Doors 8pm // Age Restriction 14+
For the opening night of the jazz festival this year, multi award winner, drummer, arranger and big band leader Ronnie Bottomley celebrates his 90th birthday leading 18 of the north’s finest jazz musicians in his Big Band. It is (he says!) his last outing as a big band leader -it will be a very special occasion.
Ronnie has worked with the best – singers like Gene Pitney, Buddy Greco and Marion Montgomery, musicians including Johnny Dankworth, Harry (Sweets) Edison and Barney Kessel, as well as playing at two Royal Command performances. He worked at Leeds College of Music for 35 years and was musical director of the Leeds College of Music Big Band when they accompanied three times Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur at her European debut at Leeds Town Hall. Ronnie has collected many awards – including the Jack Parnell Trophy for best big band drummer and the Jazz Yorkshire Lifetime Achievement Award.
His band features four vocalists Chris Scott from the BBC Radio Big Band, Leeds vocalists Nicki Allan and Eddie Martell plus Kelly Dixon plus on saxophones - Jim Corry (alto/soprano), James Russell (alto/clarinet/flute), Joel Purnell (tenor), Simon Kaylor (tenor/flute) Rod Mason (baritone); trumpets- Dale Gibson, Gareth Smith, Trevor Vincent, Ian Chalk ; trombones - Brian Archer, Stuart Garside, Kevin Holbrough, Chris Hibbard; guitar - Derrick Harris ; piano- Graham Hearn; Bass - Adrian Knowles, Drums - Dave Walsh
To add to his musical achievements Ronnie is now an author! His autobiography “Its not all fun having a good time” is published this year. He will be talking about the book and signing copies of before the concert at 6pm in the Rooftop Bar at Leeds College of Music (free to ticketholders)