Hi everybody. Just thought I'd mention a great gig this saturday, 12 noon, at the Floral Hall in the Royal Opera House London. It is a memorial concert and charity event to celebrate the life of Norman Taylor who was the tympanist with the ROH Orchestra for many years and who sadly passed away recently. Apparently his favourite band was the Jack Sharpe Big Band and I have been asked to play in the trumpet section for this one off event where the music of the Jack Sharpe band will be recreated. If I wasn't playing myself then I would certainly be going along to listen. The trumpet section will be Derek Watkins, John Barclay, Simon Gardner, Guy Barker and yours truly. Also, for those of you who can't be there in person, it is likely that a DVD will be recorded to capture the event which is really exciting news. I'll keep you posted as and when they become available - and what the charity is in aid of. www.jazzprofessional.com/Main/NormansBigBandBash.htm I'm also very fortunate to be playing at Ronnie Scotts club all next week with the Georgie Fame Big Band. By coincidence it is with the same trumpet section (minus Simon gardner). Georgie is a fantastic jazz singer and the band is amazing - a real swing machine. The arrangements are by some of the very best British writers of the last 40 years including Alan Downey, who composed Maynard's 'Give It One'. Then on Sunday night - after the week with Georgie - I'll be at Ronnies again with the Cliff Hardie Big Band. Cliff has had a great band for decades, although it is convened only rarely these days. He has a huge library of original charts which he has commissioned over the years, many featuring his beautiful, sweet, high lyric trombone style. He is a very generous leader however who loves to pack the band out with great soloists and gives everyone a chance to shine. I am really looking forward to this gig as there is always something special in the pad which Ihaven't heard before. Also Cliff is somewhat of a mentor to me. He introduced me to the Caruso method 20 odd years ago - having studied with Carmine himself - and I haven't stopped thanking him since. Last time I spoke with Cliff he was delighted to have been given a DVD of his own big band recorded in the 1970s which he didn't know was available! What really tickled him was the cover notes which began, "Cliff Hardie used to be one of the busiest session trombonisists in London..." Next week most be some kind of record for British big bands because in addition to the three gigs I have mentioned above there are three bands going over to Thailand next week to play at a festival in Kosamui (spelling?) including the Laurence Cottle band and the Jules Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Finally I'd just like to say what a pleasure it was to meet Lara and help her at the Eclipse factory. Hi Lara hope its all going well and thanks for not posting the pictures of me in the pink wig (oops!) All the best. Noel.