Holiday Report – Tony Jacobs ‘Swing That Music’ Midweek Break

Hello everyone! 🙂

Last week, my parents and I went on a ‘Swing That Music’ midweek break with Tony Jacobs and his 17 piece Swing Big Band Orchestra – the Jim Barry Quintet, the Bateman Brothers and the 10 piece Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra!! This was from Monday the 15th to Friday the 19th of May 2017.

We stayed for four nights at one of the Warner Leisure Hotels in Thoresby Hall outside Nottingham, England. I greatly enjoyed this holiday at Thoresby Hall. The jazz festival run by Tony Jacobs and company was out of this world!! There was plenty for me and my parents to do in jazz music!

My Dad and I took photos of the week with our digital camera. I’ve included some of them here.

On the Monday evening, we enjoyed the ‘Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra’ concert. This featured music of the 1920s and 1930s and it was a magical musical night. In addition to Tony Jacobs, there was the lovely singer Catherine Sykes, plus the talented saxophone and clarinet player Sue Greenway who got to sing a music duet with Catherine.

On Tuesday, my parents and I explored the grounds of Thoresby Hall. It wasn’t a very sunny day but it was dry at least. I got to enjoy riding on a swing (made for adults!!) close to the hall. I hadn’t had so much fun relieving my childhood in years! 😀 We took photos of the hall itself and on route discovered it was one of the filming locations for the 1999 BBC TV adaption of ‘Great Expectations’ featuring Ioan Gruffudd and Justine Waddell!

That evening, we saw ‘The Bateman Brothers’ concert. It was a really enjoyable evening, as it featured a band of musicians recreating their love for Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars’ music. The performance also featured the superb Enrico & Spats – awesome! This was the first time that I’d seen ‘The Bateman Brothers’ before in a concert.

On Wednesday, it was pouring buckets of rain that day!! So no going out, I’m afraid. 😦 But we enjoyed Tony Jacobs and Jim Barry entertaining us with their vocal cabaret during the day. There were lots to enjoy with Tony singing some jazzy songs like ‘The Ugly Duckling’ from the film ‘Hans Christian Anderson’ as well as Tony recounting some stories of some of the great musicians and singers of the past.

In the evening, we attended the ‘Tony Jacobs Big Band’ swing concert. This was a fun evening for me as we had the Swing Time Jivers dancing for us, plus also Catherine Sykes singing for us. I enjoyed the musical numbers that evening, including ‘Tuxedo Junction’ and ‘In The Mood’ by Glenn Miller, both with terrific dancing accompaniment by the Swing Time Jivers.

During the Wednesday and Thursday, we sat in the Great Hall to some reading. However, we were rudely interrupted by two talking stag heads up on a balcony. I’m dead serious here! 😀 They were talking away with some ‘schoolboy humour’ that was so funny and unexpected.

Thursday was the best day for us as the sun was out and the weather was great! One of the highlights of the week for me was going for the ‘Birds of Prey’ falconry experience! We got to see up close some beautiful barn owls and some small falcon birds. There was also a huge Eagle Owl named Thor!!! I was able to hold Thor the Eagle Owl on my arm during a walk with the birds. It was an amazing experience! Thor was so beautiful to look at!

Later on, we had another walk around the grounds of Thoresby Hall and I got to ride on the swing again before leaving for home the next day. I got my cuddly toy dogs Cuddles and Puddles to enjoy being on the swing as well. Those naughty dogs! 😀

On Thursday evening, we were entertained by the Jim Barry Quintet who performed a selection of songs from ‘The America (& British) Songbook’. The Quintet was also accompanied by Tony Jacobs and the lovely singer Louise Cookman. The talented Sue Greenway, saxophone player and clarinettist, also got to sing along with Tony Jacobs and Louise Cookman.

We had a fantastic time enjoying ourselves with Tony Jacobs and company. The hotel accommodation was great and the four days and evenings of musical concerts in a row were both relaxing and enjoyable.

To cream it all, Tony Jacobs has agreed to put on a concert for us in Cardiff in memory of my sister Bethan who would be thirty years if alive. This will be a fundraising event for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Watch this space for further details and please come and hear this fantastic ensemble of music!!!

I hope to enjoy another mid-week break with Tony Jacobs and his company of jazz musicians; singers and players soon!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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