Chichester's Festive Jazz Cafe marks NHS 75th anniversary

A special seasonal treat of words, jazzy music and mince pies is heading Chichester’s way when the Festive Jazz Café takes off in the atmospheric setting of historic St John's Chapel on Wednesday, December 13 at 7.30pm. This year’s offering has a special twist – celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
Gareth Williams (contributed pic)Gareth Williams (contributed pic)
Gareth Williams (contributed pic)

South Downs Poetry Festival director Barry Smith said: “A scintillating cast of performers will take the stage with a package of seasonal delights and reflections on the much-loved institution which is a cornerstone of British life, the National Health Service. Organised by the South Downs Poetry Festival with the active support of the Festival of Chichester, a keynote talk on the importance of the NHS in all our lives will be given by distinguished local councillor and GP James Walsh.”

Tickets £12 (students/unwaged £10) from the Novium/TIC, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH. 01243 816525.

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Barry added: “The Festive Jazz Café is a really special occasion, full of joyous celebration in the run-up to Christmas. Regulars will know that the mix contains top class, zingy jazz to get toes tapping. This year we’re delighted that Mike Carey’s Arundel based Big House Band will be whirling the seasonal tunes and jazz standards. The band will be joining actor/singing star Gareth Williams, actress Paula Tinker, award-winning poets Stephanie Norgate, Naomi Foyle, Camilla Lambert and other South Downs poets. Gareth and Paula are well-known to Chichester audiences for their performances at the Chichester Festival Theatre and elsewhere. Gareth has starred in musicals such as Guys and Dolls and South Pacific in the West End as well having a number one hit Christmas single on Top of the Pops, Only You, with the Flying Pickets.”

Barry added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the support of these fantastic performers who all have Sussex connections and have appeared in the Festival of Chichester. Audiences can be sure of having a great time and getting the Christmas season underway in swinging style as well as expressing support for the NHS after a difficult and demanding period during the pandemic. All proceeds will go towards the work of the NHS so it’s an opportunity for people to enjoy themselves knowing they are also supporting a good cause.”​