Sax night at Cask

Chris Hodgkin
Chris Hodgkin

SAXOPHONIST Mark Hodgkins plays for Scarborough Jazz at the Cask tonight, to be followed next Wednesday by the Chris Hodgkins Jazz Quartet.

Mark lives and works in Thailand, visiting England occasionally. 

In 1999 he formed the Bangkok International Big Band, which has received rave reviews in the media. 

The king of Thailand is a jazz fan and wrote a blues number for the big band. On Mark’s last visit here, he played it with the resident trio.

“That may be the only instance of something written by royalty being performed in a British jazz club,” says promoter Dick Armstrong.

Mark will be backed by Mike Gordon on piano, Bob Walker on bass and drummer Dennis Hitch.

Admission will cost £2.

The Chris Hodgkins Jazz Quartet will present Jazz & Dr Johnson, as part of the town’s literature festival.

It’s billed as “a lively programme of enjoyable jazz interspersed with the wit and wisdom of one of the 18th century’s greatest characters, Dr Samuel Johnson”.

The musicians are Chris on trumpet, Max Brittain on guitar, Diane McLoughlin on alto and soprano saxes, and Alison Rayner on double bass. The narrator will be Susan Sheridan.

The show is based on Chris’s 2009 CD, Boswell’s London Journal. Starting with diarist James Boswell’s meeting with the great man, it looks back on Johnson’s life from troubled teenager to his famous dictionary and beyond. 

Dick says: “It is a vivid compilation of Johnsonian wit, blended with accomplished, astute and imaginative jazz intended to please all comers – Johnson aficionados and those with scant knowledge of him.

“The evening evokes the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Dr Johnson’s extraordinary life in a delightful way”, Dick says.

Tickets cost £6 on the door and £5 in advance from the Cask and Record Revivals.

Asked if Mark and Chris are related, Dick quotes Humphrey Lyttelton: “As Humph used to say when he had Alan Barnes and John Barnes in his band, they are related, but not to each other”.