A real first for The ARC, (St John’s Arts Centre, St John’s Walk, Market St, Old Harlow, CM17 0AJ) occurs on Thursday 29th June when the poetry and prose of Philip Larkiin – who was a devotee of traditional jazz – will be presented with the music about which he was passionate.
“Larkin About (Honey & Broken Glass)” features Martin Vander Weyer – Business Editor of the Spectator, Broadcaster, Actor & Playwright, together with John Petters and his Hot Jazz.
Philip Larkin (1922-1985), a major literary figure of the 20th century, was offered the position of Poet Laureate, but declined. He also turned down an OBE.
Many of Larkin’s poems have jazz as a backdrop, including “For Sidney Bechet”, in honour of the great New Orleans soprano saxophonist.
For many years he wrote a monthly jazz review column in the Daily Telegraph, which found him deeply critical of the modern jazz of the era. To Larkin, jazz was the music of Louis Armstrong, Bechet and Bix Beiderbecke. He deplored such modernists as Miles Davis and John Coltrane, agreeing with the sentiments of Chicago guitarist, Eddie Condon, who asked, “As it enters the ear, does it come in like broken glass or does it come in like honey?” Larkin’s collected reviews were published in the best-selling book, “All What Jazz”, which provides much of the source material for the music in this show.
"I can live a week without poetry," Philip Larkin said in 1965, "but not a day without jazz."
Martin Vander Weyer invited John Petters to join him in the first presentation of the show at the Ryedale Arts Festival in 2010, which marked the 25th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Combining a career as financial expert, broadcaster and Editor of the Spectator, Martin is also a fine actor, author and playwright. He is also a Trustee of Opera North and has close ties with Helmsley Arts Centre, where the show was first performed.
Former Harlow drummin’ man, John Petters and his Hot Jazz will feature Essex clarinetist, Tim Huskisson, piano professor, Martin Litton and Harlow’s bass ace, Keith Donald.
Admission to this entertaining and lively show is a mere £10. Information from John Petters, Tel: 01406 365 731, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
See a video from the first performance of the show before a sell out audience in Helmsley: https://youtu.be/vWynEJT4ZY4
High Resolution, Jpeg photo available upon request.
Jpeg photos available upon request.
St John's Arts Centre
St John's Walk
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