Through the summer we heard from Jim Mullen (with Mike Gorman and Noel Joyce), Martin Shaw (again with John Elliott and Dave Ingamells), Alex Garnett (with Robin Aspland and Josh Morrison), and a very special evening with Jim Hart featured Jon Scott on drums and our friend Cheryl King on piano. Trumpeter Henry Armburg-Jennings with Leon Greening and Steve Brown visited us in November, before a fantastic Christmas concert and a very welcome return from Alan Barnes and Art Themen, with John Donaldson and Matt Home.

2011: In The Beginning

Our very first jazz night was on a chilly Wednesday night in March at the Freeholders pub in Farncombe. But the upstairs room at the pub, “The Cavern”, with it’s small stage, lighting, a bar and a jazz-friendly landlord, was a perfect jazz snug, and that first night 70 people squeezed in to hear world-class trombonist Mark Nightingale, and the club was born.

Over the next few months we welcomed tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos , guitarist Nigel Price, Matt Wates on alto sax, and even trumpeter Henry Lowther for a birthday gig (cake kindly provided by Rachel!), all accompanied by Caroline Cooper on piano, Marianne on bass, and Tom Fyfe on drums.

The Autumn season opened with saxophonist Stan Sulzmann, with John Elliott on piano and Dave Ingamells on drums, followed by award winning pianist Dave Newton, with Ed Williams on drums.

We held our first workshop in November that year with the wonderful trumpeter Abram Wilson, before his gig at the club with the trio of Caroline, Marianne and Tom, and the year ended with a spectacular evening with a return visit from Vasilis and Nigel, with Noel Joyce on drums.

Our photos from those days are a bit grainy but there was a great atmosphere in the club, and by the end of the year it was starting to feel really established. The Cavern remained our home until the pub was sold in 2014.