about us


Andra Sparks website Andra Sparks website Nick Weldon website Nick Weldon website


We moved into the partially derelict Shoefactory in December 2001 with a hazy, and in retrospect, quite mad idea of converting the building into a combined home and Arts Space. The long tale of this journey is told on the pages at the Shoefactory at Rushden, but the brief version here is that with the help and support of many builders, artists, musicians, and loyal friends and family, we succeeded!

The building now has many uses - recording studio (Stan Tracey, Norma Winstone, Bobby Wellins, Karen Sharp, Alex Wilson, Robert Carter have all been clients) - film and photographic studio - rehearsal space - yoga, pilates and belly dancing studio - permanent art gallery, and most importantly, jazz school venue.

At Jazz School UK we have created a learning and playing meeting place for the very best jazz performers and teachers and the keenest students, of all ages and playing levels.

Our Jazz Teachers

The teachers involved at Jazz School UK are professional musicians with long and varied teaching experience at every level from beginners to Conservatoire level and beyond. In the past we have welcomed trombonists Mark Bassey Malcolm Earle Smith, saxophonists Dave Lewis Jean Toussaint, Alan Barnes Karen Sharp Dave O'Higgins Mark Lockheart, Alex Merritt, trumpeter Steve Waterman, guitarists Dominic Ashworth John Parricelli John Etheridge Dave Cliff Phil Robson Adam Frost Mike Outram, flautist Gareth Lockrane, drummers and percussionists Trevor Tomkins, Clark Tracey Chris Wells Rod Youngs Felix Weldon pianists Nikki Iles Rebecca Nash Alex Wilson Liam Noble and singers Sarah Buechi Nia Lynn and Pete Churchill, bassists Peter Ind Neville Malcolm Mick Hutton Tim Wells Steve Rose Dudley Phillips Steve Watts Andrew Cleyndert.

And of course we still miss greatly, students and teachers all, our departed friends and colleagues, Olaf Vas and Jeff Clyne.

Click here to see some of these wonderful players in action....

Phil Robson

Neville Malcolm - he loves Nick's bass!

Trevor Tomkins

Steve Watts

Dave Lewis

Nick Weldon

Rod Youngs

Tim Wells

Nikki Iles in full flow

Jeff Clyne With his lovely William Tarr Bass

Liam Noble

Trevor Tomkins Jeff Clyne Nick Weldon - The Old Firm!

Mark Lockheart

Malcolm Earle Smith

Mark Bassey

Trevor Tomkins with Mick Hutton

Olaf Vas

Jean Toussaint



Postal Address

Jazz School UK
The Shoefactory
23b Fitzwilliam Street
NN10 9YW


We enjoy fast road access from all parts of the country via the A6 A43 and A45 running through from the A14 M1 M11 M40. Take your pick! Fitzwilliam St, or as it is known locally, Fitzwilliam Hill, runs between Wellingborough Road and Duck St. Come up the small drive near the bottom of the hill, opposite number 20, and you will see the Shoefactory at the end. There is plentiful free parking in Duck St (see map) and it is best to park there and walk round. If you have heavy gear, ours is the small gravel car park alongside the building, and you may unload and drop off here. Please do not use our neighbour's yard (In front of our building) for parking or riotous jazz congregations.

train and taxi

The nearest train station is Wellingborough. If you need a taxi, we recommend Lee Cabs on 01933 442444 and Alco Taxis on 01933 412222


Google Map

Rushden Map




contact jazz school uk

(Nick Weldon)

tel: 07971 409596

If you have any questions, feel free to send us an email.

If you would like to receive regular updates on Jazz School news and events (and receive a free download of a killer Theory Shed chart on Dominant Seventh Expansions!) sign up for our



where to stay

Here is a list of places to stay within driving distance. If you would prefer somewhere walkable, we have a network of local friends who take paying guests - just let us know.

Local Accommodation List


where to eat

Good eateries within walking distance include Pizzeria Venezia (Italian) Teza (Indian) La Estrella (tapas) and the Railway Inn (JD Wetherspoon). Locations on the restaurant websites.

Thanks for reading!