In 2005, Julian Phillips had a notion to create a festival of Boogie Woogie music in the small Dorset town of Fontmell Magna. He and other founder members brought together pianists from the UK and Europe and so the UK Boogie Woogie Festival was born.
Fast forward to Sturminster Newton in 2017 and the festival has gone from strength to strength, attracting wonderful performers from all over the world.
Read more about Julian on the Back to The Shack website.
Big John hails from London and he makes the journey here to Dorset each month to support our UK Boogie Woogie Club. His attendance has ensured the club has gone from strength to strength in showcasing this wonderful music.
Since attending his first festival, Big John has travelled more widely in Europe and always enjoys the opportunity to play boogie woogie with like-minded players. Always down to earth, Big John is very knowledgeable about the music he loves to listen to and perform. Big John will be asking his fellow pianists to play a new improvisation at his Flavours of Boogie Woogie presentation, as well as featuring some gems from his own record collection. Big John plays two gigs at the “Stur of the Moment” café on Friday and don’t miss Big John Carter and friends in the “Flavours of Boogie Woogie presentation at the Stour Hall at 11.30 on Saturday morning.
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Patrick Smet is a familiar face in the European boogie woogie scene and an honorary member of the UK Boogie Woogie Festival “family”, having attended since its beginning in 2005.
His first influence was the blues of Big Bill Broonzy and he was also particularly impressed with the 1962 American Folk Blues Festival, featuring Memphis Slim and T-Bone Walker. It was later that Patrick developed his love of listening to and then performing boogie woogie.
Patrick retired from his full-time teaching career in 2008, providing the opportunity to develop his style by attending concerts and festivals and also hosting fellow players in his home. He has not only developed his style of playing but also his performance. He can be energetic, sombre, humorous and he is also an excellent accompanist.
Patrick has played in festivals in his native Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, our own UK festival, Laroquebrou in France as well as further afield in America. You can see Patrick perform a set at Comin’s Tea House on Friday morning and also with some of his friends at Sturminster Mill on Saturday morning.
What Boogie Woogie Festival would be complete with Jelly! The ever popular Jelly Germain returns to the stage again at this year's festival with his terrific style, panache and energy. He has danced over the years onstage at numerous festivals across Europe and USA, and has experienced some of the greatest piano playing boogie woogie, to fill him with inspiration. We welcome both Jelly and Caroline again to our festival to showcase their great performing talent, as well as their skill as teachers and choreographers, in the great tap dancing tradition.
In addition to his stunning performances during the concerts, Jelly and Caroline will also be giving a Lindy Hop/Boogie dance class during the festival, see the events page for more details.
Born in 1991 and Lasse started taking trumpet lessons at the age of eight and piano lessons at the age of nine. Back then, his musical idol was American rock ‘n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis, whose music he enjoyed playing from 2003 until 2006. In 2006, Then, one day, he realized that rock ‘n’ roll didn’t have the same fiery and intriguing effect on him anymore, so he decided to search on for a musical genre like rock ‘n’ roll. This was when he discovered boogie woogie. The first boogie woogie tune he ever heard was a 30 second clip of Albert Ammons’ “Boogie Woogie Stomp” on a website, and ever since that day he wanted to play boogie woogie.
Caroline once again joins Jelly at this year’s festival. Their fantastic Boogie Woogie dance style, energetic moves and sheer enthusiasm must surely make you want to get up and have a go!
Patrick first heard boogie-woogie thanks to a Memphis Slim track on his father's record collection, "Boogie-Woogie Piano Styles" and after that kept getting admonished for playing boogie woogie instead of practising classical piano. However, it was when he heard the work of Ammons, Johnson and Lewis in his university years that he really started playing.
After taking a break for a number of years while he ran a music venue, Patrick has rediscovered his love for performing and with influences such as Jimmy Smith, Errol Garner and Dorothy Donegan has developed a unique hard-swinging, jazzy style of boogie. Patrick is no stranger to our festival, having appeared on several occasions. Patrick plays two sets this year at Comin’s Tea House the first on Friday afternoon and at midday on Saturday.
Mal’s guitar roots stem from the 40’s and 50’s and include T-Bone Walker, Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, B B King, Guitar Slim and Chuck Berry. His contemporary influences include, Jimmie Vaughan, Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard and West Coast blues players such as Kid Ramos, Jr Watson and Alex Schultz.
Mal is best known for his membership of The Cadillac Kings although he has also appeared with Jerimiah Marques & the Blue Aces, and West Weston’s Bluesonics. We welcome back Mal as a member of this year’s festival band.
Coming from a house filled with the music of the great boogie woogie and rock 'n roll pianists, Geert caught the boogie bug during a house concert by Dutch master Rob Agerbeek. A "few" years later his influences range from Ammons to Zwingenberger and from Jerry Lee Lewis to some of the Disney evergreens. He has performed at several house concerts in the Netherlands and made a couple of guest appearances while visiting the United States. Geert made his UK debut at last years' UK boogie woogie festival. You can catch Geert at the Swan Inn, playing two sets on Friday, together with a further appearance at the same venue on Saturday morning.
Brett started playing bass guitar in rock bands in his teens but it was during his college years that he was inspired to pick up the Double Bass by one of his teachers. His passion for the instrument grew when discovering the playing of Charles Mingus, Ray Brown and all the old jazz masters. This led him to wanting to study music more seriously, which he did at University, gaining a BA (Hons).
Since then Brett has worked as a freelance musician throughout the UK and Europe and has played at many well-known venues with many notable musicians on the jazz and roots music scene. He is currently a member of the folk/blues band ‘Back to the Shack’ and has been a regular face at the festival now for several years.
Claire was originally inspired to play by the 50's rock and roll greats; Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Fats Domino. The mystery of where it had all began soon compelled her to seek out the roots of this music, discovering the raw, addictive sounds of the 1930’s masters, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons, lead to an on-going passion for piano boogie woogie, reflected in every gig....
As pianist with jump jive and rock n’ roll bands including The Alabama Slammers, The Alleycats and The Slammers Maximum Jive Band, Claire has played clubs and festivals all over Europe. She currently appears with roots boogie blues combo Booga Red, as well as backing many of the original 50's British rock and roll pioneers at the Tales from the Woods Heritage Shows in London.
Claire first attended the UK Boogie Woogie Festival in 2013 and this appearance will be her fourth very welcome visit! Claire will play two gigs at The Sweet Pea Café on Friday and at the same venue on Saturday morning.