Rod Stewart picks Norfolk jazz band DixieMix to join him on stadium tour
- Credit: Archant Norfolk 2011
He is the 'forever young' legendary rocker who sells out stadiums worldwide. They are a highly rated Norfolk jazz band most likely to be seen playing to a few hundred fans at Lakeside Country Club in Lyng or at a charity event at the Memorial Hall in Dereham.
But DixieMix, led by Dereham cornetist Simon Nelson, have been selected to join superstar Rod Stewart on his five stadium UK tour in June as his warm-up band.
Mr Nelson said his band were contacted 'out of the blue' after Stewart's agents tracked down their website and invited them to do an online audition.
Three weeks later the news finally arrived that they had been successful and the gigs were in the diary.
He said: 'The whole amazing scenario is taking a little time to sink in. After the initial website enquiry there was an agonising wait as demo tracks were bounced across the Atlantic. Then at last came the exciting news from LCC Live Events – the organisers of Rod's UK tour - that DixieMix had been offered all five gigs.'
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He said that during the wait all the DixieMix band members suffered periods of disbelief, and there was endless online double-checking to make sure it all added up and the offer was genuine.
DixieMix was established six years ago and have earned a huge reputation in the east of England as one of the most lively and enthusiastic bands in the Dixieland genre. Mr Nelson said he attributes their success to the band's line-up, the perfect mix of youth and experience, and putting entertainment first.
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'We don't just play for established jazz audiences,' he said. 'We are equally at home letting rip with a show designed to please everyone and aim to create an all-round feel-good factor.'
The five stadium gigs will be unlike anything they have every done before but they plan to do exactly what a warm-up band should do. 'I'm positive we can get 20,000 feet tapping and set the scene for a night of music to remember,' said Mr Nelson. 'Also there will be a chance to meet the legendary Rod Stewart in person. Everyone who has met him says what a great bloke Rod is and I really hope I get a chance to talk some music with him.'
DixieMix will be supporting Rod Stewart on Friday June 13 at Brighton football stadium, on Saturday June 14 at Stoke-on-Trent football stadium, on Wednesday June 18 at Taunton county cricket ground, on Friday June 20 at Blackpool football stadium, and on Saturday June 21 at Falkirk football stadium.
* Ahead of their stadium appearances Norfolk fans can hear DixieMix at a concert at Dereham's Memorial Hall on April 4 in aid of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind. Tickets are £12 and available from Sounds Music in Dereham or by calling 01362 696741.