The Darktown Strutters
Jazz as it should be played
News and Engagements 2019
Watch this space -
If anyone has phone footage of the band, we’d love to see it -
August 3 Cutcombe Fete, Wheddon Cross, (Nr Dunster) TA24 7DR Time: 1.30 -
August 4 Porlock Fair, Recreation Ground, Parsons Street, Porlock Ta24 8QJ. Time: pm, TBA
August 16 Allerford Fair (nr Porlock) Time: TBA
A major figure with the South West music scene until only months before his death on June 9th 2019 aged 86, Geoff Nichols is remembered as a world class trumpeter and one of the most profound influences in the development of British Jazz.
In the very beginning of the post-
Lyttelton hailed Geoff as one of the finest trumpeters of his generation and Acker,
a close friend, regularly tempted him with offers to join the Bilk band. But by then,
Geoff was leading the Bristol-
But Geoff’s heart was in the West Country. Born in Bristol, he married his childhood
sweetheart Mary, an artist and fashion designer. As well as a hectic musical life,
he had a parallel career as a schoolteacher, lecturer and shopkeeper. Alongside the
Avon Cities, Geoff ran the four-
From 2001, Geoff and Mary had a holiday cottage in Roadwater before retiring to Minehead
in 2011. Determined to keep playing, Geoff became leader and musical director of
the local newly-
The Darktown Strutters agree that if you were looking for fulsome praise or even approval, Geoff wasn’t your man. “Adequate” was usually the ultimate accolade. His family describe him as funny and exacting, charming and sceptical, a thinker, a reader and a generous doubter. To generations of jazzmen, who learned from, and were influenced by, his dazzling talent, he was simply the best.
At his funeral they said goodbye in the only way they knew. As the cortege passed, a band of musicians, some having played alongside Geoff for half a century, began the classic New Orleans funeral march “Didn’t He Ramble”. On the coffin, as it went by, Geoff’s golden trumpet glistened in the sun.
(Taken from the West Somerset Free Press July 12 2019)