Flintshire society’s pride as organist Jean takes her talent on tour

Reporter:

Lois Hough

SHE pounded her way into the nation’s heart on Britain’s Got Talent.

Now eccentic organist Jean Martyn is to showcase her rock’n’roll skills to an audience of millions on a UK tour.

The 59-year-old has left a group of musicians from Flintshire beaming with pride because Jean – whose trademark is her flamboyant spangly jackets – is the patron of the Buckley and District Organ and Keyboard Society.

The Staffordshire grandmother-of-two has championed the society for 10 years and has performed in Buckley dozens of times.

Her most recent show was in February to an audience including Buckley Mayor, Cllr Ian Thomas and Flintshire Council leader Arnold Woolley.

Society spokesman Glyn Astbury said its members were rooting for Jean every step of the way.

He told the Leader: “We were all following Jean on the show and I have recorded each one of her performances.

“She performed for us last in February and told us she had auditioned for the competition which was filmed three months before the live shows.

“Jean is just as bubbly in real life as she was on the show.

“Every time she comes to play for us we always present her with a little gift.”

Jean impressed the ITV1 show’s judges – Amanda Holden, David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre – in her first audition at Birmingham NEC with a medley of hits
including Elton John’s Crocodile Rock and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire.

She landed a place in the semi-final where music mogul Simon Cowell joined the judging panel, eventually making the final where she finished 10th.

Jean trained at Trinity College, Trent Park and The Guildhall School of Music and has been performing at church and charity events for more than 30 years.

Glyn said the organ’s popularity looks set to soar thanks to Jean’s appearance on the talent show.

He said: “We are a little disappointed the producers on the show didn’t give her a big production.

“I don’t think Simon Cowell likes keyboards.

“He said the first thing he would do if he was ever Prime Minister would be to get rid of all the keyboards in the country.

“The organ is a background instrument and it never gets a lot of publicity, but actually it can simulate any instrument with its special features.

“It was very popular on gameshows in the 1960s and I think it could make a return because of Jean.”

The society meets every Tuesday at the Working Men’s Club in Lane End, Buckley, where members perform for each other.

Special acts such as Jean grace the stage once a month as a treat for members.
Jean has also performed for the Llay Royal British Legion Organ Society at its venue in Wrexham.

Chairman Ron Jones said: “Jean has been playing the organ now for quite a number of years.

“She got 10th place but she beat thousands of other entries to the final so we are very proud of her.”

Jean will perform on the Britain’s Got Talent tour with fellow finalists impressionist Les Gibson, breakdancer Razy Gogonea and winner, vocalist Jai McDowall.

The tour visits Liverpool on Friday, June 17 and Manchester on Saturday, June 18. Go to talent.itv.com for ticket information.

See full story in the Leader

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