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Jazz Night: Mark Crooks

Monday 26 June 2017

This week The Bedford Arms welcomes Clarinetist & Tenor Saxophonist Mark Crooks back to The Bedford Arms. Mark will be joined by Colin Oxley on Guitar, Arnie Somogyi on Double Bass & Mark Hale on Drums.

Mark Crooks began his musical training by earning a degree in music performance at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He moved to London to study on the postgraduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music after winning the Young Jazz Player of the Year Competition in 1991.

Since leaving college Mark has worked in a wide range of musical settings including classical work and shows but is most at home in the jazz world. He has played in all of London’s top jazz venues and at jazz festivals up and down the country. A recent highlight was a week’s engagement at Ronnie Scott’s with the John Critchinson Quartet opposite the Mingus Big Band.

Mark’s own group features his clarinet and tenor with the brilliant guitar playing of Colin Oxley and is featured on his highly-rated CDs “I Won’t Dance” and “How My Heart Sings”.

Mark is a member of the superb Back To Basie Orchestra and the celebrated John Wilson Orchestra . He also enjoys appearing in a two-tenor “ Al and Zoot” group with Jim Tomlinson and a two-clarinet “Benny” quintet with Julian Stringle.


Colin Oxley studied at the Guildhall School, graduating in 1990. In that same year he won 'Best Soloist' in the National Big Band Competition and has gone on to pursue a highly successful musical career.

As a long standing member of Stacey Kent's group he recorded several albums as well as touring extensively, including appearances at the Montreux and North Sea jazz festivals and residencies in New York and San Francisco. He is currently a member of Steve Fishwick's Quartet, the Dave Newton Quartet, Mark Crooks' Quintet, the Back to Basie Orchestra, John Wilson's Orchestra, Steve Kaldestad's Quartet, Simon Thorpe's Swing Band  and Eriko Ishihara's Quintet. Colin has also performed with American legends Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Hod O'Brien, John Bunch, Houston Person, Warren Vache, Jeff Hamilton and Bob Dorough, as well as many of Britain's top players.

Among numerous recording credits, Colin has recorded two successful piano trio albums with the late Colin Purbrook and (in San Francisco) with Dave Newton. In recent years he has toured widely in Japan and produced several albums for Japanese record labels.

In the year 2000, Colin was voted Jazz Musician of the Year by the Worshipful Company of Musicians. In between touring and recording, Colin is a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Music commences at 8.30pm with suggested contributions of £5 per listener to pay the musicians a fair fee for their performance.

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