Swing sensation Freddy Staff is celebrating his 60th anniversary in the music industry with his 31st consecutive visit to the Beck Theatre.
Freddy, whose career reads like a comprehensive history of the best in musical performance, has become synonymous with Big Band Swing, having played with most British big bands and orchestras, from Harry Roy to Geraldo and Jack Parnell.
Probably best known for his 16-year stint as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Freddy still gets as much pleasure from his music as when he first picked up the instrument, aged 14.
Freddy says: "When I was growing up, Big Band was the pop music of this day. The kids of today when asked to learn an instrument will probably choose a piano or a guitar but in those days it was trumpets and saxophones.
"I was serving in the RAF at Wiltshire when I joined my first big band but it was only after I came out after the war and completed a course at the London College of Music when I decided to join a touring band."
Freddy, who has lived in Ickenham for more than 40 years, has worked with some of the biggest names in showbusiness, including Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Judy Garland, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Englebert Humperdink, Sammy Davis Junior and even Louis Armstrong.
He says: "I've been very fortunate to work with so many people, but the one act I really regret never having worked with is Frank Sinatra, as his concerts always had such a tremendous feel to them.
"But I am not unhappy with how my career turned out - I have done everything I set out to achieve."
Freddy's show, Romance & Swing, will showcase his arrangements of great swing hits, featuring the Manhattan Swing Band with jazz vocalist Lee Gibson.
Freddy adds: "I love playing at The Beck and I am especially hoping to see some young people come along, as they would love my style of music if they gave it a chance. I can see myself going on playing as long as I am able because after all, what else would I do?"
Romance & Swing comes to the Beck Theatre on Sunday, March 8 and the show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £16. To book, call the Beck's box office on 020 8561 8371 or visit www.becktheatre.org.uk .