West Norfolk jazz band to support Rod Stewart on tour

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A West Norfolk jazz band have been selected to support one of the best-selling artists of all time, Rod Stewart, as he rocks his way around the UK’s stadiums in his 2014 tour.

DixieMix, who regularly gig across the whole of East Anglia, have been selected to join the singer-songwriter on his five stadium tour in June.

Sculthorpe’s Chris Wigley, who plays trombone, said: “Well, we are stunned! We can’t believe it, it’s an absolute honour to have been chosen.”

Out of the blue, the band were tracked down through their website and offered an online audition, then after an agonising three-week wait, they were told they had been successful.

Band leader, Simon Nelson, plays trumpet, cornet and provides vocals. He said: “The whole amazing scenario is taking a little time to sink in.

“After that three-week wait as demo tracks were bounced across the Atlantic, finally came the exciting news from LCC Live Events – the organisers of Rod’s UK tour, that DixieMix had been offered all five gigs!”

He added: “All of us suffered periods of disbelief, and there was endless online double-checking to make sure this all added up and the offer was genuine.”

The pair formed the band after their previous bands broke up in 2007 and they were joined by guitarist Kevin West, drummer Tony Wilkins, clarinet and saxophonist Pete Oxborough, and bassist John Benson.

The band have earned a huge reputation across East Anglia over the last six years as one of the liveliest and most enthusiastic bands in the Dixieland genre.

Simon and Chris credit their success to the band’s line-up, which they say, has the perfect mix of youth and experience.

Simon said: “We put entertainment first. We don’t just play for established jazz audiences, we are equally at home letting rip with a show designed to please everyone and aim to create an all-round feel-good factor.”

With hard work and dedication the band has come a long way since first forming with help from their fans and audiences, and sponsorship from Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales.

These five stadium gigs will be unlike anything they have ever done before and they are looking forward to warming up the crowd and meeting Rod Stewart in person.

The band will be playing for audiences of up to 20,000 at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, the County Cricket Ground in Taunton, Brighton Football Stadium, Taunton County Cricket Ground, Blackpool Football Club, the Falkirk Stadium and the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent during June.

Head to www.rodstewart.com to buy tickets.

For more information about DixieMix, go to www.dixiemixjazz.com or see them live at Sculthorpe village hall ahead of their tour thisS Friday, April 18, from 8-11pm. Tickets cost £12.50, including a buffet, and are raising money for Team Kenya. Call 07810 395530 or 01328 853340 to book.