Since 2013 Trio Paradis have played a monthly Café Concert on the first Friday lunchtime of every month (February-December) at Midsomer Norton Town Hall.

From 2016 onwards the Trio have added new daytime series which take place every month in around a dozen community venues across Somerset and Wiltshire and are well-known throughout the area.

“Café Concerts are aimed primarily at older people, carers and anyone who finds it difficult to get to live music events in the evening for transport, financial or other reasons. Entrance is by pay-what-you-feel donation so that everyone can afford to come”, says organiser and pianist Jacquelyn Bevan.

“There’s a café at every concert, open half an hour before, so that people can meet friends and make new ones - enjoying the ‘feel-good’ factor of socialising alongside the beneficial effects of listening to music. People get involved, for example by baking cakes, running the café or setting out tables, and some choose and read poems or share their own stories inspired by the music. ‘It’s a community thing’, to quote an audience member!”

December 2023 saw Trio Paradis’ 100th Café Concert at Midsomer Norton Town Hall in association with Midsomer Norton Community Trust, with concerts currently taking place at St John’s Church nearby, while the Town Hall is being refurbished. “We thank Alex Davis and the team of volunteers - in particular Rosemary who bakes the delicious cakes at Midsomer Norton - without whom the concerts would not have continued to be so successful!” says Jacquelyn.

The Trio (Jacquelyn Bevan - piano, Lisa Betteridge - violin and Linda Stocks - cello) are a classical ensemble playing a range of musical styles brought together in a themed programme. They are committed to bringing music by women composers in particular, and neglected composers generally, to a wider audience. “There is a lot of variety in our programmes and the music is presented in what we hope is an informative yet informal and entertaining way!”

Trio Paradis are based in Radstock and are unique in the whole of the UK as a group giving free/donation-funded concerts of this kind. They played over 120 daytime concerts in 2023 and plan new series in 2024, in Bath, Chippenham, Shepton Mallet and Warminster, and Bristol in 2025. Currently there are series at Bradford-on-Avon, Keynsham, Frome, Wells, Malmesbury and South Petherton near Yeovil.

Trio Paradis have built up a loyal and enthusiastic following, with large audiences at most Café Concerts. Audience feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with concerts described as “the highlight of my month”, “a lifeline” and “joyful”.

The Trio are members of Musicians South West CIC, a not-for-profit collective of musicians formed in 2013 who bring live music to new audiences, and who are currently in the process of converting to a charity, Café Concerts. “We play many concerts in residential care homes and it’s wonderful to see people’s mood change completely in just forty five minutes!”

For information about all Trio Paradis concerts, including ticketed events, visit here and Facebook @trioparadisbath. Next Midsomer Norton concert is Iberia, at 12.30pm at St John’s Church on Friday.