It’s been a lot of years since I first became aware of RICO TOMASSO. In fact it was 1969 ( I think) when I first saw him on the front page of the ‘Melody Maker’ playing, at the age of eight, for Louis Armstrong as he stepped off the plane for a British visit to Batley Variety Club! Since then Rico has had a steady rise to fame until today he’s seen very much as ‘the British Louis’! But his career spans far wider than that; covering twelve years with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Ray Gelato’s Giants, the late Willie Garnett’s big band and a whole variety of ensembles including The Pizza Express All Stars, Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band and many of the projects of his great friend the late Keith Nichols. Tonight I’ll enjoy listening to Rico and on the second set no doubt we’ll enjoy sharing some tributes to Louis too! Call 01702 468123 for tickets AFTER 11.30am or visit www.sandsbythesea.co.uk. Dining from 7.15/Music from 8.00 pm. The address: Sands By The Sea, Adventure Island, Icon Building, Western Esplanade, Southend, SS1 1EE. Parking free after 6pm on the seafront – whoopee!