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After 200-plus gigs and tens of thousands of pounds raised for charity, Linton Jazz is ready to enter its third decade

A jazz band that has raised a six-figure sum for charities since it started will be celebrating its 20th year at its concert at Linton Village College on March 23.

Linton Jazz recently played a fund-raising show at Haverhill Arts Centre for the Joshua Tarrant Trust, but the next concert will be particularly significant.

Karen Sanderson, its music director, said: “Over 20 years the band has given over 200 gigs and raised over £150,000 for loads of great causes such as Anthony Nolan Trust, Help for Heroes, Cancer Research UK and churches in Linton and Cheveley.

Linton Jazz playing at the Marven Centre, Sawston in October 2018. Contributed picture
Linton Jazz playing at the Marven Centre, Sawston in October 2018. Contributed picture

“And it’s been fabulous fun – our audiences love the skills and infectious enthusiasm of the members of the band, who give all their time at rehearsals and concerts for free.

“Starting back in 1999 with a few friends and family members, the band has grown and gone from strength to strength.”

The band, added Karen, now boasts over 30 members, aged 12 to 60-something. “The idea of the band is to have fun playing jazz.

“We’ve been very lucky to have a core of adults who do an amazing job.

“It’s a vitally important part of the band that younger members come and join us.

“They tend to move away when they go to college or university, but some of them have even gone on to play in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra or become professional musicians touring the world and gigging at the Royal Opera House or Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.”

“There are no auditions – I love people digging their old musical instrument cases out of their loft and coming along, maybe with their sons or daughters who play.

“And when they do they find they enjoy it so much they start practising again.

“That’s how we get to sound so professional and funky.”

Band members come from mostly the Linton, Haverhill and South Cambridgeshire area.

They currently include a doctor, nurse, head teacher, retired ex-publisher, home makers, Linton Village College students, an airline pilot and civil engineer.

To celebrate 20 years,the band is inviting all of its previous members to come back and join in.

Tickets (£10, OAPs £5, under-16s free) are available on the night or in advance (recommended) at https://lintonjazz20.eventbrite.co.uk. There will be a full licensed bar with real ales from The Portable Pint.

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