The landscape of Wylds Farm near Liss will be thrumming to the sounds of jazz this June with Hampshire’s first jazz and gin event.

From 5.30pm to 10.30pm on Saturday, June 15, fresh from the international Petersfield jazz festival the previous week, jazz lovers will have the opportunity to sample community talent with the first-ever collaboration between locals from the village of East Meon with the jazz band “East of Meon”, homegrown gin specialists Dampneys Remarkable drinks and the popular venue Wylds Farm, whose events manager is also a resident of the village.

The story of the “East of Meon” band began when Kati Whitaker, a successful BBC Radio 4 presenter and producer decided on a change of direction.

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She made her name on the London circuit as a saxophonist before coming to live in East Meon. East Meon is a village of artists and having been asked several times to play at private viewings, one local resident asked Kati to form a band to play at the village fair.

That was five years ago and now “East of Meon” is playing across the South of England and London in anything, from private parties to specialist jazz clubs in West London and Arundel to large events such as the Jazz and Fizz festival at Hambledon vineyard, where they are playing yet again this August.

Hampshire Chronicle: Kati and Marcus in actionKati and Marcus in action (Image: Kati Whitaker)

The band members have a wide and varied background in both jazz and popular music. Keyboard player, Marcus Hill even tours internationally as Maurice Gibb in a Bee Gees tribute band. Likewise, jazz double bassist Andy Coe has clocked up nearly 40 years of playing with orchestras and big bands on cruise ships as well as smaller combos such as the Pete Downes Trio, incorporating various styles including jazz fusion, jump-jive and rockabilly.

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Bandleader Kati Whitaker was classically trained as a pianist but came to the saxophone and jazz relatively late in life. She played for several years with the renowned “Soul Funks” band and the Cuban band Los Domingos, where she met conga player Nigel Hosking who now plays for “East of Meon”.

Conga player Nigel Hosking plays with the highly respected Latin jazz/salsa band “Los Domingos”  and the Latin jazz/ salsa band “Bilongo”. Seasoned drummer Paul Canton, well known on the South London circuit for owning and running the “Junction” jazz venue in Brixton until 2022, rounds out the band with his own inimitable style.

Dampney's Remarkable Drinks will also be providing a taste of its specialist gin to every ticket holder and offering advice on a variety of gins on offer.

Kati Whitaker said: "We are so excited to have the opportunity to play at Wylds farm. This is the first time we have organised an event like this and are hoping that it will attract jazz lovers from across the region.

"So come and swing by Wylds Farm for an evening of great music, good vibes, and the finest English gin, and don't forget to bring your dancing shoes!”

The event will be held at Wylds Farm, the family-run Farm near Liss just north of the South Downs, well known for the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival, Wyldfest and Christmas tree events.

The Jazz and Gin event also hopes to showcase some new local young talent, with acts to be confirmed.

More information, including how to get tickets can be found at