It's been quite a while since the Stompers have enjoyed the company of Joy Parke on one of our jazz concerts, so we were delighted that she was able to join us on a return visit to Cheap Street Church, where we are always guaranteed a wonderful audience, courtesy of the ever hard-working Raymond Wood (something of a Stompers 'groupie', it would seem!) and his excellent team. This church was of course the 'studio' for our most recent CD, and it is without doubt one of our favourite venues, blessed with a fine acoustic, a light, spacious interior ... and a gallery, no less! Joy was on her usual stellar form, and, thanks to her vocal talents and her effervescent personality, she had the audience (and her backing band!) with her right from the start. One of the great pleasures of working with Joy is that we're 'tested' with numbers which we don't normally play - like 'Take The A Train' and 'I Got Rhythm' - or numbers we know well, but which are in a different key, so it all helps to keep us on our toes! On this occasion she even managed to test our vocal abilities as well!
Thanks to two generous local sponsors - Girlings and Gilyard Scarth - ticket sales all went towards the church's designated charity, Mandalay School For The Deaf in Myanmar, and the sum raised by the concert promises to be substantial. It's so good to know that enjoyment of music - from the perspective of both performers and audience - can assist in contributing to such a worthy cause. We very much look forward to our next visit, even if we did risk incurring Raymond's displeasure on this occasion by omitting our customary boogie-woogie duet! No doubt there'll be a 'lock in' next time until Mike and Pete fulfill their obligations to the promoter!