Monday, August 03, 2009


Buckingham Palace has been included on a shortlist of the UK's most important jazz venues.
To mark the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' celebrated Kind of Blue album, Brecon Jazz Festival asked people to nominate unsung British live venues.
The winning venue will receive a plaque as part of the scheme.
Jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet played at Buckingham Palace during royal command performances for George V between 1919 and 1932.
The Queen's residence joined the likes of Ronnie Scott's and the infamous Club Eleven on the shortlist for the inaugural (Kind Of) blue plaque scheme.
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, regarded by many as the first "proper" jazz band, entertained the king and his courtiers on their UK tour in 1919.

After an uncertain start to the concert - one band member recalled the assembled aristocrats inspected them through eyeglasses "as though there were bugs on us" - the king roared his approval, loudly applauding their rendition of Tiger Rag.
The band's hell-raising antics proved less popular with other parts of the aristocracy and the tour ended with them being chased to Southampton docks by a furious, shotgun-wielding Lord Harrington, whose daughter the lead singer had been romancing.
A later command performance at the palace, in 1932, saw legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong ignore royal protocol by dedicating a song to the king with the words: "This one's for you, Rex".
Jazz lovers selected other venues including the London Hippodrome, The Four Bars Inn (now Dempseys) in Cardiff, and The Old Duke in Bristol.
Other nominees on the list include Ronnie Scott's club in Soho and Club Eleven, which was closed following a police raid in 1950 after running for just two years, but which is seen as the crucible of modern British jazz.
The winning venue will be announced on the opening day of this year's festival in Brecon, Powys on Friday.



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