His late career cabaret turns with the likes of Hello Dolly and It’s A Wonderful World mean some people think Louis Armstrong was a showy lounge singer with a strange gravel voice and an ever-present hanky to mop his perspiring brow.
But the man known as Satchmo was one of the true giants of jazz, a peerless player who transformed the genre and inspired countless others with his bright brass brilliance.
On Saturday night the Bateman Brothers Jazz Band will be bringing the music of the Louis Armstrong All Stars back to life.
Alan Bateman, who plays trumpet and provides vocals, can’t claim to have been a child prodigy escaping grinding poverty and discrimination like Satchmo – he was born in Swindon and spent 25 years working in industry before taking a later life decision to jump into jazz.
He only took up the trumpet in 1989 but since joining Terry Lightfoot and his Jazzmen in 2005, Alan has become a frequent deputy to many top bands, including those headed by Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball.
Trombonist Ian Bateman’s career reads like a who’s who of British jazz. He’s had lengthy spells with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the bands of Pete Allen, Rod Mason and his Hot Five and also worked with Terry Lightfoot and Acker Bilk as well as the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Kenny Ball, The Humphrey Lyttelton Band and the Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars.
They’re joined by other players with equally impressive pedigrees and much-admired Maggie Reeday on vocals.
Tickets to Saturday’s Berkhamsted Jazz Society show at the town’s Civic Centre are £10 for members and Dacorum Card holders, £13 for visitors and guests.
Click here to visit the society’s website for full details Doors open at 7.15pm for an 8pm start.