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Sun, 19 May


Across Oxhey Village

Jazz Steps Around Oxhey Village: a free event for all the family

Our annual free 'festival within a festival' connects up all the pubs in Oxhey Village and outside on the Watford Heath green space to present a bumper afternoon's entertainment.

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Jazz Steps Around Oxhey Village: a free event for all the family
Jazz Steps Around Oxhey Village: a free event for all the family


19 May 2024, 12:00 – 19:00

Across Oxhey Village, Watford WD19



Join us for another amazing afternoon of free live music inside and outside 5 of our family-friendly pubs across Oxhey Village, the Bowls Club and on Watford Heath. Click on the MORE INFO link below (above the GET TICKETS NOW box) to discover all the acts & timings.

We'll be at The Railway Arms, The Rifle Volunteer, The Villiers Arms, The Load of HayThe Royal Oak,  The Oxhey Bowls Club, as well as on a large stage on Watford Heath.

20+ acts (including grassroots & professional artists performing multiple styles) will be playing PLUS world renowned stars the Ronnie Scott's All Stars, and other stars of the UK jazz scene including The Tom Ridout Quintet and Charlie Pyne Quartet. 

Walk, talk, drink, eat, and socialise with friends and family.

There'll be ice-cream and a classic car show on Watford Heath, stalls to buy all sorts of food & drinks, plus pop-up performances including our very own festival Walkestra led by Orphy Robinson. Whether you're looking to settle into a seat at one of our participating pubs for the day, or move around all our venues we promise you a super inclusive, family-friendly and safe event. (And if you want to avoid being in an environment with alcohol, do note that 5 of our 6 stages are outside.)

There's no need to buy tickets (because there aren't any!) although we'll have free wrist bands available at all venues to help you feel part of the event - green ones for adults and funky yellow ones for future jazzers! And if you'd like to RSVP by 'registering for tickets' that will help us in our planning for likely numbers attending.

'Mix Party' at The Railway

3 live bands covering blues, fusion, neo-soul, ska and more performing from 12.30pm. Confirmed bands: Neil C Young Trio (12.30pm), Big Mama Funk with the Harry T Pope band (2pm), and The Usual Players (3.30pm) with Mr Jazzy Vibe (aka Nivan Hammond) taking to the decks between bands across the afternoon. And into the evening with live DJs: Chris Philips and Lil Koko.

'Straight Ahead' at The Rifle Volunteer

3 live modern jazz bands performing inside from 12.30pm. Confirmed bands: The Tony Oliver Quartet (12.30pm), The Charlie Pyne Quartet (2pm), and The Out of Handers (3.30pm).

'Vocal Focus' at The Villiers Arms - hosted by Esther Bennett

3 wonderful nationally acclaimed jazz singers accompanied by piano & double-bass performing from 12.30pm-5pm, with a pop-up band later in the evening. Confirmed singers: Esther Bennett, Roy Forbes  and Georgia Mancio. Plus Alexander Williams Tiger Jazz (from 5pm).

'Unplugged' at The Load of Hay - hosted by the Gypsy Jazz Festival of London

Multiple musicians from the capital performing gypsy jazz from 12.30pm-5pm led by the acclaimed Tobie Medland (the founder of the Gypsy Jazz Festival of London that runs 3-7 May).

'A Cuppa & Jazz' at The Oxhey Bowls Club

3 live bands performing outside the Club with 2 fabulous local jazz combos, Marginalia (12.30pm), Watling Street Jazz Band (2pm), and Oxhey's own The Ho-Dad Swingers with Delta Blues-Americana-jazz (3.30pm) with a bar in operation across the afternoon as well as delicious cakes (and a lot of them!), tea and coffee.

Festival Stage on Watford Heath in front of the Royal Oak

12.00pm - Grimsdyke Brass Band (acoustic in front of the main stage) 

1.30pm - Bucks Youth Jazz Collective (modern jazz)

3.30pm - Tom Ridout Quintet (original modern jazz) - see below for more information

5.30pm-7pm - Ronnie Scotts All Stars featuring the sensational Emma Smith (jazz, swing, soul & fun!) with our festival closing show - see below for more information.

Plus, Orphy Robinson's Festival Walkestra – our very own pop-up band playing at spaces & places across the Village during the afternoon. Look out – especially if you like a bit of Elton & George Michael in a New Orleans style!


As always, cross your fingers for fair weather but we will go ahead come rain or shine so bring a brolly if it looks dodgy. Heavy rain will deter the classic cars, and a tornado may deter all of us!

Support and funding

Jazz Steps Around Oxhey Village is kindly supported by: Lit Fibre, Sovereign Network Group, Herts County Council Community Innovation Fund, Arts Council England, Ronnie Scott's Night Club, Watford Community Grants, Magic Little Grants, Watford Council, and the generosity of many local people through our Crowdfunder campaign. Our HUGE thanks to all.

Travel and access

Oxhey Village is easily reached by traveling to Bushey Rail Station (based in Oxhey Village) with frequent mainline and Overground trains. 

Parking is limited in the Village so we would recommend parking elsewhere and jumping on an Overground train (2 minutes from Watford High Street station) or a bus. The Village is served by the 142 and 258 bus routes.

If you have a Blue Badge, we can accomodate a limited number of vehicles directly onto Watford Heath BUT you must register with us before hand or you may be turned away by our stewards. Please email

More about some of our wonderful acts

Charlie Pyne Quartet (2pm Rifle Pub)

Having performed on iconic stages in the UK including the Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie  Scott’s, the Purcell Room, Pizza Express Jazz Club, and Jazz In The Round, both Charlie Pyne and her band are highly regarded jazz professionals. They'll be showcasing their wonderful new album Nature Is A Mother sharing its hypnotic impact. Expect magnetic contemporary jazz, featuring powerful vocals with bold lyrics, and elements from Latin America, classical music and folk. Line-up: Charlie Pyne (double bass & vocals), Luke Pinkstone (saxophones), Liam Dunachie (piano), and, Katie Patterson (drums).

Tom Ridout Quintet (3.30pm Watford Heath Festival Stage)

Multi-award winning saxophonist Tom Ridout was predicted by Jazzwise Magazine in 2012 as an upcoming jazz musician to watch out for. A finalist in the 2016 BBC Young Musician Jazz Award and a graduate of the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, Tom won the Lancaster Jazz Festival Youth Jazz Commission 2018 and was a Help Musicians Peter Whittingham Jazz awardee in 2021. An alumnus of NYJO and Clark Tracey’s sextet, Tom is a prolific composer who fronts many diverse ensembles playing his original compositions.

Joined by award winning young stars of the jazz world; Billy Marrows on guitar, Will Barry on piano, Flo Moore on bass and Rod Oughton on drums, the quintet have gone on to perform at iconic major venues and festivals including Ronnie Scotts, The 606 club, The Vortex, and EFG London, Manchester and Lancaster Jazz festivals. The quintet will present a captivating setlist that includes original compositions from Tom’s repertoire, exploring the boundaries of jazz while paying tribute to its rich heritage. Expect superb interplay and soloing from this band of top young jazz musicians. “Fiery, focussed soloing by impressive tenor saxophonist Tom Ridout.” (Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise)

Ronnie Scott's All Stars (5.30pm Watford Heath Festival Stage)

What a treat we have stored up for you all to close this year’s Watford Jazz Junction festival. Join us to hear the world famous jazz club’s sensational house band, the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars. Hear incredible music inspired by the last hundred years, performed by the UK’s finest jazz musicians. The All Stars are led by the ebullient and highly-acclaimed pianist James Pearson and will feature the sensational singer Emma Smith. There'll be music to lift your soul, get you dancing and remember why jazz is the musical answer to all woes... well, even if it's just to forget about work on Monday!

The band are in demand outside Ronnie Scott’s, playing across the UK, as well as with acclaimed performances at New York’s Birdland, the Rochester Jazz Festival and even the Dubai Jazz Festival.  We're not sure we can promise quite as much sunshine in Oxhey Village as Dubai, but we know our atmosphere will be one of the best they've ever experienced!

Emma Smith has performed everywhere from the 02 Arena to all the world's leading jazz clubs, collaborating and recording with the likes of Michael Buble, Robbie Williams, Georgie Fame and Seal along the way. She has a formidable reputation as a powerful and expressive artist. She was the only non-US finalist in the prestigious  2023 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and recently dueted with Post Modern Jukebox with a multi-million streaming hit, One Week. We are delighted to welcome her back to the Watford Jazz Junction. What a treat.


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