Arbuthnott Jazz Concert

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An Arbuthnott audience was treated to a wonderful jazz concert by local musicians, Dick Wardell, Ken Muir and Graham Ling.

They perform as solo artistes and come together as the Moonshiners and Ken and Graham appear regularly as JG Influence.

Dick grew up in Harrow, London, Ken in Fochabers, Moray and Graham in Norfolk and their various job journeys have now brought them to the Mearns and Banchory and their life long passion for Jazz music has sought out each others friendship. Age and background present no barriers in music.

With memorable vocals and an orchestra of instruments – guitars, saxophone, clarinet, whistle, mouthorgan and keyboard – and suitably attired in felt hats and colourful footwear they wooed an appreciative Howe audience. Dick, despite many years in Scotland, has lost none of Harrow accent and regaled his audience with anecdotes about his early musical influences, jazz composers and their songs. The sad life of “Lead Belly“ Ledbetter and his famous song “Goodnight Irene” was particularly poignant.

A solo gig in Stonehaven brought Graham and Ken together when Ken approached him and offered to play saxophone on some of his blues numbers and thus the popular JG Influence was born They still perform as soloists but regularly appear as a duo at the Woodend Barn, Banchory and Graham weekly at the Borsalino Bar, Peterculter. The Mearns is perhaps not the focus of the jazz world but Dick, Ken and Graham converted another audience at Arbuthnott and long may they continue to bring their passion to people who didn’t realise that they like jazz.

The evening brought welcome funds for the Community Hall and Isabella Williamson, manager of the Grassic Gibbon Centre, hoped that it would led to more musical evenings combined with a meal and the Moonshiners certainly got the concept off to an encouraging start.

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