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It's a family affair

Date: 23/04/2008           Category: Events

It will be a case of keeping it in the family when Christopher Holland supports his brother Jools at this year’s Castle Concerts. Internationally renowned musician, local resident and deputy lieutenant for Kent Jools Holland makes a triumphant return to Rochester Castle Gardens this summer. Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra play at the second of series of Castle Concerts on Thursday, 17 July. And this year, as well as special guests Marc Almond, Gilson Lavis, Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall, taking to the stage, Jools’ brother Christopher will be performing too. Jools Holland is no stranger to these shores. He lives at Cooling Castle and, in 2005, he married at St James’ Church in the village. In addition to his appearances at Castle Concerts, Jools performed a charity concert at Rochester Cathedral in 2007. By the age of eight, young Julian Miles Holland could play the piano fluently by ear. By age 15 he formed the band Squeeze with the song writing duo Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook. Now presenting the 31st series of Later…with Jools Holland, he has established himself as a grandmaster of music. His first break as a presenter came in the 1980s on the cult music television programme The Tube alongside the late Paula Yates. Since then he has uncovered numerous new bands and lost giants of the jazz and blues scenes, even managing a rare interview with Miles Davis. The man’s list of credentials continues but most people know him best for his live performances. Jools’ inimitable brand of humour and virtuoso keyboard playing, coupled with a 12-piece brass section and super-league vocals make for a spectacular show. As well as Holland’s long-time bandmate, drummer Gilson Lavis, the 18-piece ensemble includes vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. This year, Jools’ very special guest is Mark Almond. Mark Almond’s concerts at Wilton Hall over five consecutive nights in April and May have completely sold out. But, the man described by The Independent as “Our male Piaf” is appearing with Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra at Rochester Castle Gardens. The star-studded evening begins with support from Jools’ younger brother, Christopher Holland. A familiar face to fans of the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Christopher has played Hammond organ alongside his elder brother many times. As well as recording and touring extensively with his own band, Cosmic Harmony, Christopher has toured and recorded with many other artists including Squeeze, Stereophonics and Paul Weller. The evening’s entertainment begins at 7.15pm. Tickets are £30. Other concerts in year’s series are: Soul Party on Wednesday, 16 July, featuring The Edwin Starr Band, Brenda Edwards and The Soul Traders and Castle Proms on Saturday, 19 July featuring the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Tickets for these cost £20 and £27. Status Quo on Friday, 18 July has sold out. For further information about this year’s Castle Concerts visit www.castleconcerts.co.uk or phone Medway Visitor Information Centre 01634 843666 or The Central and Brook Theatre box office on 01634 338338. ends