Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Friday, 20 October 2017

Monday 16 October 2017 – The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club


Eagley Jazz Club is seeking a higher profile and a larger audience, so there will be regular reports here, in an effort to help Reg and his fellow committee members achieve their objective. Please do come along.

This was another excellent night of Trad Jazz in Bolton, only a thirty minute drive from South Manchester despite the current M60 restrictions. £5 for members, £7 for non members, and very reasonably priced beer.

The band was pleased to have Ian McCann back after serious heart surgery, and it put on a fine performance. It currently broadcasts itself as follows:

Formed in 1969, the Harlem Hot Stompers have for many years enjoyed residencies at various venues in the Manchester area, following a musical policy inspired by the classic compositions of Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Clarence Williams, Duke Ellington, and of course King Oliver and Louis Armstrong.

Apart from several radio and TV appearances, the band has supported or featured many jazz artists including Humphrey Lyttelton, George Melly, Cy Laurie, Mike Daniels, Sammy Rimington, Keith Nichols, Pat Halcox, Monty Sunshine, and Beryl Bryden.

Until recently the band confined their appearances to the North West of England but in recent years have enjoyed performing at the Keswick and Barmouth Jazz Festivals, and jazz weekends in North Wales, the Isle of Man and Suffolk. In addition the band performs regularly at jazz clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Contact Ian McCann email:

The Harlem Hot Stompers @ The Salutation Hotel, Ambleside 2nd Oct 2005

The Musicians:

John Ronan (Trombone) A native of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (where he played with the Rivermouth Jazzband) and now resident in Urmston, Manchester, John has played with several bands in the Manchester area, including the Ian Rose Jazzband, the Louisville Jazzband, and The Savannah Jazzband. A founder member of the HHS, he left the band in 1974 for career reasons, and returned in 1982. Until his retirement, John was Principal at the Bury Adult Education Centre and now lectures part-time on the History of Art.

Bill Smith ( Cornet) Bill Smith replaced Jon Critchley in early 2003 but still retains his involvement with Smoky City Jazz. Born in Stockport , where until the 1960’s a principal industry was hat making, his first band was appropriately The Jazz Hatters led by clarinettist Roy Rogers. National Service in the RAF was followed by a period with The Dallas Jazz Band and the Mike Pembroke Hot Seven. During the mid 1960’s he was involved with big band and dance bands work but returned to the traditional jazz scene in 1969 with the Manchester based Smoky City Jazz. Bill, who lives in Romiley, has now retired from full time work as a decorator, but his excellent technique and versatility means that he is in great demand as a dep. with various styles of band. He lists Humphrey Lyttelton, Harry James, Wild Bill Davison, Muggsy Spanier, Pat Halcox and Alex Welsh as main influences on his style.

John Reade (Piano) A retired University Lecturer in Mathematics, John lives in Alkrington, Manchester and is a founder member of the HHS having previously played in the Savoy Jazz Band and the Idle Hour Jazz Band in Cambridge, and also the Birmingham based Zenith Hot Stompers. He has made two cassette tapes of ragtime piano and has broadcast on radio on the subject of ragtime and stride piano styles. John is also responsible for many of the band arrangements.

Ian McCann (Banjo/Guitar) Ian joined the band in 1975 having previously been with the Wigan based Rainy City Jazz Band who played most of their gigs in the Liverpool area. Retirement from his occupation as the Personnel Director of a major brewery has allowed Ian time to concentrate on his musical activities and he is in great demand as a dep. with both semi-pro. and pro. bands as well as regular gigs with the HHS, and his quartet 4 to the bar.

Fred Boggan (Drums)

Fred Boggan (Drums) Fred joined the Harlem Hot Stompers in October 2015. His musical background started on joining the army at age 17 as a bandsman to study music, cornet and percussion. His army duties included being the Regimental Trumpet Player. He has since worked in big bands and theatrical pit orchestras and most recently has been playing for many years with the Blue Magnolia Jass Orchestra.

Dave Parr  (string bass/tuba) - Also an ex-Rainy City member, Dave, who hails from Croft, near Warrington, joined the band in 1976, originally on string bass, but more recently has also taken up the brass bass to give a more authentic sound to the Classic numbers and marches.

Dave Thomas (reeds) - Dave started playing the clarinet at the age of 15; he played with a few little groups in Liverpool one was alongside George Harrison  (before he became famous!). He then went into the R. A. F spending most of his time in Cyprus were he formed a jazz band playing at all the R. A. F bases across the island. In 1962, back in civvy street, he joined the Original Panama Jazz Band based on the Wirral and is still a strong member after 53 years.

Over the years he has played with various bands throughout the North West and has had the opportunity to play in the Sacramento Jazz Festival in California the Isle of Man, Norway, Germany and the South of France. In 2013 he was asked to join the Harlem Hot Stompers and over the last two years has enjoyed playing at a variety of venues with the band.

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