In the post-war Jazz boom of the late I94Os and through the 50s Torquay Town Hall hosted many of the touring bands of the day, including those of Johnny Dankworth and Ronnie Scott, and the great Stan Kenton. Summer residences by Ted Heath, Jack Parnell and Geraldo at the Spa Ballroom by the harbour, highlighted Torquay’s reputation as a Mecca for big bands. It was here that Mike Westbrook had his first experience of live jazz. Mike went on to an international career as composer and bandleader.
Now he returns the scene of his first inspiration with his current ensemble, The Uncommon Orchestra, brimming with talent and fresh from a triumphant sold-out appearance at Ronnie Scott’s club, with a programme that combines Westbrook originals with classics by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and many more. Not used as a music venue for many years, this historic venue will once again reverberate to the magical sound of the big band.