Jazz with a great American hoofer

An evening of jazz and cabaret taking place in September will have something of a coup with the appearance of Will Gaines, who is described as one of the last great American 'hoofers'.

An evening of jazz and cabaret taking place in September will have something of a coup with the appearance of Will Gaines, who is described as one of the last great American 'hoofers'.

The term comes from the name given to the tap dancers who used to entertain the crowds before the big bands came on stage.

Will used to open the show for Cab Calloway's Harlem Club Show in the l950s and has performed with great names such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole.

He is no stranger to performing in front of kings, queens and presidents and has taken part in Royal Variety Shows. In the UK he was the first American jazz hoofer to perform at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.


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Now 79, he is still a polished performer and on September 2 at the Norwich Playhouse he will be doing his famous shuffles, telling some anecdotes and tapping a little more when he is accompanied by the Simon Brown Trio.

With 60 years in Be Bop, he is admired all over the world and as always spreading the word of jazz tap.

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It sounds like the £16.50 ticket price is worth it to see just him with the added bonus of having a host of other great jazz and cabaret performers including Lee Gibson and Earl Okin appearing that evening too.

If the house can be full that night, it will help Chris Bailey to reach the £50,000 mark for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Tickets can be obtained from the box office at the Norwich Playhouse on 01603 598598.

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