The Music of Nina Simone and Ray Charles

Saturday 22nd September brought the eagerly anticipated concert of James Pearson and Friends to Holy Trinity Church at Wareside.  James, a Wareside resident, Artistic Director and Resident Pianist at Ronnie Scott’s world-famous Jazz Club presented “A Celebration of the Music of Nina Simone and Ray Charles.”

“The Friends” were the gorgeous and gifted Polly Gibbons (just back from her tour of America) and the outstanding Arnie Somogyi on bass.

Wareside Church was imaginatively lit, the acoustics were great, and the enthusiastic audience came not only from our local villages, but from Hertford, Bishop’s Stortford, and – wait for it – America!  All drawn by the chance to see and hear this world-class entertainment.

We must all have had our favourites – “Hit the road, Jack”, “For all we know”, “Georgia on my mind”, “I shall be released” – the list went on and on.  “Ragtime Medley” with James and Arnie was an amazing performance, and what a delight to see both Paul and David Goodman of Wareside contributing to the programme.  David’s piano duet with James – “Summertime” – was beautifully performed.

All this and the generous supply of interval wine and sandwiches included in the price of our tickets and it’s not hard to see why this must easily qualify as one of the best village events anywhere of 2018.

Frances Luck

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