Group in tribute to arts-loving Jazz Cafe boss Keith Crombie
[published in Chronicle Live, 15 April 2013]
Mo Scott and Paul Edis
On Saturday night, the Jazz Cafe Big Bash brought the atmosphere of the cafe to the Newcastle Arts Centre’s Black Swan pub on Westgate Road.
Jazz fans kept the spirit of a lost friend alive with a special party.
Newcastle’s much-loved Jazz Cafe closed its doors after the death of founder and owner Keith Crombie just after Christmas.
Regulars set up the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op in the hope they could one day reopen the musicians’ haunt.
And, on Saturday night, the Jazz Cafe Big Bash brought the atmosphere of the cafe to the Newcastle Arts Centre’s Black Swan pub on Westgate Road.
Fans enjoyed some of the region’s finest jazz musicians, as well as poetry and dance in a relaxed atmosphere.
First up were poets Jenni Pascoe and Steve Urwin, followed by blues singer Mo Scott and jazz pianist Paul Edis, then The Strictly Smokin’ Big Band, DJ Serena Cee from Swing Tyne also performed, as well as the award-winning afro-funk band Hannabiell and Midnight Blue.
One of the co-op founders, Dave Parker, said: “We had a lot of interest in tonight, particularly on Facebook and we also handed out leaflets.
“The Jazz Cafe is never going to be the same without Keith – it was so much a reflection of the personality of a remarkable man. There is no individual capable of stepping into his big shoes.
“We believe we can continue some of the things that he created, which is what tonight it about, the live performance of jazz and poetry in relaxed surroundings.”
The evening was held in Newcastle’s Art Centre, which also owns the former Jazz Cafe. Mr Parker added: “The good news is that they don’t want to sell the place or lease it to someone else but the disappointing thing is they don’t want to lease it to us either.
“If we can’t have the Jazz Cafe there, we will just have to find somewhere else.
“We want a venue where jazz and poetry and anything related is the main focus and selling drinks and food supports that.”
The co-op has already had meetings with the landlord of the Jazz Cafe, Newcastle Arts Centre boss Mike Tilley, which they described as positive.