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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 14 November 2008

John Dankworth and Cleo Laine will play at Ronnie Scott's
Top brass are on their way to Ronnie Scott’s

RONNIE Scott’s will be hosting the cream of the capital’s jazz scene as part of London Jazz Festival next week.
It will be the first time the world-famous venue has been a part of the festival, in what promises to be its biggest ever bill.
From bebop to Dixieland, ragtime to fusion, jazz aficionados will be drooling into their whisky sours. Among the highlights are seasoned saxophonist Vincent Herring, living legend Herbie Hancock and the much trumpted Kurt Elling – recently described as “the male jazz vocalist of our times” in the New York Times.
In the words of King Louis, you can catch the trombones wailing at a host of venues in the West End, including Octave in Covent Garden, the Southbank Centre and Foyles bookshop. The festival runs from November 14-23. Visit www.londonjazzfestival.org.uk

Alan: great journalist and a ‘serial resigner!’

SITTING in a flea-pit cinema in Sunderland as a teenager, Alan Brien was enthralled.
The Orson Welles film Citizen Kane was showing and while his fellow cinema-goers were not impressed (“I could hear the chairs flip up as others walked out,” he recalled) the late journalist was inspired enough to decide that journalism was his calling.
Now the life of the extraordinary journalist, novelist, raconteur and political sage is due to be celebrated at a memorial service next week in Covent Garden.
His wife Jane Hill, who lives in the Highgate Village cottage the couple shared before his death, aged 83, in May, tells me that among the people coming to pay their respects are Camden Town folk singer Bob Davenport, jazz giants Ian Christie and Wally Fawkes and scores of his friends from the worlds of journalism and broadcasting.
“He was a life-long socialist, feminist and revolutionary,” Jane recalled. “He had firm
principles and he stuck by them. It cost Alan personally at times, too. He was a serial resigner – if he was a member of an organisation and there was something he did not agree with, he’d walk out.”
• Alan’s memorial is at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden on
Wednesday, November 19 at 2.30pm.


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