This event has got to be the highlight of our year attracting some incredible Big Bands from all over the country in a weekend of friendly rivalry and great playing.Here we see our vocalist Miss Barbara Hignett, no relation, firing up the crowd with a down and dirty ‘Minnie the Moocher’ a part she was born to sing apparently.
As always our friends at ‘Bebop Spoken Here’ covered the event giving us a great write up
The Hexham-based Tyne Valley Big Band travels in numbers. Last year’s raiding party comprised something in the region of thirty musicians. MD Dave Hignett doesn’t do things in halves (nor does he drink halves!), boundless enthusiasm is key, and this year’s away day jaunt delivered the band’s usual power-packed performance. Trombonist Simon Hirst impressed on Sammy Nestico’s Switch in Time, the ebullient Barbara Hignett was born to sing Minnie the Moocher and a set-concluding Cajun Cookin’ served up several helpings of hot playing from, amongst others Kevin Wright, piano and a chilli peppered blast from Andrea de Vere, tenor, and the man sailing the high Cs, Alastair Lord, trumpet.
We were excited to get some really supportive and encouraging feedback for the Judges who thought we had put on our best performance to date at the festival.
On Sunday our MD, founder, friend and mentor Dave Hignett returned with the Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble and the Tyne Valley Youth Big Band. He was given a justly deserved special Adjudicators award for his services to the Youth Big Band scene in the North East.
Those who know Dave are aware of his tireless enthusiasm in promoting all kinds of music to young and old alike but in particular we are grateful for his drive to keep opportunities open for young people to get involved in Jazz. Thanks to his enthusiasm Hexham has become the epicentre for Big Band music in Northumberland.
Well done Dave! The man’s a legend.