Review of Jean Martyn in concert at Witchford Village Hall on Saturday 20th March 2010

Ely’s Inner Wheel certainly knows how to present a good show. Jean Martyn, keyboard player extraordinaire, wowed the packed audience in Witchford. This internationally renowned performer commanded her keyboard in sparkling style. Fingers flying, feet dancing on the pedal board and a relaxed, smiling composure had the listeners thoroughly entertained.

She demonstrated just how versatile the instrument is, with sounds ranging from honky tonk piano Mrs. Mills-style, to grand piano, full orchestra, jazz ensemble, military band or brass band – your name it, she played it.

The evening started with a rollicking There’s no Business Like Show business after which a series of highly popular and delightfully arranged numbers filled the hall. Pieces included Misty, the theme from the Warsaw Concerto, Young Man, YMCA, Sweet Caroline, The Nutcracker Suite, Imagine, My Way, In the Mood, Climb Every Mountain, Consider yourself and a host of other familiar works that had our feet tapping and our memories stirred.

She interspersed her numbers with tales of her fascinating career including lessons from Johnny Dankworth, being invited to perform at St. Jame’s Palace for Princess Anne, stepping in at the last moment to perform with James Last and his orchestra, accompanying Dame Vera Lynn, and rubbing shoulders with Rolf Harris and Ester Ranson.

A medley of tradition British numbers included The White Cliffs of Dover, The Dambusters, When you’re Smiling, Down at the old Bull and Bush, Roll out the Barrell and A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square. After a series of popular requests, the evening ended in patriotic fervour, flags waving, the audience in full song with items like Rule Britannia, There’ll always be an England and Land of Hope and Glory.   

Coffee and cakes at interval, assistance from the girl guides and generous and enthusiastic support from the audience, helped make the whole evening a resounding success. Proceeds go towards establishing a haven of peace at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely.   

Contacts: tel: 01902 850843

Inner Wheel, Ely:

the secretary, Mary Spinks 01353 663693 e-mail:

Peterborough Theatre Organ Preservation Society


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