Norman Jay MBE brings the good times to Bedford Esquires this summer

Norman Jay MBE

This May bank holiday, Esquires is officially kicking off summer in Bedford with a DJ set from the legendary Norman Jay MBE, with support from our very own Mark Russell.

Unquestionably one of the most respected and popular DJs in the world, Norman Jay will be at Esquires on Sunday 7 May – with good times guaranteed.

Born in Notting Hill, Jay played his first gig aged eight at a 10th birthday party. Influenced by his father’s record collection of blue beat, ska and jazz, by the late 1970s he was considered an emerging authority on contemporary Afro-American music including funk, disco, soul and jazz fusion.

During a series of late-70s trips to New York, Norman was inspired by the city’s unique and vibrant club scene, and on his return to the UK teamed up with his brother, Joey, to build the Good Times Sound System, playing funk, soul and disco at Notting Hill Carnival.

Cementing his reputation as the co-founder of, and the prime selector on, the (then) pirate radio station KISS FM, Jay originally coined the term, and subsequently fostered the emerging ‘Rare Groove’ scene, filling the airwaves and many warehouse parties under his Shake and Fingerpop guises, with the best in 70s & 80s grooves and nascent house cuts.

Pushing the boundaries of the UK’s emerging club culture he went on to co-found the first ‘Paradise Garage’ style club in Britain – ‘High On Hope’, and, alongside kindred spirit Gilles Peterson, Norman established the Talkin’ Loud label, spearheading the Acid Jazz scene.

Throughout the late 80s and 90s, Jay continued to build a reputation as one of the world’s most popular DJs, packing clubs to the rafters wherever he played, taking the underground sounds of rare groove and house firmly into the mainstream.

The turn of the century saw Norman Jay assume the role of elder statesman, receiving an MBE from the Queen for services to deejaying and music.

His latest compilation ‘Mister Good Times’ released with Sunday Best Recordings captures the true spirit of Good Times,

Continuing his burgeoning work as a broadcaster, and playing an eclectic mix of black and dance music across the globe as the deejay’s DJ, Norman Jay remains at the forefront of club culture continually converting generations of clubbers to the cause, championing new sounds, yet never forgetting his musical roots, thus guaranteeing nothing but the ‘Good Times’.

DJ Mark Russell

“We’ve listened to feedback from recent events and the doors will open at the earlier time of 8pm,” said promoter, Kev Bailey of The Pad Presents.

“DJ Mark Russell and friends will be firing up the sound system and Norman’s set will take place from 10pm til midnight for those that need to employ a babysitter or don’t want to be out to the small hours.

“The next day is a Bank Holiday and a day off for most people so what better way to kick off the summer season.”

Tickets priced £20 are available online from Seetickets and will also be available from Slide Record Shop. You can find out more information on Bedford Esquires’ website here.

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