Jazz saxophone legend - Art Themen will play at Joanna's Place in Saffron Walden on Saturday, January 25.

PUBLISHED: 21:01 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 21:01 18 January 2020

Art Themen is playing at Joanna's Place in Saffron Walden

Art Themen is playing at Joanna's Place in Saffron Walden

Archant

For 40 years, Themen, a surgeon, combined practising orthopaedic surgery with a career in music.

That included backing up Joe Cocker on his classic breakthrough hit, With a Little Help from My Friends (which earned Art a princely £15.75).

Jazz saxophone legend, Art Themen will play at Joanna's Place in Saffron Walden on Saturday, January 25.

Art will be accompanied by Joanna's Place favourites, drummer George Double and organist Pete Whittaker.

Host Joanna Eden will provide a short supporting set and will also join Art for a song or two throughout the evening.

For 40 years, Themen, a surgeon, combined practising orthopaedic surgery with a career in music.

That included backing up Joe Cocker on his classic breakthrough hit, With a Little Help from My Friends (which earned Art a princely £15.75).

He also performed with Cream legends Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce joining in pop sessions with George Harrison, Eric Clapton and various Rolling Stones.

In 1974, he began an association with pianist Stan Tracey that lasted for 25 years and showcased his consistently creative saxophone playing in bands ranging in size from trio to quartet to sextet to full jazz orchestra, including the BBC Big Band.

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His influences are Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and John Coltrane.

Now in his 80s, a twinkly and cool musician, Art is wary of his nick-name "the jazz doctor".

He says: "The thought of people saying, 'Oh you don't want to have an operation done by Art if he's been playing at Ronnie Scott's till closing time' or even just thinking that I might be arriving in the theatre with shaky hands just didn't sit well with me," he says.

"If I was playing at Ronnie's until two in the morning, you could be sure that I'd have had eight hours' sleep before reporting for duty."

Tickets, £15 from www.joannasplace.net or in person at Amy Louise Florists, 31 High St, Saffron Walden CB10 1AT. (Online purchases subject to £1 booking fee).

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