The Songs of 1931: Janice Day & Martin Litton

The Songs of 1931: Janice Day & Martin Litton

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St Mary's Church

St Mary's Road



United Kingdom

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With all new material, the delightful jazz singer and internationally renowned pianist celebrate the best songs and piano solos from 1931.

About this event

Hailed as two of the most entertaining performers in Hay-on Wye - by themselves, in the mirror - Janice Day and Martin Litton know exactly how to keep both local and visiting audiences happy with their annual concert at St Mary's Church (Saturday 20th August at 7pm.)

Tickets are also available for £15 (without the online booking fee of £1.22) at the Green Ink Booksellers in Lion Street in Hay.

With just the right mix of humour, charm and virtuosity they deliver a show that never disappoints, as their growing popularity demonstrates. The two stellar entertainers worked together in the field of classic jazz in venues around London thirty-five years ago. Reconnecting in the autumn of their years they soon found themselves married and living happily ever after in Hay.

Keen to share their joie de vivre, they have developed a winning concept for the Welsh Marches, one which is packing out the fabulously acoustic St Mary’s Church.

The idea is to perform all the best songs written in a specific year between the two World Wars. Previous shows in the series include 1929, 1939, 1924 and 1932.

This year it’s ‘The Songs of 1931.’ Both the American and British Songbooks from the golden age of music are represented. Coward’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen and a Pennies from Heaven medley blend perfectly with Gershwin’s Who Cares, Chet Baker’s cool interpretation of The Thrill is Gone, Fats Waller’s Everybody Loves my Baby, and Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher. There are romantic, novelty and singalong songs (Love Letters in the Sand, Dream a Little Dream of Me), and guest appearances from the Innominati sextet and violinist Steve Jones. All the arrangements are Martin’s own.

As one of Britain's most celebrated jazz pianists, Martin Litton is an internationally renowned musician, arranger and bandleader, who has entertained audiences across the world with his skilful playing. He has worked with many legendary British and American musicians, including Humphrey Lyttleton, Kenny Ball, Harry Gold, Clare Teal, Kenny Davern, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber, Marty Grosz, and Wild Bill Davison. A frequent guest on BBC Radio 3, Martin regularly shares his knowledge about and demonstrates the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Earl Hines, and Teddy Wilson. Martin is a highly versatile pianist, equally at home as a solo artist, accompanist, or band pianist, as is evidenced by his work in the popular theatre show ‘Swinging at The Cotton Club’ and the Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra.

Janice Day is a witty, insightful and entertaining performer. After a successful career as a repertory singer (sharing the repertoire of the dance bands of the 1920s and 30s), she developed a 1930s musical character comedy act and a one-woman show. She is a commissioned screenwriter, author and award-winning stand-up comedian. Original lead singer with both the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra and Keith Nichols' Cotton Club Orchestra, she has performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, the Wigmore Hall for Radio Three, Proms in the Park, Cadogan Hall, and at jazz clubs and festivals worldwide. Since moving to Hay she has produced several concerts for Hay Jazz and Haydloniant.

Article supplied by Hay Jazz for the Wye Local Magazine. Photo by Billie Charity.

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