Still in the mood after 21 years
Derek James The bandleader with the trombone is coming home to celebrate his 21st anniversary on the road… and would love you to join him on Sunday.
The bandleader with the trombone is coming home to celebrate his 21st anniversary on the road… and would love you to join him on Sunday.
Jonathan Wyatt was the youngest big band leader in the land when he made his first appearance fronting his own orchestra in 1987.
It all started at Norwich Theatre Royal where the then manager Dick Condon gave him the confidence he needed to perform in public. On Sunday afternoon, 21 years on, Jonathan along with his 17-piece band and special guests will be performing the timeless music of Glenn Miller at the historic Assembly House, next door to the theatre.
"It will be like coming home for us," said Jonathan. "We love playing the Assembly House. It has a unique atmosphere."
Jonathan will be putting on a special two-hour tribute to Glenn in a show compared by Cliff Meachen with singers Jacqueline Dempsey and Phil Watson.
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It was his dad, Gordon Wyatt, a plumber by trade, who introduced him to the sounds of big band music, and Jonathan first started to play the trombone at Sprowston High School where he was encouraged by head of music, Mike Tooby. "I remember my dad telling me he would love me to play the trombone and would sell his car to buy me one if he had to," said Jonathan. With more support from teachers Jack Gibson and Dave Amiss he joined Sprowston Big Band and was taught how to play jazz and swing with Bert and Ray Nabarro and members of their family.
He joined the student jazz orchestra in Norwich before forming his own little band in Richard Nichols' front room in a semi-detached at Old Catton.
By now Jonathan was serving coffee at the Theatre Royal, run in those days by the larger-than-life Irish showman called Dick Condon.
"Dick gave me my first break. He encouraged and inspired me. He got us dates at Cromer Pier and helped me form by own 17-piece big band. We were up and running. My dream had come true," he
For the last 21 years Jonathan and the band have been on the road - having a ball and making a lot of people very happy.
t Tickets for Sunday's concert, at 2.30pm, sponsored by Snellings of Blofield, cost £12.95 and are available from the Assembly House box office at the Theatre Royal on Norwich 598688 or from Dixons Shopping Centre, Reepham Road, on Norwich 429186.
t A ticket entitles you to 10pc off Sunday lunch at Ivory's Restaurant. For reservations call 01603 627526.