MIKE DENHAM SPEAKEASY Corn Exchange, Dorchester

SWEET music from the age of jazz, ragtime and blues soared through the county town building thanks to Dorchester Arts when they brought along two fine musicians who gave magical performances that brought back memories of a golden age to an appreciative audience.

Hosting the first of his regular Speakeasy nights for 1917, local piano virtuoso Mike Denham, introduced us to his distinguished guest for the evening, Enrico Tomasso, an internationally acclaimed trumpeter who not only emulates but equals his idol Louis Armstrong as he plays and sings memorable music with amazing expertise and humour.

The show began with Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer, thus setting the standard for the rest of the evening as Mike Denham brought an emotional sensitivity to his performance while reminding us that the great man died 100 years ago this year.

Also on the menu were tributes to Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Bix Biederbecke as the melodies lingered on in swinging style

Finally, as trumpeter Enrico played and sang of the Old Rocking Chair and songs of similar genre, we were reminded that music of the jazz era was not just about having fun but of hardship and human endeavour, not a bad way to remember the great performers of the past.

Country dance music will be top of the list at the Corn Exchange on Friday March 3 when Dorchester Arts brings a Wild West party night fundraiser to the venue which aims to sweep away the winter blues.