Martyn Sharp & The Mighty Four

Mighty Four are still available for private gigs. A telephone call to Martyn Sharp would be appreciated giving proposed date, time, and venue. Also I am often free for dep jobs on trumpet, (New Orleans style), when these arise.[01535 959986].

Band picture at Bradford and Bingley Rugby Club
Jack Mawdsley died on 6th May 2014

The band started in the early eighties playing mainly private birthday parties, weddings, and advertising events in Yorkshire and Lancashire. Over this 25 year period Martyn Sharp, leader and trumpet, has played lengthy stints in the Silver Bell band in Preston, Malcolm Webb’s band in Bingley, and Dave Brennan’s Heritage Parade band, in Rotherham, also Les Moore’s French Quarter band. He has visited New Orleans, and also spent five consecutive annual holidays camping at the Ascona New Orleans Festival in Switerland. More recently he has guested with the New Orleans Delight band in Denmark and Sweden, undertaking five successive annual tours with them. Over the last two years he has made many guest appearances with the Tuxedo band in Wallasey, and from time to time appears with the “Rae Brothers New Orleans band”, (the next being May 7th and 8th 2008 at Studley Castle, Warwickshire).

On clarinet, alto, and tenor saxophone, is John Brunton, a widely experienced musician who is in demand from several local bands. He has played in Ascona, Switzerland, and Helsinki, Finland, and many European countries in between. His favourite reed players are numerous and include Omer Simeon, Johnny Dodds, George Lewis, Emmanual Paul, John Handy.

On banjo and guitar is Keith Simkin, from Accrington, whose playing is rock steady and ideally suited to the style we aim at. His guitar, which is used on the slower numbers, gives the band a more varied and relaxed sound. Keith has visited New Orleans, and again is in demand with other local bands. Unlike some of us, Keith still works, and has his own business making aluminium doors and shop fitting.

The late Jack Mawdsley was on string bass and sousaphone. He was an ex civil engineer, and lived at St Annes. Again it is useful to be able to select the instrument which is most appropriate for the tune being played. Jack didn’t start playing till aged 50, and first he tackled the trombone, but then preferred the back row. He made two visits to New Orleans, and had a broadly based record collection, with both American and British jazz.

We often play as a quartet, but when space permits, it is a pleasure to have our preferred drummer with us who is Bill Evans from Leeds, who has an ever improving New Orleans beat stimulated by recent visits to the Crescent City. Like Keith he is still working his day job of joinery and shop fitting.

We play acoustically as far as possible, with little amplification. Our small sound system is of very good quality. We play genuine old style New Orleans music, and have visited the city, and have a number of friends there. Most of our tunes are 50 to 100 years old... Out repertoire runs to over 800 tunes. We have been active in the Yorkshire/Lancashire area for over 25 years, and have appeared twice on Radio Lancashire.


Martyn Sharp, Dalegarth, Lothersdale Rd., Glusburn Moor, Glusburn, Keighley.

Tel:  01535 959986.

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Martyn Sharp & The Mighty Four

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