My Funny Valentine - the story of Chet Baker

Mike Moran in My Funny Valentine, the story of American trumpeter Chet Baker.
Mike Moran in My Funny Valentine, the story of American trumpeter Chet Baker.

Mike Moran brings the story of the best trumpet player in the world to Bowhill Theatre on May 30.

Born Chesney Baker in Yale, Oklahoma in 1929, Chet started playing the trumpet as a teenager.

With his Miles Davis-like style and his resemblance to James Dean, Chet won jazz polls in Metronome and Down Beat magazines, and started his own group in 1953.

But Baker’s life and career were ruined by illegal substances.

It is 1961 and Chet Baker is in jail in Lucca, Italy.

Voted best trumpet player in the world only five years before – now he’s doing time in an Italian jail for drug offences. Italians strolling around the town walls stop and listen to the sound of Chet’s golden trumpet wafting through the prison bars.

In prison Chet shared his cell with a storyteller.

The storyteller became his friend.

Twenty-eight years later, Chet shared a hotel room in Amsterdam with his friend and later that night died by falling out of the hotel window.

Only the storyteller knows what really happened. He knows the whole story – and now he’s telling it.

Moran unravals some of the myths surrounding Chet Baker, many spread by the trumpeter himself, in a poignant, moving, and often poetic and highly sympathetic account of his achievements in thrall to the twin driving forces of Chet’s existence – music and heroin.

With live music on stage arranged and performed by Colin Steele (trumpet) and Dave Milligan (piano), this is an unforgettable evening of jazz, junk, and genius and you don’t even have to be a jazz aficionado to enjoy it!

Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are priced £12 from 01750 22204 orwww.bowhillhouse.co.uk.