Thursday, April 25th, 2024
A Great Guitarist comes back to The Sands!

This month at Sands by the Sea our very special guest is DOMINIC ASHWORTH – my friend of over 25 years and one of our club’s favourite visitors! Dom began his career in Canada before moving to London to study at the Guildhall and – at the same time! – work (and record) with Carol Kidd and Jacqui Dankworth! Since then he’s recorded prolifically with the late Michael Garrick; played and recorded with his longtime musical partner – and another of our club’s best friends – Julian Marc Stringle in Julian’s ‘Pathfinder’ and ‘Dream Band’ – and also with my band , the Half Dozen since 1998! Tonight he’s joined by the great bassist ANDY CLEINDERT and drummer Alan Clarke – plus your humble host! – and it’ll be a night to remember! Do be sure to book tickets at the club is usually full and the number is (01702) 468123 I hope to see you there – and remember: THE MUSIC IS ALWAYS FREE-ENTRY AT THE SANDS!!

Thursday, May 30th, 2024
Sands by the Sea presents ALEX GARNETT!

ALEX GARNETT is a new visitor to the club – only because it’s taken a long time to find a gap in his diary! Alex is currently saxophone-star of the Ronnie Scott Quintet – the touring tribute band remembering the Scott Legend – and hosts his own weekly residency at Ronnie Scott’s club too! One of Europe’s busiest players Alex – son of the late lamented and much loved saxophonist Willie Garnett – has played in over thirty countries during twenty professional years with artists as diverse as Sir John Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton to Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones, and his first solo album ‘Serpent’ (recorded in New York in 2011) achieved five-star reviews in the international jazz press. Do book to be sure of a seat: the club takes calls fromaround 2.00pm and the number is (01702) 468123. See you there – and remember ENTRANCE IS FREE!

Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
I’m a natural man!

This Saturday I’m playing from 3-5pm at Jerry Turner’s Naturist Jazz Festival. No promises(!) but I’ll be fielding a wonderful quintet featuring ROBERT FOWLER (reeds) NICK DAWSON (piano/vocals) MURRAY SALMON (bass) and ROD BROWN (drums). The address is: Sheepcote Lane, Orpington, Swanley, BR5 4ET and to book tickets email Jerry: I look forward to saying hello, and – you never know – one of our band selections may be ‘All of Me’!! Wait and see…………..

Thursday, June 27th, 2024
A Nightingale blows at Sands by the Sea!

Since jazz came to the UK back in the 1920s there have been a handful of truly great trombonists: among them the legendary George Chisholm, Pete Strange, Roy Williams and, most recently, our guest tonight MARK NIGHTINGALE! No less than an eighteen-time British Jazz Award-winner (since he first won their ‘Rising Star’ award in 1993!) Mark has played and recorded internationally with jazz legends from our own Dame Cleo Laine and Sir John Dankworth to countless international names including Clark Terry and Louie Bellson – as well as leading trombone sections for Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Henry Mancini and recording for rock legends including Wet Wet Wet and The Spice Girls! Tonight Mark is off the leash with our wonderful Rat Pack rhythm section led by pianist Tim Huskisson so book early for a virtuoso performance by a master of the craft – who also happens to be one of the nicest people in the world! (01702) 468123 after 2pm to be sure of a seat! And remember the music is FREE OF CHARGE!!

Sunday, July 14th, 2024
Digby’s Half Dozen in concert at the Swanage Jazz Festival!

It’s good to be ‘back on the road again’ (thank you Willie Nelson!) with the Half Dozen at Swanage after no less than eight years! The whole team will be present: Julian Marc Stringle (reeds/vocals) Craig Milverton (piano/vocals) Dominic Ashworth (guitars/vocals) Al Swainger (bass) and Neil Bullock (drums along with our new member (and featured guest!) Mark Nightingale (trombone)! We’ll be playing in the MOWLEM THEATRE on Sunday 14th July, and you can book tickets via our friend Paul Kelly at: (It would be good to do so early as prices rise from June 1st!) Can’t wait to see you there!

Friday, July 19th, 2024

I can’t believe it’s the 40th Anniversary of the Birmingham International Jazzfest but – thanks to Jim and Ron Simpson and their unbeatable crew – this great event has come round again from Friday 19th – Sunday 28th July and I can’t wait to play with so many old musical friends! My dates have yet to be announced – but watch this space and if you have an enquiry, email me at

Saturday, July 27th, 2024
Sands by the Sea welcomes one of Britain’s greatest tenor-saxophonists!

I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing – and playing alongside – my great friend KAREN SHARP for quite a few years and this, to my delight, will be another opportunity at our favourite club! And don’t forget you cn come and see her FREE OF CHARGE tonight! Karen’s melodic, full-toned saxophone playing has won the British Jazz Awards for best tenor saxophonist on numerous occasions and she also appeared as a nominee in the rising star category of the American Downbeat Critics Poll for baritone sax in 2018 and 2019 – an international achievement! Her career originally took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years and currently she leads her premier-league quartet featuring Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown – a band due to celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2025. To make sure of a seat to hear this great player call (01702) 468123 (after 2pm) and Karen, me and the Rat Pack Trio look forward to seeing you!

Thursday, September 26th, 2024
The fastest tenor-saxophone in the land blows into Sands by the Sea!

SIMON SPILLETT is nothing less than a new-age British jazz legend! A lifelong Boswell for the great British tenor saxophonist Tubby Hayes, Simon has written his superb biography ‘A Man in a Hurry’; created a defintive DVD telling Hayes’ story and (most recently) recorded a superb five-star album leading a big band to play unrecorded music by Hayes; an artistic achievement which received five-star reviews in the jazz press. A fine writer – as well as a man whose on-stage persona is regularly as funny as another of his longtime heroes Ronnie Scott! – it would however be a mistake to see (or hear) Simon as anything other than an exciting solo voice of his own which never fails to electrify audiences at all of London’s biggest venues including Ronnie Scott’s and the Pizza Express’ down at Dean Street Soho. Tonight at Sands by the Sea we have another guest-star – solo pianist TED BEAMENT joining Simon’s quartet. This will be one of the greatest nights for our wonderful club, so do book early (we’re usually sold out!) – after 2pm on 01702 468123 and prepare to be blown away! And, by the way, don’t forget: at Sands by the Sea the music is always FREE!!

Saturday, October 5th, 2024

For the last fifteen years(!) I’ve enjoyed working with my great friend JIM BAYNE to raise funds for his wonderful ‘Softpower’ Charity which builds schools for underprivileged children (and there’s a lot of them!) in Uganda. For the past three years Jim has promoted fantastic all-star concerts at The Jazz Centre UK and this one is no exception with ALAN BARNES and JULIAN MARC STRINGLE (reeds) IAN BATEMAN (trombone) CRAIG MILVERTON (piano) SIMON THORPE (bass) GEORGE DOUBLE (drums) – oh and me too! The concert starts at 2pm on Saturday October 5th at The Jazz Centre UK, Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea SS2 6EW and tickets are only £15.00! There’s parking nearby and you can book by going on-line at – or why not give Jim a ring, on 01284 762508? Either way don’t miss this all star strolling troupe! – we’ll have fun and play some great music!

Friday, October 25th, 2024

I’m playing a set for the SOUTHCHURCH COMMUNITY with my old friends Tim Huskisson (piano) ROGER CURPHEY (bass) and ALAN CLARKE (drums) at the Plaza Centre,600 Southchurch Road, Southend, Essex, 221 2PT. Times to be announced, but watch this space and I’ll get back to you!

Previous Gigs

Saturday, April 6th, 2024

Back home again on SATURDAY 6 April to play on my home ground The Jazz Centre UK for great friend JIM BAYNE, […]

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Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
A very special gig at THE BAY JAZZ CLUB!

I’m looking forward to this one! My first time back at the BAY JAZZ CLUB; this time for a lunchtime session. The […]

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Thursday, March 28th, 2024
An all-time favourite comes to Sands by the Sea!

Ther’s never been a more popular guest at The Sands than clarinettist JULIAN MARC STRINGLE whose rock-star good looks match his incomparable […]

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Thursday, February 29th, 2024
GEORGINA JACKSON stars at The Sands!

For the first time at Sands by the Sea we’ve been able to book the phenomenal GEORGINA JACKSON; now nationally recognised as […]

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Thursday, January 25th, 2024
The hottest tenor in town comes to The Sands!

Saxophonist DEREK NASH joins us for the first of our 2024 guest spots at THE SANDS; Southend’s very own Ronnie Scott’s! Derek […]

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Wednesday, January 24th, 2024
Welcome to 2024!

My favourite American star, pianist-singer DARYL SHERMAN makes a flying trip into the UK from New York (courtesy of Darren Harper, Southend […]

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Tuesday, December 12th, 2023
Back to Peggy Sue’s!

Pianist Tim Huskisson and I are thrilled to be coming back to Peggy Sue’s Club 1063A London Rd, Leigh-on-Sea SS9 3JP to […]

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Thursday, November 30th, 2023

If I had to choose the most creative musician in British jazz right now – a very hard choice indeed! – it […]

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Tuesday, November 21st, 2023
We love you, Peggy Sue’s!

For the past few Sunday afternoons, once a month, pianist Professor Tim Huskisson and I have been playing intimate trumpet-piano duos for […]

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2023
Groovin’ at The Pump House….

It’s a lucky first time for me playing at a longtime jazz venue The Pump House, Watford. I’m delighted to have been […]

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