Australian jazzers The Janet Seidel Trio were met with a standing ovation at the end of their charity concert at Christ Church last night (Mon 18 Aug)
It’s the third time ‘Australia’s First Lady of Jazz ‘has played a fund raising gig for FOPS (Friends of Prostate Sufferers) with partner Chuck on guitar (and ukelele) and brother Dave the double bass. The trio didn’t hesitate in fitting a Chorleywood gig in as part of their British tour (the day after Ronnie Scott’s!) as a favour for FOPS founder/Chairman Bob Arthy who had become a friend on their first visit to Chorleywood in 2011 whilst staying in Chorleywood as part of a house swap.
"We went for a bracing walk on the Common and ended up in the Rose and Crown. There was a fire blazing and we squeezed in next to two gentlemen who were talking about guitar chords. When Chuck realised they were musicians we started chatting. Now we have lot of friends in Chorleywood and are really happy to be back!"
This year they have swapped houses with a couple from Hounslow.
Classically trained in piano, Janet turned to jazz in her teens when she discovered the Great American Song Book. She has performed with many different sized bands but the Trio, she says, works a treat.
"Chuck often makes the guitar sound like percussion so we don’t need drums! I value the sound of acoustic instruments. Our current set list changes but we use Song Book standards from the 20s to the 50s."
Janet has played to audiences as big as 100,000 but prefers small cabaret gigs.
"We all love intimate spaces and especially the natural acoustics of old halls and churches!"
Christ Church made the perfect venue. The set covered a vast selection of numbers from Cole Porter to Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Mercer and included a couple of humorous songs. Towards the end of the evening the trio performed “Vaya con Dios” most famously recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford, following a request from audience members Peter and Pam Lennon.
Chuck played Peter Lennon’s Gretsch guitar for the number which Janet explained was perfect for the ‘whammy bar’ effect
The whole audience joined in the final number Bye Bye Blackbird
The evening was punctuated by an auction of original paintings in aid of the Melkonian Foundation helping Street Children worldwide.
"It was by far the best show that FOPS have ever staged!” says Bob Arthy, “It was a marvellous night, we are so thrilled with the response of the public."
The FOPS greatest accomplishment is that, working together, we have helped, and will keep on helping, men affected by Prostate Cancer (also known as 'Tiger Cancer') turn themselves away from their personal precipices and get their lives back together. Learn more...
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