Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Keith Crombie Tribute Concert...

Musical tribute held to founder of Jazz Cafe in Newcastle
An evening of music was held last night to honour the founder of Newcastle's Jazz Cafe, Keith Crombie

Sara Nichol

14 April 2013

Jazz “refugees” gathered at a evening of performances to celebrate the spirit of a lost friend.

The Jazz Cafe, in Newcastle, closed its doors after the death of founder and owner Keith Crombie late last year.

Regulars set up the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op in the hope they could one day reopen the musician’s haunt.

And last night the Jazz Cafe Big Bash brought the atmosphere of the cafe to the Newcastle Arts Centre’s Black Swan pub on Westgate Road.

Fans enjoyed some of the region’s finest jazz musicians, as well as poetry and dance in a relaxed atmosphere.

First up were poets Jenni Pascoe and Steve Urwin, followed by blues singer Mo Scott and jazz pianist Paul Edis.

DJ Serena Cee from Swing Tyne also performed, as well as the award-winning afro-funk band Hannabiell and Midnight Blue.

One of the co-op founders, Dave Parker, said: “We had a lot of interest in tonight, particularly on Facebook and we also handed out leaflets.

“The Jazz Cafe is never going to be the same without Keith - it was so much a reflection of the personality of a remarkable man. There is no individual capable of stepping into his big shoes.

“We believe we can continue some of the things that he created, which is what tonight is about, the performance of live performance of jazz and poetry in relaxed surroundings.”

The evening was held in Newcastle’s Art Centre, which also owns the former Jazz Cafe.

Mr Parker added: “The good news is that they don’t want to sell the place or lease it to someone else but the disappointing thing is they don’t want to lease it to us either.

“If we can’t have the Jazz Cafe there, we will just have to find somewhere else.

“We want a venue where jazz and poetry and anything related is the main focus and selling drinks and food supports that. It’s the complete opposite of 99% of other venues in Newcastle, which are bars and restaurants that hold the odd night of particular music.”

The co-op has already had meetings with the landlord of the Jazz Cafe, Newcastle Arts Centre boss Mike Tilley, which they described as positive.

And until the venue can be reinstated, they have been supporting and promoting other jazz nights elsewhere, including the Star Inn on Westgate Road and No 28 on Nelson Street.

Seaham-born Mr Crombie, who set up the Jazz Cafe 20 years ago, died on December 29 after a short spell in hospital with a lung infection. He was 73.

At his funeral, mourners followed his coffin through the streets in a New Orleans-style send-off.

For more information on the co-op, go to or ring 0191 452 8946


  1. I'm a member of the Pink Lane Jazz Co-op so would like to thank you for all the support you've shown Jazz related stuff on here and also you publicising stuff related to Keith (I was also a Jazz Caff regular and he's sorely missed). I thought you might be interested in the fact that the Co-op are organising free Jazz Events on the first Friday of every month at No.28 starting this Friday 3rd May with The Budtones - Jazz Caff regulars. Cheers again. I'll try to publicise your blog if I can because it's great. Let me know if there's anything I can do

  2. You also might be interested in this, a tariler for a forthcoming film in the process of being completed about Keith and the Jazz Caff: