A LOT of laughter will be on the bill tonight when a special guest makes an appearance with The Ric Sanders Trio at Worcester's Huntingdon Hall

The three-piece band have been working with comedian Bobby Bragg, who was recently featured on the Harry Hill show.

For those of you who do not watch Harry's show, Bobby plays Pete Waterman in Harry Hill's spoof of Pop Idol.

"We have been working on a project called Jazz and Jokes, so he's doing a guest appearance with us, which means the audience will be treated to some humour," says Ric, founder of trio and violinist in the band.

"Bobby is known as being the country's Number One warm-up man in this country."

And Bobby is not the only band's claim to fame.

Ric is in fact friends with Malvern violinist Nigel Kennedy.

The pair met when Ric was 18 and working in a music shop in Birmingham.

"Nigel was 15. He came in and I was playing folk and jazz on the violin," says Ric.

"We became friends. He's always been very supportive and a great guy."

As well as a dash of comedy in tonight's show, the audience can also expect the unexpected.

"The Ric Sanders Trio is an unexpected band live because the very nature of jazz is improvisation so we like to respond to the audience reaction," said Ric.

"Whatever we write on the set list is likely to change, because if somebody shouts out something we respond to it, so we don't know what to expect."

Aside from Ric, the band consists of guitarist Vo Fletcher and percussionist Mike Gregory.

Vo has played with Nigel Kennedy and the Andrew Cronshaw Band, and Mike has played with The Albion Band and Home Service.

Ric plays in The Albion Band and The Soft Machine.

The three band members have been good friends for around 30 years and have always played music together.

"Vo and I met when we were in our teens and we learnt to play together," says Ric.

"Vo writes music for television and he's written a lot of children's music."

Although the band have played music together for a long time, The Ric Sanders Trio became official a couple of years ago.

Their latest CD, an album called Parable, was released last October and can be bought from the band's live gigs.

The trio's set spans from traditional folk music through to jazz and the inspiration for their repertoire comes from all periods of music.

People who watch the band play live can expect to hear music from the likes of Duke Ellington, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

The trio plays their own compositions and folk songs.

Ric has been playing the violin since the age of 17 - for a total of 34 years.

"I probably would have played guitar because I didn't have one," he says.

"I did have a violin and because a few groups in America were using the electric violin, I thought I would be different.

"I bought an electric pick-up for £5 and started playing rock.

"I then got drawn into the world of jazz and the world of folk."

The band has been described as an improvisational jazz group with a folk crossover.

Tickets for the gig at Huntingdon Hall, in CrownGate, Worcester cost £9, or £8 concessions.

If you fancy more great music at the same venue, then catch Colosseum on Tuesday.

Colosseum were formed originally in 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman, saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and bassist Tony Reeves.

The band, was completed by keyboard player Dave Greenslade and guitarist and vocalist James Litherland.

The band's debut, Those Who Are About To Die Salute You, became the first of four album chart successes for the band.

The band then split up after three years, and it was a surprise 50th birthday party for former member Dave Greenslade 23 years later that brought them back together.

"I had a surprise birthday for my 50th birthday and all these guys were invited," said Dave.

"We decided to put the band back together. We tested ourselves out in 1994 in Germany.

"We ended up doing 40 gigs. We realised there were a lot of people out there that still remembered us and that's great."

During the 23 years since Colosseum broke up, Dave composed music for a number of television drama series, and formed the band Greenslade from 1972 to '75.

Greenslade reformed four years ago and are releasing an album on Monday, February 16, called Greenslade Live 2001.

Apart from Dave who plays keyboard, the current line-up of Colosseum is Mark Clarke on bass, Jon Hiseman on drums, singer Chris Farlowe, Clem Clempson on guitar and vocals and Barbara Thompson on saxophone.

Barbara is currently standing in for sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, who is ill.

"Dick can't tour with us, but we are fortunate in the fact that we have Barbara on board because she's a wonderful player and the crowds have adored her," said Dave.

Colosseum played around 30 dates in Europe during Christmas last year and since they reformed have released two albums.

The latest one is called Tomorrow's Blues, which was released last November.

Dave, who lives in Bungay, Suffolk, has been playing organ professionally for 40 years.

"I grew up with Jon Hiseman. We went to the same little youth club, I was 14 and Jon was 13," said Dave.

"My mother was a wonderful singer and my father had a dance band in the 1930s, so I have grown up with music."

Journalists have described Colosseum as a jazz-rock band.

"It's a label that's stuck," said Dave. "We like to see ourselves as other than that.

"In 1968 we were probably the first European jazz rock band. At least we were told we were."

Tickets for the band's Huntingdon Hall gig, in CrownGate, Worcester, on Tuesday cost £12.50, or £11.50 concessions.

For tickets or further details on The Ric Sanders Trio gig, or the Colosseum gig, call the box office on 01905 611427.