Jammin’ with the Stones

Former Carey Baptist College student Harry Mitchell was given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform alongside Rolling Stone’s rock n’ roll drummer Charlie Watts at a surprise show at the Ellington Jazz Club in March this year.

Mr Mitchell, who is currently studying at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, got a last-minute call on March 19 to play a late set at the popular jazz venue with Rolling Stone’s saxophone player Tim Ries, and initially had no idea that Charlie Watts would also join them.

“We hadn’t been told that Charlie would be playing until he got up and started to,” Mr Mitchell said. “We thought that just the saxophonist would be playing.” The packed audience as well as the band members were pleasantly surprised when Charlie made the unexpected appearance, getting up on stage to play 90 minutes of Stones’ tunes and one jazz standard.

“It was really cool. I’d never heard them do the jazz thing before,” Mr Mitchell said of the Stones. Ironically, that was the first time the talented pianist had ever listened to the Rolling Stones! “The gig went as smoothly as could be expected, particularly as we had never heard any of the songs before, and were playing them in front of the guy who actually wrote them!”

The gig was scheduled after the Rolling Stones postponed their tour following the news of the death of Mick Jagger’s girlfriend L’Wren Scott.

Double bass player and Carey Baptist College’s bass tutor Karl Florisson also accompanied Mr Mitchell, Charlie Watts and Tim Ries during the set.

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