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The North Devon Jazz Club is the real backbone of the area’s jazz scene. It’s been running for many years with different organisers and at various venues, but for the last ten years or so it’s been hosted by the Beaver Inn at Appledore. Roughly every fortnight, always on a Monday evening, they put on a classy and varied programme featuring some of the top names in British jazz. Just to give a taste of what’s on offer, here are a few people wo have appeared here (several times in some cases): Peter King, Andy Sheppard, Gilad Atzmon, Steve Waterman, John Law, Liane Carroll … the list goes on.

For those who haven’t been to jazz nights at the Beaver before, here’s some information that may be useful. The music starts at 8.30, but it’s a good idea to get there at 8.00 or earlier to get a seat – not everywhere in the bar has a good view, though there is a closed-circuit TV screen to solve this problem, at least partially. If you want to eat, tables in the dining area with a good view of the music get booked up quite quickly; alternatively, you can eat in the bar.

Finally, there’s no entrance charge because it’s a public space. Instead, someone will come round with a “hat” (actually a beer mug) for contributions. It’s obviously up to you how much you put in, but here’s something that the organisers would never tell you directly but we’re allowed to: please bear in mind the purpose of the collection is to help pay the musicians, who are professionals and have often travelled a long way to be there. Ask yourself how much you’d normally pay for an evening of high class live music.

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