Rudding Park Friday Night Jazz

The Event Music Company and Rudding Park Hotel have teamed-up to bring you some musical treats every Friday Night from 19:00 until 22:00.

In-keeping with the ethos of Rudding Park’s Clocktower Bar & Restaurant, all of the musicians are locally-sourced and represent some of Yorkshire’s finest artistes. Amongst them are breathtaking saxophonists, brilliant pianists and remarkable vocalists.

These evenings are showcases of Yorkshire’s vibrant musical talent. There’s no need to book tickets, it’s free music in the wonderful surroundings of the Rudding Park’s Clocktower Bar & Restaurant. What’s not to like!

Who is playing & when?

If you’d like to find out who’s playing and when, please just drop us a quick line and we’ll get straight back to you.

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We’ll look forward to seeing you there – be sure to come and request a song if you wish!

Chris Hilton Quartet at Castle Howard for ‘Visit Britain’

A couple of lovely images from a great evening we spent recently helping to ‘big-up’ everything that’s amazing about visiting Britain and particularly Yorkshire! ‘Visit Britain’ did an amazing job of showcasing the splendour of Castle Howard. Once we had finished playing a troupe of aerial silk dancers amazed the guests – who were from all corners of the world – with just what Yorkshire lasses can do!

Chris Hilton Quartet

Chris Hilton Quartet playing in the Great Hall at Castle Howard

Trio Vivo

Trio Vivo playing in the Long Gallery at Castle Howard

Dickie & The Hot Club Quintette

Here’s a clip of something we put together for a weekend of celebrations at Swinton Park recently. Dickie and the Hot Club Quintette. We were aiming to capture the age of Speakeasies in the first half of the 20th century…wild times!

Musically, the gypsy-jazz style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli is a long held passion of mine. It’s just so infectious…it’s “happy music”!

I hope you like it…



Many people have now seen the “Singing Waiters”, it’s almost a bit ‘old-hat’. Our twist on the idea means that nobody is quite sure (until much later in the show) whether it is a ‘Show’ or just a couple of very talented staff! Just get in touch if you’d like us to devise a plan to entertain your guest as well. It’s a brilliant ‘ice-breaking, talking-point, memory-maker’…it’s certainly something you’ll never forget!

This is a wedding at Swinton Park in the Samuel’s Restaurant.

Love Actually-Style Ceremony Idea

This was something we did recently taking inspiration from Love Actually – you must have seen the scene where they all start singing ‘All You Need Is Love’? – well this was a twist on the idea. Trio Vivo was introduced to play a “musical interlude”. Our singer was planted as a guest (next to a uniformed RAF pilot so he didn’t stand out too much!). Our sax-player was the icing on the cake – no one expected him!

We’re again sorry about our filming skills – Michael makes a much better sound technician than he does cameraman! Hopefully you get the impression though.

It Must be Love – Madness

Chris Hilton’s Little Big Band

We thought we’d bring together a few videos of recent events that we’ve been involved with. Thank you to all the guests that helped make so many great parties – nice dancing!

Superstition at Harewood House Pavilion for NPower Ball

A “Mix-Tape” showing the range of music we can squeeze into an evening!

Tequila Dance-Off

Pencil Full of Lead – Paolo Nutini

Valerie – Mark Ronson

Mercy at an amazing wedding in Rudding Park (we also did all the room-lighting and staging-setting)

Hopefully these films will have given you more of an insight into Chris Hilton’s Little Big Band’s blend of style, sophistication, energy, passion and entertainment…and talent!

You can listen to more recordings on our Listen Page

Showcase Evening

Showcase Evening Oct 11

Our Showcase Evening

Showcase Oct 11

Showcase from our point of view!

Showcase Dancers

Thank you to the dancing guests!

The 27th October 2011 once again saw us enjoying a great evening entertaining guests at our Showcase Evening. As you can see from the photographs (kindly shot by Morgan Photography) we had a terrific turnout and lots of fun was had by all!

If you attended the event and would like to share your thoughts, why not comment here? We’ll be pleased to hear from you!

Goldsborough Hall Celebrations

Chris Hilton Quartet

Chris Hilton Quartet

As you may know, we love Goldsborough Hall! It’s a stunning venue, completely exclusive and utterly enchanting. It is home to some of the kindest staff we meet and even the owners are a pleasure to have about! This weekend saw something very special happening there. What an absolute pleasure it was to see the wonderful venue transformed from it’s usual intimate luxury, in to a glorious entertaining-space for 200+ guests. The marquee was mind-blowing. Where there is normally a grand entrance to and from the gravel courtyard, became a seamless link into a perfectly square and surprising large wedding breakfast room. Having the addition of this space left the entire house – which let’s face it, isn’t small – free for our music and dancing.

Our brief was that there would be an elegant and informal style to the music. Jeeves and Wooster had been mentioned as a light ‘theme’. We created a group and an selection of music arrangements specifically for this. The line-up was violin (me!), cello, piano and double bass for before dinner. Guests arrived early, as they so often do! There were a good number of children and accompanying a rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle by one little girl was a treat! We had to stretch our planned set by adding some of the wonderful lost “Palm Court” music. Pieces like Il Bacio, Bethena and the Tango from Scent of a Woman.

Chris Hilton Twinkle

Playing Twinkle Twinkle

Now this last one may have been where we went wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it!). The Tango scene from Scent of a Woman is an infamous film-scene and as you might expect, it started a couple dancing. “Now there’s nothing wrong with that….”. I couldn’t agree more, only the next request was for Dancing Queen! Anyway fortunately we were saved by the call for guests to be seated for dinner.

I’m told the food was excellent as always – sadly we musicians don’t always get to share the fine-dining experience – but the smell was certainly wonderful!

Following dinner, we’d planned to change our group around a little. Off home went the cello, to be replaced by drums. Nothing loud, just light brushes and some jazz standards. Misty, It Don’t Mean a Thing, Cheek to Cheek, It Had To be You…. and then came the request, “Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader… and if you don’t know that, what about “I’m Yours by Jason Mraz?” Now, I’m Yours is one of my favourites, so how could I refuse?! And then – it went off from there – as they say! Take That, Andy Williams, Elton John, Ronan Keating, Abba… that’s quite a challenge! In effect, we just made up an entire set of party tunes and we had a disco – but bear-in-mind, the band was Violin, Piano, Double bass and Drums – oh, and a lot of singers and dancers!Marquee Entrance

Now this may all seem a little odd, but it’s on the backdrop of the bride being adamant that she didn’t think anyone would want to dance. She’d planned a quiet, subdued evening after dinner and whilst Goldsborough Hall affords the space for those who didn’t want to be involved to ‘escape’, those who were keen to party had a unique and, I’m sure, the most sophisticated and memorable, disco ever! Certainly not what I expected….

My thanks go to Clare and Mark Oglesby and all the staff at Goldsborough Hall. I’m just slightly ashamed I couldn’t remember the verse to Sweet Caroline for you, Clare! Next time….