Jazz into Doncaster to give money to next generation of musicians when it closes

Members of Jazz into Doncaster. The group will say farewell in November
Members of Jazz into Doncaster. The group will say farewell in November

A long-running jazz group in Doncaster will do its bit to foster the next generation of players when it says farewell.

Jazz Into Doncaster, which has existed for 30 years, will wind up with its farewell concert on November 16 at the town’s Conservative Club on South Street.

The club’s leftover funds, about £1,000, will go to the next generation.

Treasurer Peter Robinson said a clause in the club’s constitution ensured the money would be handed to the younger players.

The group has struggled to raise money in order to survive.

The main fundraiser, the market day, wound up two years ago.

Four groups would play in the Doncaster Market,

“We would be kept going for a year, paying bands, based on that,” Mr Robinson said.

The odd Lottery grant of £2,000 and £1,000 wasn’t enough to ensure its survival.

Mr Robinson, who lives at Churchfield Close, Bentley, said he couldn’t understand the dwindling numbers supporting the group.

While many fans switched to rock and roll in the 1950s and 1960s, Doncaster still had its fair share of jazz musicians through.

“You still get jazz luminaries visit Doncaster, who pull in between 200 and 300 people,” Mr Robinson said.

“They charge about £18 a ticket. Ours are £6.”

“It’s a very high standard, and I say that as a jazz lover.”

He anticipated an emotional night.

“The Doncaster Youth Jazz Association band will play for about two hours, before speeches, handing over the money and then it’s bye bye,” he said.

“I think it will be sad.”

He hoped some of the younger players would stick with the genre as they got older.

Many are in their teenage years, but there are a couple of players in their 20s.

“They start at 14,” Mr Robinson said.

“But, like many things in life, things fall by the wayside.”

Mr Robinson’s love of the genre began when he saw jazz legend Stan Kenton and his orchestra play at Sheffield City Hall in 1954.

Now 83, he regretted not taking up an instrument and playing himself.

“If I lived my life again, I would play the saxophone,” Mr Robinson said.