Hay Jazz presents six cabaret evenings with the best jazz musicians in their field. Melody and entertainment! Buy tickets online or on the door. Discounts available (for more information ring 07748 652 194 or email day.janice@gmail.com). 

Make a weekend of it with live jazz every Friday night at the Old Black Lion in Hay-on-Wye!

St. Mary's Road
Hay-on-Wye HR3 5ED
Saturday, Dec 1st 7:30 - 9:30

From the birth of the banjo to the Golden Age of the guitar, in a fascinating cabaret that takes us from Africa to Hawaii, from the Ukulele to the Octophone, the Wizard of the Strings sings, plays, entertains, and demonstrates a dozen fretted instruments.

Bach, Chopin, Hot Jazz novelties, and even the Dam Busters March.  Expect to be amazed!

Martin Wheatley, born in London in 1958, gained a BA in Music from Colchester Institute and an MA from UCL.

Virtuosic player of most fretted instruments: Banjo, Guitar, Ukulele, Hawaiian Guitar, Mandolin etc, he is expert in early jazz styles, as well as ragtime, blues, country and Hawaiian music.

His speciality is solo fingerstyle playing and his repertoire includes pieces that might seem impossible to perform on a small four stringed instrument.

Not surprisingly, he is a popular member of all the notable classic jazz orchestras, including most of Keith Nichol’s ensembles, the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra, the Basin Street Brawlers and his own bands: The Hula Bluebirds and Wheatley’s Arcadians. The latter five-piece band tours regularly with the show ‘Strings Ain’t What They Used to Be’.

Memorable concerts: The Albert Hall with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, being the featured act at the Belgian Ukulele Festival and leading his own ensemble at the Venice Biennale.

He has performed all over Europe and America and was a key player on Bryan Ferry’s 1930s tour, for whom he recorded four albums. He also recorded on the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s film, ‘The Great Gatsby’. His television appearances include 'Later with Jools Holland', Top of the Pops and the Live Proms.

“To play the banjo is one thing, but to play the guitar, Hawaiian guitar, ukulele and octophone as well constitutes serious 'doubling'.

The serious doubler is Martin Wheatley and he, with Spats Langham, is probably the best known and admired practitioner of Golden Age music in Britain today, with the proviso that Wheatley's range of enthusiasms is (on record at least) much broader.”

Jonathan Woolf, former editor, Journal of the British Music Society.

Accompanying Martin Wheatley on 1st December is MARTIN LITTON, an internationally renowned pianist, arranger, and bandleader specialising in all the classic styles of jazz, from the age of Ragtime through to the Swing era and beyond.


He has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio 3, talking about and demonstrating the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Earl Hines and Teddy Wilson.


Martin has worked and recorded with many legendary British and American musicians, including Humphrey Lyttleton, Kenny Ball, Harry Gold, Clare Teal, Kenny Davern, Scott Hamilton, Bob Wilber, Marty Grosz, and Wild Bill Davison. He has recorded in excess of sixty albums.


He has a Wikipedia page and an entry in several jazz reference books including the Who's Who of British Jazz.


"Litton excels as blues man, strider and swinger" Jazz Journal

2019 Dates for your Diary


FEBRUARY 2nd - Mike Piggott  - Stephane Grappelli's Hot Violin

APRIL 27th - Tony Jacobs & Jim Barrie - The Rise and Rise of Bing Crosby

JUNE 8th - Keith Nichols - Fats Waller: His Life and Times

AUGUST 10th - Al Bowlly: The Voice of 30's Britain

OCTOBER 26th - Janice Day & Martin Litton: The Songs of 1932

DECEMBER 7th - Enrico Tomasso - The Trumpet Legends