Royal British Legion

Watts Dyke

LL12 0RL

Map or directions



Admission (excluding 29 April) :


£5.50 (Concession)
(Students’ Union Members & Schoolchildren)

Concerts commence at 8:30pm


For further information telephone

01745 812260



            Tuesday 29 April / Dyyd Mawrth 29 Ebrill

The hugely acclaimed jazz musician, ART THEMEN, is a tenor and soprano saxophonist whose virtuosity and highly individual voice has led The Observer's Dave Gelly to describe him as “One of the tiny handful of undeniably perfect jazz musicians”.


A major figure on the British jazz scene since the early 1960s, he has continued to work at the highest level in both this country and on the international stage, becoming a mainstay of pianist and composer Stan Tracey's many bands for close to twenty years, and being sought out to collaborate with renowned American jazz musicians such as George Coleman, Al Haig and Nat Adderly.


Born in Manchester in 1939, by the late 1950s Art was involved with the traditional jazz scene there. Then, when studying medicine at Cambridge University he joined the award-winning Cambridge University Jazz Group. He has since successfully pursued parallel careers both in music and as an orthopaedic surgeon, earning him the title, “Doctor jazz”, when he was the cover feature in the UK's Jazz Journal recently.


In the early 60s, much like the innovative Dick Heckstall-Smith with whom he worked, Art was a saxophonist whose creative output effortlessly strode blues and jazz genres alike, and fans of the early British blues scene will know him from his work with bands such as Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and The Cyril Davies All Stars. From these, making his way to the vanguard of modern jazz, he went on to play and record with musicians such as pianist/composer, Michael Garrick, trumpeter Ian Carr and fellow tenor saxophonist, Don Rendell, to name a few. Then, in 1975, he began his prolific collaboration with Stan Tracey, touring the world and producing numerous and varied recordings well into the 1990s.


London Evening Standard's Jack Massarik gives a good account of what listeners can expect to hear at an Art Themen concert: “On tenor sax... his tone blended elements of Charles Lloyd, Sonny Rollins and Archie Shepp into distinctive solos coloured with smears, vocalised cries and truncated double-time runs. On soprano … his ideas [are] equally eclectic in an unpredictable style that has outlasted the Coltrane clones of his generation.”


Now retired from medicine, Art is as busy as ever. A regular in the shortlists at the British Jazz Awards, in 2008 he won the tenor saxophone category and continues to work with stellar line-ups including projects with pianist/composers such as John Critchinson and New York's Frank Giasulo, and the celebrated Three Tenors band which Art co-leads with fellow tenor saxophonists, Mornington Lockett and Don Weller.

Joining Art Themen will the first class band of PAUL SAWTELL (keyboards),TREFOR OWEN (guitar) BILL COLEMAN (double bass)and LUKE FLOWERS (drums).