Simone Richardson meets the musicians who play every Thursday at the Effra’s legendary jazz night
The line-up may have varied over the past 20 years or so, but the pub is always packed – a tribute to the musicians. The line-up is singer George Kelly, guitarist Alan Weekes, trumpet Tan Tan (original member), trumpet Patrick Anthony, sax Bukky, double bass Lance Rose, drums Gary Williams.
George Kelly has been singing at Brixton’s Effra Hall Tavern for ten years after Alan Weekes introduced him to jazz. “I was more of a reggae and soul singer back in the day,” he says.
Brixton resident Weekes carried on the 20-year Effra jazz tradition after founder Dudley Brown passed away. “It is great to be playing music and to do something that you have a passion to do and that people love in the Effra,” he says.
Patrick Anthony, a guest trumpet player who is there regularly, learned to play the trombone in his school’s youth orchestra, became a car mechanic but sold his car “bought a trumpet and got a job playing in the band. That is how I started to play the trumpet.”
He enjoys playing trumpet with the original Effra trumpeter Tan Tan. Kelly looks forward to twice-weekly performances on Thursday and Saturday. He is creating his own album which he hopes will be out soon on vinyl and CD. “Especially on a Thursday night I enjoy it as it is so atmospheric. It’s my favourite night now. All ages enjoying the live jazz is a pleasure to do,” he says.