A HAMPSHIRE club boss who created an international jazz mecca is set to hit the national radio airwaves.
Cole Mathieson, founder of Eastleigh’s Concorde Club, will be the special guest on jazz star Clare Teal’s Radio 2 programme tomorrow night which showcases big bands and dance bands stretching from the 1920s It was nearly 60 years ago that Cole opened the Concorde which ran from the backroom of Southampton’s Bassett Hotel before moving to its present home in Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh.
Over the years it has been the stage for jazz greats from both sides of the big pond and The Concorde was an early launching pad for musicians who became household names.
The glittering list includes Rod Stewart, Elton John, Joe Cocker, Ginger Baker, Georgie Fame and Alan Price.
During Sunday’s programme, which starts at 9 pm, Cole will talk about his friendship with some of the biggest names in British jazz including Humphrey Lyttelton, Nat Gonella and Kenny Ball.
Cole, who will also get the chance to pick three of his favourite big band tracks, said: “I was surprised to be called up for the programme but delighted because I have known Clare for years.”
The Eastleigh club has always been close to Clare’s heart. The Concorde, where she first appeared more 12 years ago, played a major role in launching her star studded career.
Clare is one of the most successful British jazz singers in decades with a vast array of albums and she has shared the stage with artists like Jamie Callum, Katie Melua and Liza Minnelli.
And Clare made musical history by signing the biggest ever recording contract for a British jazz singer. She has also won a string of jazz vocalist of the year awards.
Clare says that Cole has been extremely important to British jazz.
She says: “He is very supportive of young people coming through. He has built up a really great club and he knows what the audience wants.”