The atmosphere of the cafe is created as much by the people below as by anyone who performs or exhibits. If you are curious about the people behind the scenes, read on ...
Running The Cafe
Running The Cafe
Everything except the music at the jazz cafe is co-ordinated and managed by Ann Harrison-Broninski.
Ann is a poet and writer - see her own Web site - who co-wrote/performed in the Sun Dance and the Ghost Dance along with various other cafe events.
If you have anything you would like to ask about the cafe during an event, please approach Ann at any time. Ann is responsible for organising the non- jazz elements of the café - poetry, artists, children’s entertainment, performance art, alternative traders, charities, etc - so contact her if you have any queries about these areas.
The music of the cafe is organised by Keith Harrison-Broninski, a composer who plays piano/keyboards in the house trio and is involved in most musical projects associated with the cafe.
If you would like to sit in during a cafe session, approach Keith during an interval. Keith books all the musicians, and does all the administration and promotion, so contact him if you have any queries about these areas.
In his spare time, Keith makes a new form of software.
Visit his own Web site for more information.
The kitchen has been run by Linda Perry together with Jon Evans since the cafe first started. They provide home-cooked, vegetarian, wholefood along with a range of organic real ales, lagers, wines and soft drinks. It’s rare that they have anything at all left by the end of the day, either food or drink ... the queue never disappears throughout the cafe, so they are probably the only people there who never get a chance to listen to the music.
Linda and Jon are both experienced festival caterers, and Jon owns the popular Garden Cafe in Frome. Various other people assist them at the cafe, often including Linda’s partner Rob, and Sheila Gore who owns Frome Whole Foods in Frome’s quaint Cheap Street.
When you arrive at the cafe you are greeted by Rossi. Rossi is a wainwright, graphic designer, and signwriter as well as being a reggae DJ who has performed at clubs and festivals and on the radio.
Among the other things that he does, Rossi’s main business is running the The Horse-Drawn Vehicle Company, which renovates and builds horse-drawn vehicles including carts, wagons and gypsy caravans.
For some time now, the sound at the cafe has been done by Warminster Community Radio (WCR) - usually but not always Barry Mole (their director,shown here with his wife Katy and their daughter Charlotte) and Hazel Darvill (who co-ordinates their PA setups and outside broadcasts). Hazel also consented to appear in our fashion show at the New York Funk Cafe in 1999, something not normally expected of a sound engineer!
WCR provide PA and recording work for us of a professional standard that would normally be out of our price bracket. In general, we have a close relationship with them - WCR is actually a registered charity, and we try to support their work as much as possible.
The music at the cafe suddenly changed for the better in March 2000, when after nearly a year of fund-raising Sally Berry managed to provide a real piano for the hall - what is more, it is a brand new instrument that will not go out of tune in the constantly changing temperature and humidity conditions. Now that we have an acoustic instrument (to complement the electric one Keith still uses for funk etc), we have been recording the music at the cafe and intend to release a highlights CD in due course. Sadly, Sally passed away later in 2000.
A cafe regular since the start, Peter Gibson is now also our liaison with the Village Hall Committee, chief steward in charge of security etc, and has also been helping to improve the hall itself - for instance, putting up new picture rails all round the room to make proper hanging space for art exhibitions. As with the piano, these knock-on effects of the cafe are good for the village as a whole. Peter has always played an active part in cafe events, taking on such monumental tasks as organising an impromptu sports day for children of all ages, with little more support than a bag of potatoes, a few sacks and a rope ...