For more than 28 years Hugh and Marion Ockendon regularly promoted jazz in Eltham, however with the passing of Hugh Ockendon in 2020 and the recent passing in October of Marion, the future of the Eltham Jazz club was in jeopardy. Today we received the news that British vocalist and promotor of the international voice festival, held in association with the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Georgia Mancio and drummer Dave Ohm will take over the reins to ensure the clubs continuation.
With the announcement of their new stewardship of the long-standing Eltham Jazz Club, now also to be known as Hugh & Marion’s, in tribute to its original founders, Georgia and Dave will continue Hugh and Marion’s legacy of presenting bi-monthly Thursday concerts at Eltham Warren Golf Club, the home of Eltham Jazz since 2014.
As mentioned above, Hugh and Marion Ockendon regularly promoted jazz in Eltham for a mightily impressive 28 years. With Hugh as resident pianist, they hosted countless high caliber musicians including Tina May, Alan Barnes, Byron Wallen, Tony Kofi, Jim Mullen, Roger Beaujolais, Charlotte Glasson, Art Themen and Ben Holder. When Hugh died in 2020, Marion continued the club alone until her own untimely death in October 2022. With a little serendipity, and thanks to the recommendation of club regular, vocalist Jacqui Hicks, Georgia and Dave have now stepped in and will continue Hugh and Marion’s legacy of presenting bi-monthly Thursday concerts at Eltham Warren Golf Club, the home of Eltham Jazz since 2014.
Marion’s final booking poignantly falls this Thursday 15 December with Shireen Francis and Sarah Moule’s Xmas Special. The club will then re-open on 12 January 2023 with Georgia Mancio Quartet, featuring flautist/pianist Gareth Lockrane and bassist Andrew Cleyndert. Testament to their highly regarded position on the UK jazz scene, they have already secured some major names for their first season: alto saxophonist Allison Neale (26 January), vocalist Elaine Delmar (9 February), saxophonist Denys Baptiste (23 February), vocalist/pianist Liane Carroll (9 March) and saxophonist Stan Sulzmann (23 March).
Speaking about how this came about, in a recent interview on London Jazz News Georgia explained that “It was all very organic and instant. Dave was playing with Jacqui Hicks on the night that was meant to be Marion’s birthday celebration, and everyone was stunned that she had instead passed away so suddenly. Two longstanding members, Ted and Terry, who had helped enormously in running the club (selling tickets, making publicity materials, etc.), made it clear there was no-one else to take things over and Jacqui suggested me. With just one phone call, we realized there was a vibrant community and volition to continue attending gigs. A week later, we went to Mick Foster’s gig and made the announcement, a little apprehensively, but were met with such warmth and appreciation, we knew it was the right thing to do. Having also been in contact with Hugh and Marion’s family and getting their blessing has been crucial and very moving. We are not naive, clubs and businesses are closing at an alarming rate right now, but we feel optimistic about continuing.
Club Address: Eltham Warren Golf Club, Bexley Road, London SE9 2PE
Tickets: £18 (advance) / £20 (door) / £17 Golf Club Members / £12 Students
Times: 8 – 10.30pm (doors 7pm)
Last modified: December 12, 2022