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West Berkshire’s 84-year-old veteran jazz bandleader never too old to party

Graeme Hewitt now 84 and after more than 50 years, still leads his High Society Jazz Band which plays on the first Tuesday every month at Theale Village Hall. Once again he is whipping up enthusiasm for their forthcoming festivities.

Graeme Hewitt
Graeme Hewitt

The band is celebrating their Christmas party on December 5, the last session for 2023.

Aware that most of his followers are now 'mature folk', don't like driving in the dark or late nights, the band has been playing starting at midday and enjoying good attendances.

Mike Henry, who was with Chris Barber for 20 years, has established himself on trumpet with Graeme, “a lovely guy and great musician” says Graeme.

“Andrew Clancy is with the band on piano and is the regular pianist, but has a full-time job, so he leaves room for deps to pop in on the days he has to show his face at work - he is with us here for this special party.

“An unexpected guest - an old friend of Graeme, is Pete Allen, he joins the party, so along with the band, Steve Watling on drums, Terry Hutchins, guitar, Mike Bennett on double bass and Mark Aston on baritone sax, trombone and several other instruments, we plan to have a great party with lots of seasonal melodies.

“If by chance you can't make it Graeme videos every session and it can be seen on You Tube usually by the following day.

“During the session there is a free raffle organised by Marian and Jane and because there is no bar so you can save a fortune by bringing your own drinks, and being Christmas the refreshments, down to you, often take on a seasonal display.

“Candles, balloons a Christmas decorations and seasonal hats make the bands party one not to miss and with a few carols thrown in a great lead up to that special day, not to mention a bit of wonderful jazz.”

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