From Mike Durham’s International Classic Jazz Party 2022

The eleventh edition of Mike Durham’s International Classic Jazz Party was two years in the making but definitely worth the wait. Like most such events, the annual Classic Jazz Party, held at Whitley Bay in the north east of England UK on the first weekend in November had been delayed due to COVID restrictions. The 2022 event was dedicated to pianist Keith Nichols who had been a creative force at many editions of the Classic Jazz Party. The CJP is no average jazz festival, the invited musicians—from Europe, the UK and the USA—are among the best in the “classic jazz” world. Presenting “authentic” concert sets ranging from 1917 to the 1940s requires an extraordinary amount of work transcribing arrangements from period recordings prior to rehearsal sessions to achieve the authentic sounds of both arrangements and soloists. As trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso put it: “You have no idea how much work went into this!” Kellso played in the welcome concert that opened the 2022 edition along with pianist David Boeddinghaus, Graham Hughes, trombone, Lars Frank and Michael McQuaid, reeds, supported by a rhythm section and the contralto vocals of Roya Naldi. Following the opening concert, all of the subsequent sets were recreations of recording sess
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Russ Shor is Business Analyst at the Gemological Institute of America, author, journalist, and Associate Editor of Vintage Jazz Mart (

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