Oh yes, it’s Ladies night at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre - thanks to Barry and the band, and Claire

Claire Colton sings with the High Flyer Showband, appearing at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin

Claire Colton sings with the High Flyer Showband, appearing at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

Ella Fitzgerald, Julie London, Peggy Lee, Claire Colton – that last name might not be as familar to jazz fans as the first three, but anyone who enjoys swinging standards can put that right by making a date at Hitchin’s Queen Mother Theatre next week.

Barry Beech grew up in Hitchin and is the leader of the High Flyer Showband, appearing at the Queen

Barry Beech grew up in Hitchin and is the leader of the High Flyer Showband, appearing at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

Claire will be at the microphone when the High Flyer Showband comes to town on Saturday, March 12, with the title of the show – Ladies Of Jazz – telling audiences exactly what’s in store.

Band leader Barry Beech learned the trumpet at Hitchin Boys’ School before setting off on a career which has seen him perform all over the country and across Europe.

He said: “Jazz is the genre Claire grew up with, and it is a favourite of hers.

“She has worked constantly for the last 20 years, performing this style of music in concert and at functions, and we have worked together for a number in both big bands and smaller groups.

“We have included the likes of Julie London, Ivy Benson, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Natalie Cole to name a few.

“The music of this era is something I love to perform, so many people enjoy listening and dancing to it.”

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Although the showband has been up and running for a while, this is the first time they’ve performed in North Herts.

Barry, who is now based in Stotfold, said: “This is a new venture for us, promoting our own show. If it is successful, we hope to take it to other venues around the country.”

He’s assembled the band using pro players who can summon up everything from the great swing bands of the 1940s to today’s pop party hits, performing as an 18-piece big band or a smaller group as needed.

Also on the stand will be trombonist Paul Faulkner from Letchworth.

Tickets for the show, which starts at 8pm, are £11 with concessions at £10 – you can book yours online at www.qmt.org.uk or call 01462 455166.

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