To mark 100 years since Jazz reached Britain, Two Temple Place reopened to the public with its seventh annual winter exhibition, Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain which ran until 22nd April 2018. The exhibit amongst many things explored how new technology enabled the dissemination of jazz in popular culture, bringing it within easy reach of the general public with theatre, film, radio, and records. Through newspapers and magazines, like Melody Maker, Rhythm, Tune Times and XS Noize.
To celebrate the success of the exhibition as well as the continued and growing influence of Jazz in the UK, Two Temple Place and the Roaring 2.0s presented 100 years of Jazz, the greatest exhibition after party at the Troxy, London’s most famous Art Deco venue. The event which ran until 2am in the morning was non-stop fun from the outset when guests were given $100 (in play money naturally) to lose either on either roulette or blackjack in between or during musical performances.
As promised and featured in XS Noize events to look out for, four bands did indeed play until the wee hours of the morning; if this was not enough there was also a vintage fashion show, “duet juggling”, acrobatics, and a 5 person dance troupe called The Bristolettes.
The night opened with The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band Fan Club, a uniquely British band (but set against the back-beat that comes straight out of Bourbon Street) offered lavish brass, Professor Longhair piano and bestial drums, all put together with a DIY ethic. Fronted by Stuart Macbeth, this band have played over 2,000 gigs across Europe and Australia; an impressive number similar to Frank Turner.
Dr Jazz and the Cheshire Cats, a 20-piece big band based in Lymm, Cheshire, UK, followed. Dr Jazz, aka Catherine Tackley PhD, is a certified doctor of Jazz, a curator behind the success of Two Temple Place Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain exhibit as well as the live Troxy performance she and her band gave.
Now how do you make relevant to today, particular to an ethnically diverse population such as London? You bring on a 14 piece Jazz trained big band fronted by Hip Hop and Grime MC’s backed by a DJ and a producer “with a taste for the bass” called Dutty Moonshine Big Band. Dutty Moonshine delivered showing jazz can belong to and be a part of everybody’s daily lives.
The headliners of the evening, the Michael Bublé approved, The Puppini Sisters (Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins and Emma Smith) having just released their fifth album, showed they were worth the hype that has been made of them. Their debut album, ‘Betcha Bottom Dollar’ released in 2006, produced by the Oscar-nominated Charest –was labelled the fastest-selling jazz album of all time when it hit no. 1 in the UK Jazz Charts and subsequently went gold. Who else would be more appropriate to headline a high profile event celebrating 100 years of jazz in the UK?
With the exception of bartenders not in steampunk attire; but with Avant-garde t-shirts bearing the Troxy logo (yet not looking at all out of place), everything promised and more form this wonderful event was delivered and exceeded the high expectations. One genuinely felt transformed into a Great Gatsby labyrinth. Here is to the next 100 years of Jazz, vintage clothing and to Two Temple Place offering the public free unique exhibitions and fabulous after parties with the Roaring 2.0s. Jazz is here to stay and will not go extinct like the Dodo which has previously featured in Two Temple Place past exhibits.