The Stan Kenton tribute at Egham, Surrey, UK in April 2000 was organised by Murray Patterson, John Healey and Arnie Chadwick over four days.

It was a very memorable occasion and greatly enjoyed by all the attendees and participants. I was one of the lucky attendees and I took my Sony Digital8 camcorder with me and captured the majority of the proceedings on video. I transferred these to DVD several years ago and now, 17 years down the line, I have the opportunity to share the occasion with anyone who is interested via Terry Vosbein’s website ‘All Things Kenton’. Regrettably many of the people appearing on these DVD’s have since passed on.

I was able to use a tripod for the majority of the videos which helped to present a steadier image. For the main concerts in The Great Hall in the hotel, I positioned myself at the back of the balcony which afforded a clear view and had less interruptions from the other members of the audience!

– Tony Pearson

Schedule of events

Click on a link to see the corresponding video

Friday, 21 April 2000

9:00am Registration

Noon – Introduction and ’Meet The Guests'

3:00pm All That Jazz and Graettinger – presentation by Michael Sparke

4:30pm Kenton Novelties – presentation by Arnie Chadwick

8:00pm – Pete Cater Big Band

Saturday 22 April 2000

10:00am “A feature length colour film of the sixties Kenton band with narration by Stan.”

11:30am 1953 European Tour Panel – Buddy Childers, Bill Russo, Conte Candoli; Steve Voce, moderator

12:45pm Lunchtime Concert – Jiggs Whigham, Mike Vax, Gabe Baltazar

2:30pm Lennie Niehaus and Bill Russo – interviewed by Bob Holness

4:00pm The Kenton Trombones – presentation by Milt Bernhart

8:00pm The Evening Concert
Part 1: Music of the 40s, conducted by Buddy Childers
Part 2: Music of the 70s, conducted by Mike Vax

Sunday, 23 April 2000

10:00am “Very rare colour footage of the seventies Kenton band with comments from Stan and major sidemen.”

11:30am Panel – Jim Amlotte, Don Reed, Mike Vax; Steven Harris, moderator

1:00pm Lunchtime Concert – Conte Candoli, Buddy Childers

8:00pm The Evening Concert – featuring Charlie Mariano

9:30pm Late Evening Concert – featuring Lennie Niehaus and Bill Trujillo

10:45pm Late Evening Jam Session – Mike Vax, Buddy Childers, Bill Trujillo, Lennie Niehaus, Jiggs Whigham

Monday, 24 April 2000

10:00am Leo Curran – interviewed by Arnie Chadwick

11:30am The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton – presentation by Stan Woolley

1:00pm Lunchtime Concert – featuring Charlie Mariano

3:00pm The Final Concert
Part 1: Music of the 60s, conducted by Lennie Niehaus
Part 2: Music of the 50s, conducted by Bill Russo

From the original programme

RENDEZVOUS IN BRITAIN has, since 1992 become established as a major event in the big band calendar here in the UK, when many hundreds of his followers meet to celebrate the life and music of “Modern America’s Man of Music” ...

STANLEY NEWCOMB KENTON

and to pay their own tribute to this giant of big band jazz. In that time, we have been fortunate in having many of the truly “Greats” of the Kenton band come over and join us in our tribute to “the Old Man” including Bill Holman, Bill Perkins, Lee Konitz, Bud Shank, Herb Geller, Dennis Noday, Richard Torres, Roy Reynolds and Bob Curnow.

Alumni joining us once again are Bill Russo, Charlie Mariano, Buddy Childers, Conte Condoli, Jerry McKenzie, Jiggs Wigham and, of course, the inimitable Milt Bernhart! Coming over for the first time are Lennie Niehaus, Gabe Baltazar, Bill Trujillo, Jim Amlotte and Mike Vax and they will be most welcome. Our Guest of Honour will once again be Vic Lewis.

As well as these star musicians we will present the superb Pete Cater Big Band and the first public performance of the Mark Nightingale Big Band with Claire Martin.

We are also proud to announce the formation of the 20-piece Rendezvous Jazz Orchestra with various famous directors, who will perform two complete concerts of Kenton music from the almost forty years of the band’s existence.

“Rendezvous in Britain 2000” will be the sixth tribute to be held in the UK since 1992—including Collector’s Forum in 1997—and each successive event has grown in size and excitement. This year promises to be just as enjoyable as all the others.

The SAVILL COURT HOTEL is the ideal venue for our needs. Set in the heart of historic England, with its Great Hall capable of seating up to 800 and many other amenities it offers, this 19th Century neo-Jacobean mansion has been skillfully converted to a first-class Hotel and Conference centre with international standard cuisine and service.

We intend to produce a packed programme over FOUR days with film shows of rare footage of the Kenton bands, FIVE panel discussions, SEVEN presentations—using many recorded musical illustrations—by recognised biographers of the huge Kenton legacy and a total of EIGHT concerts by both big bands and small groups.

We invite you to take part in this unique opportunity to meet and mix socially with former members of the STAN KENTON BANDS and fellow enthusiasts, in a most convivial and relaxed atmosphere in which to celebrate the SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the formation of Stan’s first rehearsal band in Southern California.

In addition, there will be a well stocked room of CDs, videos and memorabilia connected with the Kenton era available for purchase.