GIANTS of British jazz are coming to Southend to play an afternoon of music not to be missed. 

The city's much-loved Jazz Centre will play host to saxophonist Alan Barnes and trombonist Mark Nightingale. 

Alan Barnes, described as possibly the greatest mainstream instrumentalist/composer in British Jazz since the late Sir John Dankworth, has endeared himself to audiences all over the country with his unassuming humour. 

A spokesman for the Jazz Centre said: "As a bandleader and freelance session musician he has featured on many recordings, broadcasts and soundtracks as well as stints with Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton’s bands.

"His virtuoso playing has earned him a packed cabinet of British Jazz awards and the respect of his fellow musicians."

He will be joined by Mark Nightingale, also a serial British Jazz Award winner, who began his career at eleven with the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra.

The spokesman added: "Turning professional in 1988, he has since featured with an illustrious throng of Anglo-American jazz names from John Dankworth and Stan Tracey to Bob Wilber, rapidly establishing himself as the latest in a line of great British jazz trombonists.

"With a playing CV encompassing just about everyone from Sinatra to McFly, and George Shearing to the London Symphony Orchestra, this is a visit not to be missed."

They will be appearing with an A-team rhythm section, featuring piano player Jim Watson, bass player Jeremy Brown and Matt Skelton on drums.

It comes after the Jazz Centre's had received notice to quit its home at the Beecroft Art Gallery. 

But it was recommended Southend Council's decision to serve notice be reversed and a new agreement put in place.

The Alan Barnes / Mark Nightingale Quintet will be at The Jazz Centre UK at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue, on Saturday July 22.  

Music starts at 2pm, admission is £15 or £8 for students, and everyone is welcome.

Tickets can be booked through the website at