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TEN YEARS A JAZZER – article written by one of our long-standing members

TEN YEARS A JAZZER - article written by one of our long-standing members

When making house-hunting trips to the Bath area from Surrey in late-2010, I regularly noticed road signs in Bradford-on-Avon for ...

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TEN YEARS A JAZZER – article written by one of our long-standing members

When making house-hunting trips to the Bath area from Surrey in late-2010, I regularly noticed road signs in Bradford-on-Avon for the Wiltshire Music Centre.  Intrigued, I looked up their website, which showed a thriving mecca for all genres of music.  There was also a link to “Jazz Factory”, a club for amateur musicians.

I have played guitar for more years than I would care to say, though more on the pop/folk side than jazz.  Anyway, after we moved into the area in spring 2011, I plucked up courage and took my guitar along to WMC for one of Jazz Factory’s Monday evening sessions.  I was placed in one of their musical ensembles and spent a term in learning Duke Ellington standards, with a smattering of musical theory.  I was nervous before the end-of-term concert and was surprised when a member of the audience complimented my rhythm guitar playing.

Since then, I have attended Jazz Factory almost every term – as guitarist, then banjo player, and most recently as electric bassist (my true calling!).   I have learned an immense amount from their enthusiastic and knowledgeable tutors and now really enjoy playing and listening to jazz in its many forms, from trad to hip hop and bossa nova.   The club even kept going throughout the pandemic with lessons via Zoom, resuming face-to-face in May and holding our concert once again at WMC on 5th July.

If you are an aspiring musician of any age, ability or instrument – we have even accommodated a concertina! – do take the plunge into jazz and come along to WMC next term.  We start on Monday 13th September at 7.30.  For further details, see jazzfactory.co.uk, or look up our fun performances on Youtube or Facebook.

Andrew Gaulter

July 2021

Local Gigs

Graham Dent our previous vocal accompanist is delighted to be performing locally. Please support these events. It’s great to have live music back!

Jazz at il Fiume Italian Restaurant, 2 Bridge Yard, Bradford on Avon BA15 1EJ (previously il Ponte) – alternate Tuesdays (2nd and 4th). Graham Dent on piano and Adrian Smith on double bass, 7pm start. Book a table call 01225 938284

Jazz at The Cornerhouse, 1 Christchurch St E, Frome BA11 1QA, Sunday 20th June & Sunday 18th July, Graham Dent Trio, 7.30pm start. Book your seat by calling 01373 472042


Dr Ralf Dorrell – Private Tuition

A previous Group Leader for Jazz Factory, Ralf is now giving online one-to-one tuition in the following areas:

GCSE music, A level music and undergraduate music student coaching
Double Bass – classical and jazz
Bass Guitar
Composition and arranging
Music Theory and grade exams
Jazz Improvisation

He is a fully CRB-checked and qualified teacher with 40-years of experience of teaching music in schools, colleges and universities and at music workshops and summer schools. Qualifications include a music degree, a masters degree in music, a doctorate in music composition, and a post-graduate certificate in music education.

The cost is £22 for a 40-minute lesson or £100 for a course of five lessons booked in advance. These online lessons can be taken at any convenient time for both parties – daytime, evenings or weekends.

Please contact him to enquire about private lessons. Email: ralf@ralfdorrell.com

Live music is back!

We are delighted to share the return of some live jazz in the area. As well as concerts at Wiltshire Music Centre, there is jazz on at The Stag and Hounds, Bristol, The Bebop Club, Hen and Chicken (new temporary home), Bristol, Lakota Gardens, Bristol and Widcombe Social Club, Bath.

The Bebop Club, every Thursday. Some great line ups of local stars including Andy Hague Double Standards Special Edition, Steve Banks Quintet, Hopkins-Hammond Trio plus Gary Alesbrook and Martin Kern with Jim Blomfield.

Stag and Hounds hosts a weekly set and then jam session every Sunday, 6 – 9pm.

Lakota Gardens run by Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival will be hosting a super gig Sunday 6th December featuring the amazing award winning trombonist, Dennis Rollins.

Widcombe Social Club has started putting on gigs, expertly run by Nod Knowles, previous jazz programmer for the Bath International Music Festival. A gig not to be miss, duo featuring Pee Wee Ellis – Saxophone and Jason Rebello- piano.

Community Music Afternoon at Wiltshire Music Centre

Come and see Jazz Factory LIVE in action on Saturday 26th September 2020, outside on the field behind the Wiltshire Music Centre, as part of their community music afternoon.


Other music groups will be playing and the event will celebrate live music coming back. 12-4pm. Jazz Factory starts 12:50. LINE UP: LINE UP: Lisa Coles – alto, Jeanette Bell – alto, Graham D’Aucourt- Baritone, Edwin Massey – Soprano, Mike Daniels – trumpet, Sarah Scutt – soprano, Ross Hughes – BAritone, Rachel Kerry – piano, Alan Stubbersfield – bass, Marcel Ortgiese – drums

Free entry but purchase a ticket HERE


With regret and in line with government guidelines the Showcase Concert on Monday 23rd March and student jam session on Monday 30th March will not take place. 

The national situation has reached the stage where the Government is being clearer about social distancing, home working, and essential travel and Wiltshire Music Centre has announced closure from 18th March – 18th April 2020. Please read their statement HERE

Details regarding Summer term will be announced when the situation becomes clearer.