Last week on a bitterly cold and windy day, but a beautifully sunny one –‘London Shoes’ took up the opportunity to attend another ‘live’ music event – that was held at an unusual and certainly unique venue – a place that I had never visited or even heard about before…… the ‘Tereza-Joanne’!!!
The gig itself was renowned jazz trumpeter Paul Higgs highly acclaimed “A Brief History of Jazz” set.
However, before commentating on this excellent gig – just a little bit of history about the unique ‘Tereza-Joanne’ venue.
The Tereza-Joanne’ is an old Eastern European ‘crane barge’ , that subsequent to WW2, has slowly overtime, made its way to the UK, eventually ending up in London’s Docklands, where it is now permanently moored in King George V Dock at the far eastern end of the old Royal Docks.
Over the past few decades the Tereza-Joanne vessel has been completely refurbished, and since 1997 it has been a floating venue hosting a wide range of events. The venue is regularly used by award winning travel company ‘City & Village Tours’ who host popular and well attended events there every week.
Last week the ‘Tereza-Joanne’ hosted a City & Village Tour Co. promoted gig by renowned trumpeter ‘Paul Higgs’ who performed his highly acclaimed ‘A Brief History of Jazz’ set to 2 coach loads of jazz fans.
Londoner Paul Higgs has played and worked with the very best of them in the music industry, in a career that has seen him employed as a musician, composer, arranger for film, TV, radio and theatre.
For a number of years Paul Higgs was musical director at the National Theatre and also the Royal Shakespeare Company – and his work has seen him perform at many prestigious venues here in the UK and abroad, including the Royal Festival Hall – The Albert Hall – the famous Ronnie Scott’s Club in Soho – the Schubert Theatre in the States and the Berlin Concert Hall, just to name a few.
For his ‘A Brief History of Jazz’ gig on board the Tereza-Joanne, Paul was backed by the excellent trio of musicians:- Chris Ingham (keyboards) – Jerome Davies (double bass) & my good friend ‘Gentleman’ George Double (drums)-my old drum tutor from way back in the 1990’s when I worked at Barclays Bank-Mare Street-Hackney, and ‘young’ George was one of my customers.
The thoroughly entertaining ‘A Brief History of Jazz’ set, delivers exactly what it says on the tin…..and saw Paul and the band cover-off all the classics from right back to the very origins of jazz music in the 1890’s – comprising of St. Louis Blues – Ragtime – New Orleans styles, and touching on the numerous styles that followed such as Cool – Modal – Latin & Avant Garde jazz – music that was recorded and performed by all-time jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong – Dizzy Gillespie – Miles Davis – Herb Alpert – Chet Baker & Bix Beiderbecke.
Apart from the excellent musicianship, what also made the set really engaging was the detailed commentary provided by Paul Higgs between numbers – highlighting the history behind certain styles and specific tunes – a really nice little touch that the audience on board the Tereza-Joanne clearly found interesting and appreciated.
For me personally, I found being on-board the Tereza-Joanne a rather weird experience, because from its location, at the other end of the King George V Dock, far in the distance – I could see my old workplace, the Barclays HQ at Canary Wharf – where, from my desk on the 24th floor, I often used to watch the planes taking off from the London City Airport, and climbing up through the skies towards the Barclays building and over the top of it.
So it made a pleasant change to be at the other end of the Airport location and to see the arse-end of the planes taking off and flying away from me, as opposed to flying towards me.
I’m always grateful when my old friend ‘Gentleman’ George Double is able to invite me to some of his gigs as part of the band’s entourage – as it enables me to take ‘behind-the-scenes’ photos of sound checks and venues etc – as well as close-up photos of the actual gig performances – all of which I believe help bring a story to life a bit more for a reader.
So a big thank you to George (and the band) & well done to the Tereza-Joanne for hosting such a great gig.
Hope you enjoy the accompanying photos.