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.