Saturday, April 13th, 2024

SEVENOAKS SUMMER FESTIVAL: Opening celebrity concert will provide a treat for jazz fans

Sunday 24 June: The BIG Chris Barber Band – 3pm in Pamoja Hall, Sevenoaks

THERE will be a chance to see and hear a giant of the jazz music scene and a living legend when The BIG Chris Barber Band performs at the Sevenoaks Summer Festival opening celebrity concert. The event is being held during the afternoon of Sunday 24 June, starting at 3pm which will be of benefit of those among Chris Barber’s legion of older fans who may be reluctant to venture out in the evening.

Chris Barber                    PHOTO: Luc Lodder

Trombonist Chris Barber OBE celebrates his 69th year as a bandleader in 2018. Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Chris formed his first Barber New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of 19. In 1953, along with Monty Sunshine and Lonnie Donegan, he joined forces with Ken Colyer. Then, with the replacement of Colyer by Pat Halcox, Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen became Chris Barber’s Jazz Band in 1954 and has been one of Europe’s most successful traditional jazz bands ever since.

Over the years, Chris Barber’s Jazz Band evolved into the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, a richly-textured eight-piece group, blending brass, reeds, and electric guitar into a unique and unmistakable mix of blues and jazz. These lines-ups have performed more than 10,000 concerts and made thousands of recordings since 1949 and the Chris Barber Band keeps marching on, right into the 21st century. At the end of 2001 Chris extended his band with three more musicians into The BIG Chris Barber Band.

The current 10-piece line-up performs everything from New Orleans to blues to late 20’s Ellington, played with extraordinary panache and skill. In this special afternoon concert in the Pamoja Hall at Sevenoaks School, you will hear some of Chris’ favourites such as Bourbon Street Parade, Jubilee Stomp, Petite Fleur, Ice Cream, When the Saints Go Marching In and many more.

Chris Barber himself has been one of the initiators of pop music today, as he gave stage to many American blues musicians for the first time in Europe. Musicians like Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy. These musicians later inspired bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and guitarist Eric Clapton, among others.

Chris and his band are respected by many other jazz, blues and pop musicians, like Van Morrison, John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Mark Knopfler, Paul Jones and many more. Chris has won many awards during his career and his recent ones include: Blues Great Award of British Blues Awards in 2015; Special APPJAG Award at Parliamentary Jazz Award in 2014; German Jazz Trophy in 2014.

Make sure you don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to see The BIG Chris Barber Band. Tickets can be booked at the Sevenoaks Summer Festival Box Office on 01732 450175 or online at:

The Chris Barber band on stage in January. The line-up is (l-r): Nick White, John Day, Ian Killoran, Bert Brandsma, John Watson, Peter Rudeforth, Mike Henry, Joe Farler, Bob Hunt, Chris Barber.
PHOTO: Ben Houdijk Photography

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