october, 2023

thu26oct7:30 pmRainey’s Ragtime Band7:30 pm Event Type :Jazz Club

Event Details


Rainey’s Ragtime Band bring you music from the early years, featuring Ma Rainey’s classic songs and a selection of well-known tunes. The music has been arranged by Richard Exall in conjunction with Musical Director, Dom Barnett.  The established rhythm section of Sam Kelly and Marianne Windham are complimented by the acoustic jazz influences of Tony Qunta.  Amy Roberts teams up with Richard to form the horn section and fronting the line-up on lead vocals are Gemma Dorsett and Chrissie Myles.

SAM KELLY  (drums)
Internationally renowned legendary drummer Sam Kelly has been a professional musician for more than 40 years. With a delicate sensitivity to rhythm and a great understanding of dynamics in music, he has been honoured in Blues in Britain’s “Gallery of Greats” after winning ‘UK Drummer of the Year’ for five years running.

Sam Kelly is a core member of the legendary Jazz-influenced band Cymande, and has performed with world known artists like Ben E King, Chaka Khan, Robert Plant, Ruby Turner, Gary Moore (Sam played on Gary’s last ‘blues’ album “Bad for you Baby”), Gordon Haskell (Sam played on the jazz-tinged ballad entitled “How Wonderful You Are” which reached the Christmas no.2 on the UK Singles Chart).He has performed in such prestigious venues as The Apollo in Harlem, Summer Stage in NY Central Park, The London Barbican, Camp Bestival, Washington DC Jazz Festival and many more.

TONY QUNTA (acoustic guitar)
Tony Qunta is a multitalented musician, as a child he studied classical piano and violin before picking up a guitar in his early teens.

Tony has worked for a considerable number of years as freelance, expanding his styles from rock and blues into jazz, funk, reggae and world music, including a stint in the early 1980’s with an original three-piece band ‘A Minute Passed’ (with virtuoso bass player Roger Carey and drummer Mark Thirsk).

Further collaborations and project include Hugh Masekela’s keyboard player Mervyn Africa, Three Degrees vocalist, Sheila Ferguson, no.1 British blues drummer, Sam Kelly and original legendary band ‘Cymande’, legend Jimmy Lyndsay, The Drifters and Edgar Winter, to mention but a few.

RICHARD EXALL (sax/clarinet/flute)
Richard studied clarinet at the Royal College of Music with international soloist, Michael Collins. Self-taught on saxophone, he formed his own jazz quartet and big band while still at college and quickly became a familiar figure on the London jazz scene, playing with a wide range of bands and artists from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to the Ink Spots.

Richard has worked with most of the established big bands, such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra (UK), The Memphis Belle Orchestra, The Ross Mitchell Band and Singers. In the late 1990s he played regularly with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra and the Charleston Chasers and in 2004 he became a regular member of the Big Chris Barber Band which he left at the end of 2014 to focus on his own career.

Dom started piano tuition with a local teacher at the age of four and progressed to lessons with a renowned concert pianist and visiting teacher at Wellington College. He achieved ABRSM Grade 8 at the age of 15. Dom regularly performs at some of the UK’s premier festivals and jazz venues.

MARIANNE WINDHAM (double-bass)
Marianne is a jazz double bass player, based in Guildford. She took up playing professionally at the start of 2011, leaving behind a career as director of a software consultancy in order to pursue a passion for playing the bass.

In the Spring of 2011 Marianne set up The Cavern jazz club near Guildford. Her goal was to create a club that was both intimate and welcoming and which would attract some of the top jazz musicians in Britain. At the end of 2012 the club expanded to include a monthly Jazz Cafe evening at the Electric Theatre, and “Guildford Jazz” was born!

Since then the club, known to locals as the “Ronnie Scott’s of Surrey”, has attracted an enthusiastic and regular following, and since it started, has welcomed over 1700 musicians and 25,000 music lovers to a total of nearly 400 events, including jazz workshops and jam sessions for local musicians. The club is proud to be part of the local community and the proceeds from many of their events go to support a variety of charities. Through these events they have so far raised over £80,000.

Marianne is also the Chair of Fleet Jazz Club, hosted at the Harlington Centre in Fleet, which runs a monthly programme of live jazz from some of the top UK jazz musicians on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Aside from the club involvement, Marianne plays in and runs a number of different contemporary jazz and function groups, from duos up to quintets, and plays with a number of big bands across the South East. She also does regular theatre and orchestral work (including the Surrey Mozart Players) and teaches double bass privately.

AMY ROBERTS (sax/clarinet)
Flautist, Clarinettist and Saxophonist Amy Roberts is a multi-award-winning musician now based in Northamptonshire, UK.
Over the past 10 years she has been celebrated in the in the annual British Jazz Awards, winning the Rising Star Category in both 2009 and 2011, then topping the Miscellaneous category for her flute playing in 2015.
Amy has earned an enviable reputation throughout the UK and Europe as a charismatic performer, and has had the privilege to tour with some of the worlds finest musicians.

GEMMA DORSETT (lead vocalist)
Gorgeous Gemma has spent the past 15 years developing her voice across all musical genres. We are delighted that she will be sharing the lead vocals for
Rainey’s Ragtime Band.

“Gemma has such a beautiful, powerful, soulful voice! A huge talent and a joy to listen to.” Nicky Patrick, BBC Radio Surrey/Sussex

CHRISSIE MYLES (lead vocalist)
Sharing the lead vocals is the fabulous Chrissie Myles. Chrissie is a backing vocalist in British pop rock band, Bastille and we are delighted to have her in the
front line for Rainey’s Ragtime Band

Opening act – MAIUKO TRIO
A fusion of World Jazz, Afro-Blues and Portuguese melodies into one timeless language of music.

Born in Mozambique of Swazi and Portuguese ancestry, singer-song writer Maiuko has her very own style, blending world Jazz, Afro-Blues, African inspired rhythms, and Portuguese melodies into one timeless language of music. Throughout her career, she has won Awards for Best Newcomer, Female Performer of the year, Best Female Voice, Best uploaded on Get-out-there, and most recently for Multifaceted Artist.

Maiuko is blessed with a smoky and powerful voice that defies the limitations of one particular genre“. Kevin Legendre- Echoes Magazine /The Independent
“Mozambican Nu Soul Diva”. Timeout
“She oozes soul and has the ability to transform her vocals from husky and sensuous to something altogether more ethereal, almost spiritual”. Wax Magazine

Collaborations and worldwide appearances in prestigious venues and festivals include; Ronnie Scotts, Southbank Parcel Room, Kings Place, Gulbenkian, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, Womad, Rye Jazz Fest, Margate Jazz Fest etc… Collaborations with and performances alongside musical greats such as Max Middleton, Jeff Beck, Chris Difford, Dick Pearce, Noel McCalla, Paul Booth, Sara Tavares, to mention but a few.

Based in the UK, Maiuko is currently writing an album with guitarist/ double bassist Alexander Keen and pianist Gabriel Keen, plus further exciting collaborations with world-renowned musicians.

Bass Player Alexander Keen has toured the UK extensively with The Theo Travis Quartet and The Philip Clouts Quartet, and has backed many established musicians include Dick Pearce, Alan Skidmore, Frances Knight, Tony Coe, Jimmy Hastings, Jim Mullen, Henry Lowther and John Etheridge. He performs regularly with several bands, including Viper’s Dream, Javajam, The Maiuko Quinteto and The Graham Pike Quartet.

Gabriel Keen studied music at Dartington College of Arts and London College of Music. In 2000 he won 2nd prize in the 5th British Contemporary Piano Competition.

He has worked in many genres with  bands and singers including Jon Owen of Global Village Trucking Company, Sue Holliday, Gary Howard of Flying Pickets, The Tiger Lillies, Simon Picard quartet, and Errol Kennedy’s Imagination. Gabriel is an accompanist for jazz, pop and classical singing classes at City Lit in London.

Maiuko – vocals
Alexander Keen – double bass & guitar
Gabriel Keen – piano & saxophone

Tickets £15 | Doors from 6.30pm
Unreserved seating
A PortCaia Production in association with The Tower Theatre



(Thursday) 7:30 pm


The Tower Theatre Foyer

The Tower Theatre, North Road, Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 3HL


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