In the Wings with Jenny Beake and...Derek Nash
"Playing with Stevie Wonder would be biggest tick in the box"
Some Kinda Wonderful, the six-piece band who play the hits of Stevie Wonder are coming to Hunstanton's Princess Theatre, Thursday, October 14.
Derek Nash saxophonist with the group is looking forward to the chance of a long walk in the seaside air of Sunny Hunny.
Having played in Jools Hollands rhythm and blues orchestra since 2004 he has met and jammed with some of the greatest music icons such as Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Amy Winehouse.
But not yet Stevie Wonder.
Derek said: "Tom Jones never lets you down. Paul McCartney was really polite and lovely, he said please and thank you and you remember those as real human beings.
"But I am still waiting to play with Stevie Wonder himself, it would be the biggest tick in the box. He once turned up at Ronnie Scott's after he had played Wembley so I am hoping it will happen. Maybe I need to lean on Jools"
Home for Derek is Frinton and he is no stranger to long walks and fresh air, oodles of which Hunstanton have to offer. Supporting his partner in the Essex Way walk for charity, walking is a hobby, whereas music is his passion and career.
He said: "Getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the fresh air is an escape from suburban London life. We are close to the sea, the skies are utterly clear and it is a relaxed way of life."
Growing up with a father, the late Pat Nash, who was a working musician, has massively inspired him. Now that he is touring again after the pandemic, being on the road has taken him all around the world, so where is home? He said: "Home can be anywhere you want."
His relationship with his father who lived into his 90's influenced him as a young lad and throughout his life.
He said: "During half term when they said you had to go to work with your Dad he'd be working in a 17 piece big band. He would put on his crushed velvet dinner jacket and was a working musician every Saturday night. It was something I always wanted to do, he has passed away and is very strong in my memory."
Musicians apart from Stevie Wonder who have greatly influenced this jazz musician have been both young and old. He said: "Gregory Porter is a real jazzer, he took my breath away. I remember when a young Jamie Cullum came into one of my jazz workshops. It was just this amazing wonderful thing you'll ever hear. These are magic moments."
The show Some Kinda Wonderful is not billed as a tribute act to Stevie Wonder and the relationship with singer Noel McCalla is essential in this.
Derek said:" I have a really good friendship with Noel who was a singer I knew of when I first moved to London in the 80's. I always knew he was amazing. He sings Stevie Wonder's material perfectly and with such passion. It is not a carbon copy but in his own way as Wonder is so iconic. We think the material is good and accurate to the material to begin with."
Their show Some Kinda Wonderful demonstrates the great rapport Derek and Noel have, they love improvising and do a call and response with the audience and play requests where possible. For Stevie Wonder fans, his songs of life permeate throughout their own lives,.
With so much experience in the music profession Mr Nash gives good advice to any budding young musicians in West Norfolk.
He said: "Never turn down an opportunity of musical activity. Do anything and everything. It's not about being in the right place at the right time, it is about being in the right place 4000 times. It is what happened to me when Jools Holland called.
"I was a page turner for my Dad, the first band I was in was a military band and it is invaluable with reading music.
"Playing on your own in your bedroom is one thing but being in an orchestra or group helps you to relate to other musicians. It is teamwork.
"It's also about learning social skills and getting on with other musicians."
Visiting West Norfolk soon with the show Derek said: "I have been to Hunstanton on holiday with my Mum and Dad and I have definitely been to King's Lynn.
"I am looking forward to it. Theatre has been struggling and the show makes us realise how important Stevie Wonder's tunes are , they really mean something.
"Come out to the theatre and dance in the aisles. This is a happy show."