Private Project

Geordie Jazz Man ** A Man Happily out of Time who Keeps the Blue Note Beat Alive

Well known internationally as The Geordie Jazz Man, Keith Crombie was a mystery to many of his Jazz Cafe patrons in Newcastle upon Tyne and, like King Canute, refused to bow to the changing musical tides or even the ageing process.

A man who would refuse you entry on a whim, a hard man feared from his past though a lover of women - he was the epicentre of a band of similar brothers, musicians, thespians, and alcoholics – the pride of Newcastle Jazz from the 1950's to now.

Aside from running an eccentric battered Jazz club, Keith’s past included going to school with two of the Shadows, a brief career as a get away driver, dealings with the Krays and choosing to book the Rolling Stones over the Beatles. Eric Burdon, Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Junior and Prince Charles all feature.

For decades he refused to be filmed, granting me access because I’m his goddaughter. This film celebrates the man, the Jazz movement but mainly a never say die contrary spirit that Keith Crombie took to his grave.

  • Abi Lewis
  • Patrick Collerton
    The Boys Skin Who Fell Off, Joe Maddison's War, Trip, Careless Whiskers: The Unseen George Michael
  • Barbara Zosel
    Sound It Out, Teenland, The Bigamists, Pulled from the Rubble
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    26,401 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Long Beach Indie Film, Media and Music Festival
    Long Beach, L.A
    United States
    September 3, 2016
    North America Premiere
  • Aldeburgh Doc Fest
    United Kingdom
    November 5, 2016
    British Premiere
  • copenhagen Jazz Film Festival
    February 10, 2017
    Danish Premiere
    Alberta, Edmonton
    May 13, 2017
    Canadian Premiere
    Best International
  • Bare Bones International Film & Music
    United States
    April 22, 2017
  • Solo Positivo Film Festival
    July 4, 2017
    South East Europe
Director Biography - Abi Lewis

After graduating in live action & animated film, Abi has acquired more than a decade of experience in the production of TV drama; commercials and online short form content.

In 2014, Abi pitched her way onto the Sheffield Doc Fest ‘Fast Track to Features‘ a training programme aimed at documentary talent wanting to make the move towards making their first documentary feature.

Her passion lies in telling rich character led rich stories; GEORDIE JAZZ MAN will be her directing debut.

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Director Statement

I was driven to make the documentary GEORDIE JAZZ MAN as, like Keith himself, the jazz cafe was becoming old and worn and my gut feeling told me it was time someone documented Keith and the history of the venue before it was too late.

Keith had always been part of my life; on the day I was born he captured the first ever pictures taken of my family, and me. Years later I would film his final interview weeks prior to his death.

What I didn’t quite expect was to unearth so much more about Keith’s character and lively past, which placed him right at the epicenter of one of the most exciting periods in musical history in the North-East of England.

Since his sudden passing in late 2012 the story has become ever so more poignant and is real tribute to Keith and all he stood for.

Characters like Keith’s are an anomaly, an endangered species that need to be remembered and documented. With my personal connection to Keith and a current revival in the popularity of jazz related programming, there couldn’t be a better person to tell this story at a more suitable time.