A PAIR of musicians who play regularly at the Sunday morning All-age Communion service at St John’s helped bring the curtain down on the fourth Big Burns Supper.
Mark Toner and John Taylor formed the Getz Group jazz band last year and played their first gig after being invited to take part in the fringe festival of music, theatre and comedy.
Organisers of the now regular feature in the Dumfries calendar were so happy with them that the band were asked back for a repeat.
At the Cairndale Hotel on Saturday afternoon in a performance billed ‘Smooth Jazz for the Bard’, the band struck
up again. They were one of a number of live acts across the town on the day the festival drew to a close.
Mark played piano and organ with John on saxophone and clarinet. They were joined on stage by guitarists Doug Taylor and Dave Mowett, with youngster Will Rickards on bass and well-known local folk musician Alex Cook on percussion.
The group take their name from American tenor saxophonist Stan Getz who forged his reputation in America from the late 1940s through to the 70s, best known for popularising bossa nova, a form of Brazilian music that fuses samba and jazz.
“The nice thing about Stan Getz is that you could always follow the tune whatever he did,’ explained Mark.
‘It is a very melodious form of jazz, we thought it would make nice, easy listening. You could get a few gigs, people would be quite happy to have that playing in the background at parties.’
It was after chatting following a Sunday morning All-age service in the church hall about 18 months ago that the pair decided to start a jazz band.
As well as making their debut at the Burns Supper they played later in the year at the Lockerbie Jazz Festival.
They have also performed at the Yellow Door gallery in Queen Street in Dumfries on a number of occasions and are booked to appear at the Lockerbie Little Theatre during the 36th Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival in late May.