Community News

Live Jazz and Swing at The Park

Residents who fancy being transported to a bygone era with the sounds of a live band can head to the Park Centre for a  monthly jazz and swing afternoon.

It’s been running since the summer and gives community members the chance to socialise over afternoon tea, dance or simply enjoy the music.

The Bristol-based five piece band Around About Dusk plays popular jazz and swing numbers from the 20s to 40s – and approached The Park for the chance to perform at the centre.

Lead singer Rachel Lawrence says ‘For a lot of people it’s about nostalgia and we want to offer them live jazz in an environment they are comfortable with.”

There’s also a free lesson every month given by Joe Medler and Bonny Chung – which can range from Charleston and Jitterbug to Lindyhop or jazz.

Bonny Chung and Joe Medler leading a Charleston dance session.

Sam Carrier from The Park says they had a grant to run the afternoons but as they have proved popular want to continue them indefinitely.

She says: “Our main objective was to bring more mature members of the community – but anyone can come and get a free dance lesson…”

Retired couple Gerald and Vicky are in their 60s and regular attendees. Vicky says: “We enjoy jazz anyway ad wanted to support our local community.”

Rita Button  from Knowle West and Monica Joyner from Hengrove are both 84 and enthusiastic about the afternoon. They say Monica’s daughter who does swing dance has also joined them on occasion.

Rita says: “I come every month…It’s nice to have time to relax and listen to the music.”

Live Jazz and Swing takes place at The Park Centre in Daventry Road on the first Tuesday of every month at 2pm. The next one is 5 February 2019.