Local music duo Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz perform at Bardolino in Wood Street, Old Town Swindon on Wednesday the 26th July from 7:30pm to 10:00pm.
Today, the duo, Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz are well known and respected on the jazz and music festival scene, but, it nearly didn’t happen at all.
Six years ago, Swindon born musicians Stevie Gilmore and Stevie Jaz were playing in a latin sextet together. As an aside, they took a last minute gig in what was then ‘The Old Bank’ restaurant and cocktails bar in Wood Street, Swindon. The two Stevie’s did the show unprepared, unrehearsed and, as per jazz tradition, with no set list whatsoever…’to see where it would go’. It shouldn’t have done, but it worked. It worked very well indeed. People started to wander in off the street to hear the lively guitar music and in no time they were regularly packing the place out.
Not long afterwards, the sextet disbanded and Gimore n’ Jaz was formed. They became the main featured act in 18 Wood Street for a very long while.
Thinking back on those times Stevie Gilmore said, “I dread to think what we were like back then but we always enjoyed ourselves. I think that’s one of the things people liked about us. We always put the audience and the venue first and I think folks just liked seeing us having great fun playing our music.
It was hard work but we kept at it and soon found ourselves live on Sue Davis’s BBC radio show which was quickly followed by a live performance at the Trout Inn jazz venue near Lechlade. Three years in and we were regularly performing at some big corporate events before hitting the scene proper at the Marlborough International Jazz Festival. We went down a storm and that was it, we were up and running.
Highlights have included a big music industry event where we were booked to perform live in front of Mumford and Son, The Hollies and the Commitments. At one point Adele and Lemarr were watching us in New York via an agent’s phone. Sharing the bill and the green room with Status Quo at the Lechlade Festival was fun. And it has been an honour to perform at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival for the last two years. But to be honest we don’t need the big names to enjoy playing. Some of the sweetest venues have been to play at weddings or anniversary celebrations– it is very rewarding to be part of someone’s special day.
Now, six successful, very busy years on, Gilmore ‘n’ Jaz return to number 18 Wood Street Swindon, to perform live in the very same spot where it all began, only this time it’s called Bardolino and famous for its delicious Italian cuisine under the direction of top chef Marco Pierre White.
To sum it all up, I recall what Stevie Jaz said to me all those years ago as we packed the gear into the ‘band bus’……’I’m not actually sure what it is we’re doing, but, whatever it is, we’re doing it right’….When we get to Bardolino on Wednesday we will get ourselves a drink and say to ourselves Thank You Swindon, Thank you number 18 Wood Street, you’ve been good for us…now here’s to the next six years.”