Two jazz giants at Queen's

Joseph Bulmer

ACKER Bilk and Kenny Ball, two indisputable giants of the jazz world, are visiting North Devon together to perform one of a select few back-to-back concerts this year, at the Queen s Theatre, Barnstaple on Wednesday, May 5. Acker Bilk began playing the

ACKER Bilk and Kenny Ball, two indisputable giants of the jazz world, are visiting North Devon together to perform one of a select few back-to-back concerts this year, at the Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple on Wednesday, May 5.

Acker Bilk began playing the clarinet while serving in the Royal Engineers and by the mid-1950s was playing professionally.

In 1956 he formed his own ensemble, The Paramount Jazz Band. Four years later, his single "Summer Set" (a pun on his home county) hit the British charts and it began a run of 11 top 10 hit singles, perhaps the most famous of which being Stranger on the Shore, which remains a beloved standard of jazz and popular music alike.

Over the years Acker varied his recordings; Jazz with his Paramount Jazz Band; romantic melodies with string orchestras; and guesting with other prominent Jazz and rock musicians such as Van Morrison, the late Humphrey Lyttelton, Dutch Swing College Band and Papa Bue.

In November 2008 Acker was awarded The Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal for Lifetime Achievement, and in April 2009 the Variety Club honoured Acker with a "Tribute to Acker and his Music."

Kenny Ball is a national institution and undoubtedly the most successful jazz trumpeter this side of the Atlantic, having charted no fewer than 14 top 50 hits in the UK alone, the most by any jazz artist. In 1963 Ball was the first British jazzman to become an honorary citizen of New Orleans and the great Louis Armstrong once said of him: 'This man is a genius'. Along with his Jazzmen, Kenny is now in his 50th year and, as a band, they continue to put on a musical, swinging show, performed with energy and enthusiasm.

Tickets are on sale at �17.50. For more information or to book tickets, call the Box Office on (01271) 324242

Things To Do