OrganFax News

OrganFax news brings you all the latest from the world of the organ and keyboard. From new product launches, to festivals and other exciting events. Please feel free to contact us with any news you would like featured on this page.

Rod Pooley’s The Drawtones to perform again at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz ClubRod Pooley’s The Drawtones to perform again at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

Friday 21st June

 

Their first appearance at this world renowned jazz venue was an ambition achieved for Rod and his Hammond Organ band in 2018, only 2 years after the band was formed.

The Drawtones are delighted to announce they will be playing the Late Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s on Friday 18th October 2024.  This will be the band’s fourth appearance at this prestigious venue.

The line up will be: Rod Pooley - Hammond Organ, Simon Bates - Soprano, Alto and Tenor Saxophones, Andy Williams - Guitar, Daniel Dotor - Bass and James Chapman - Drums.

They will be featuring tracks from their 3 studio album releases, including their latest album “Hammond Low Down”.

Address of the venue: Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, 47, Frith Street, London. W1D 4HT.

Doors 11.15pm - 3am.  The Drawtones sets will be 00.00am - 00.45am and 1.15am - 2.00am.  A jazz DJ plays inbetween.

Tickets from £12 on the door or book online using this link (opens in new window)

 

RIP John SmallwoodRIP John Smallwood

Monday 3rd June

Very sad news from the Cinema Organ Society (COS)

I’m very sorry to announce that COS Vice President, John Smallwood, passed away peacefully this afternoon, aged 82.

John had been involved with the COS for over half a century and, among many activities with the Society, spearheaded the 1980s refurbishment of the ex-Trocadero, Elephant & Castle Wurlitzer, then installed at the London South Bank University and now at the Troxy in East London.

He was largely responsible for bringing the historic New Gallery Theatre (Regent Street, London) Wurlitzer back into the public eye in the 1970s, and was heavily involved in that instrument’s most recent rebuild.

He was the owner of the ex-Granada, Woolwich Wurlitzer installed at Neuadd Pendre in Tywyn, Mid-Wales, where he promoted many concerts featuring organists from around the world.

In addition to his organ-related activities, he had a long and deep involvement with the Talyllyn Railway.

We will remember him fondly as a quietly spoken gentleman and a force for good in the theatre organ world, who did much to preserve and promote the instrument and to encourage young players. Sincere sympathies to his many friends and colleagues in the UK and overseas.

Simon Gledhill

COS Chairman

ChurchOrganWorld RoadshowsChurchOrganWorld Roadshows

Saturday 1st June

ChurchOrganWorld Roadshows

If you can’t manage to get to their lovely showrooms in Shaw or Mixbury, do look out for the chance of attending a Roadshow that may be near to you. The current list of venues for 2024 is:-

 

Friday 7th & Saturday 8th June

Roadshow at Barnard Castle St Mary (DL12 8NQ)

Friday 17:00 – 19:00

Saturday 10:00 – 15:00

 

Saturday 6th July 10:00 – 15:00

Roadshow at Kingston upon Thames URC (KT1 1HZ)

 

Friday 6th & Saturday 7th September

Roadshow at Kenilworth St John (CV8 1HY)

Friday 17:00 – 19:00

Saturday 10:00 – 15:00

 

Friday 25th & Saturday 26th October

Roadshow at Highworth St Michael (SN6 7AD)

Friday 17:00 – 19:00

Saturday 10:00 – 15:00

 

In each venue they will have several digital organs available to play, including the one permanently installed in church, a wide selection of sheet organ music and OrganMaster shoes to purchase. It is very much an open house; the format of the day is very casual, simply come and go as you wish.

 

If you are interested in purchasing OrganMaster shoes, please do speak to us in advance so we can bring with us some appropriate sizes for you to try. We do not travel with the entire shoe shop!

 

For more details call 01706 888 100. 

Casio Music launches the second edition of its popular singer-songwriter competition - Casio SessionsCasio Music launches the second edition of its popular singer-songwriter competition - Casio Sessions

Monday 20th May

Casio Music launches the second edition of its popular singer-songwriter competition - Casio Sessions

             Applications to Casio Sessions 2024 now open to UK-based, piano-playing singer-songwriters

 

             Entrants have the chance to win a PX-S7000HM digital piano, one of Casio’s premium models worth £2,249, plus an exclusive studio mastering session and their winning song pressed to vinyl records - in partnership with Breed Media

 

             Twelve finalists will be chosen to perform in a live final at Ninety One Living Room venue, in Brick Lane, London, on Wednesday 4th September

 

Casio Music UK, one of the world’s most renowned producers of electronic keyboards and digital pianos, is thrilled to announce the return of Casio Sessions, its popular singer-songwriter competition for aspiring piano-playing musicians - with applications now open.

 

Building on the success of last year, Casio is excited to raise the bar even higher, giving a new group of talented individuals the chance to showcase their musical abilities for the chance to win an incredible prize; a Casio PX-S7000 piano, worth £2,249 plus an exclusive mastering studio session for their winning song, with the song then pressed to a limited run of vinyl records - courtesy of competition partner and physical music manufacturer Breed Media.

 

Casio is inviting piano-playing singer-songwriters from all around the UK to enter online by submitting a video of themselves playing an original composition - covers will not be considered.  Twelve entrants will then be handpicked to compete in a live final at the stylish Ninety One Living Room jazz bar in Brick Lane, London, on Wednesday 4th September 2024.

 

Finalists will perform in front of a live audience and panel of judges on Casio’s award-winning PX-S7000 in the stunning Harmonious Mustard finish, the same type of piano the winner will take home. Performances will be judged on various criteria including stage presence and writing, singing and playing ability.

 

Last year, judges were so blown away by the calibre of original performances that they decided to award the top prize to two finalists - with the multi-talented May Payne and Stefan Mahendra both taking home a PX-S7000 piano.  Performing to a packed out Ninety One, May captivated the audience with her beautifully raw and deeply personal original piece, I Hate It When You Touch Me while Stefan’s soulful performance of his song Orbit showcased his technical ability with his deep and warm voice.  Since winning the competition last year, both May and Stefan have gone on to release EPs and played shows around the UK.

Neil Evans, Head of Casio Music UK, said, “We are delighted to unveil the second instalment of Casio Sessions.  The exceptional talent showcased last year left us awestruck, and we eagerly anticipate the emergence of more budding piano-playing vocalists and lyricists from various regions of the United Kingdom.  Casio has long been a staunch advocate of the transformative power of music across diverse demographics, and this year in collaboration with Breed Media, the winning artist will have the opportunity to have their original compositions immortalised on vinyl”

 Epanding on the year before, the winner will get an excluding studio recording and mastering session, with their song then pressed to vinyl for a limited run.  The exciting opportunity for the winner to own their song on vinyl records is provided by Breed Media, a physical music manufacturer which specialises in supporting unsigned artists.

 

Graham Worsfold, Head of Breed Media, said, “Casio Sessions is such a fantastic competition and we’re really proud to be supporting these upcoming artists with our vinyl production. Good luck to everyone entering!”

 

The winner will also take home one of Casio’s multiple award-winning PX-S7000, the flagship model from Casio’s premium Privia series.  With a high specification, including a newly developed hybrid wooden hammer keyboard and a beautiful contemporary look, it’s a popular choice among pianists and jazz musicians alike.  The ability to directly plug in a microphone and make use of the on-board vocal effects makes this the ideal performance instrument. This stylish instrument has graced the stage at Ninety One Living Room as the house piano for the past year, enchanting the audience through performances by esteemed artists like David Mrakpor.

 

Entries to Casio Sessions 2024 are open now until midnight on August 6th.  Musicians must all be based in the UK, and entrants are required to submit an original video audition and complete a simple form to be considered for the live final – all ages and musical styles welcome.  The full terms and conditions, including full scoring criteria, can be found by following this link.

 

Good luck!

 

Mark Speight now Available For BookingsMark Speight now Available For Bookings

Tuesday 16th April

We are delighted to welcome Mark Speight to his own Advanced Player Page on OrganFax.
A superb player, who became a Blackpool Tower organist when just 16 years of age and then went on to play for lots of concerts and functions, Mark has had a few years doing less playing work but now he is back and he will make a very welcome addition to the ranks of players touring our electronic and theatre organ venues.
To read more about Mark and for details of how to book him, visit his OrganFax page.

Peter Baartmans RIPPeter Baartmans RIP

Saturday 13th April

We are deeply saddened to report that world class musician, Peter Baartmans, passed away on 12th April 2024, following his short battle with an aggressive cancer.

A master musician and thoroughly nice person, always generous with his time and talent, Peter will be much missed by his colleagues, friends and fans all around the world and, most especially, at Yamaha, where he has been one of their very top players for decades.

RIP Peter, 1960-2024. 

 

Older news »

What's happening today?