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Bebop Spoken There

Billy Eckstine: "I'm a negro performer with a Jewish name." [after being asked what his golf handicap was] - (Mr B by Cary Ginell. Hal Leonard Books 2013 January 2019).

Today Wednesday December 12

Afternoon

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

Jess Johnson - Park Hotel, Grand Parade, Tynemouth NE30 4ER. Tel: 0191 295 6666. 12 noon. £65.00. & £29.95. Xmas lunch.

Evening

Take it to the Bridge - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £1.00.

Folk and Acoustic - The Globe, 11 Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. Free.

Jam session - Dun Cow, Brandling Village, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 4RS. Tel: 0191 338 7981. 8:00pm. Free. House trio: Mark Williams, Andy Champion, Russ Morgan.

Community Hall New Orleans Band - Springwell Village Community Venue, Fell Road, Springwell, Gateshead NE9 7RP. 8:15pm £3.00.

Swing Street - Pier Red, Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed TD15 1LF. Tel: 01289 309168. 8:00pm. Free.

Moonshine Sessions - Billy Bootleggers, 28 Nelson Street, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 8:30pm. Free.

Blues - Charts, Quayside, Newcastle NE1 3DX. Tel: 0191 338 7989. 8:00. Free.

Big Mellis Mini Band - Sage Gateshead, St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4661. From 7:00pm. Future Grooves (Music degree students). Multi bill, Sage Two. £5.00.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jazz in Prague - a (P)layman's Guide

Prague looks to be an interesting place for the jazzman as the following article indicates.
Lance.
Interview with Prague Jazz Expert – Tony Emmerson
To highlight the extraordinary jazz talent in the Czech Republic, Steph Sheehan from lowcostholidays.com asked UK jazz bloggers to contribute questions towards an interview with Tony Emmerson, the oracle of jazz in Prague. Tony moved from London to Prague six years ago and now writes a wonderful blog, dedicated to Prague Jazz. Here he talks about his top 5 Czech jazz artists, how easy it is to make a living as a jazz artist in Prague and why this city has one of the best jazz scenes in Europe.
More info: For the full interview with Tony see the lowcostholidays.com Prague Jazz page, which also features information on Czech artists, the best jazz venues in Prague and how to spend 24 hours and 48 hours on a jazz-themed Prague city break.  ‘Czech’ out Tony’s Prague Jazz blog here and follow him on Twitter @TonyEmmerson.
Ian Mann from thejazzmann.com asks. . .
Q1: I heard saxophonist Stepan Marovic on a Radio 3 special about jazz in Prague just prior to my trip and bought “Resolution” by his group Jazz Face while I was out there. Is Stepan Markovic still playing? Do you know anything as well about the trumpeter Juraj Bartos?
A1: Štěpán Markovič still plays regularly in the Czech Republic and is known as one of the elder statesmen of the scene. The last time I saw him was playing at one of the Jazz at the Castle concerts, attended by President Klaus. Juraj Bartoš is still around too, although less high profile. Both are excellent players worthy of wider recognition.
Ian Maund from Sandybrownjazz.co.uk asks…
Q2: I’m interested to know about how the Czech Republic is encouraging young musicians in schools and colleges. What support do they get generally when they leave school and want to play professionally?
A2: It is tough to make it here, as it is anywhere, but at least the number of venues means that there are opportunities for young players. Therefore wanting to be a professional musician is not some outlandish dream but something that is seen as attainable for those with talent. The next stage, where you make enough cash to have music as your sole income, is much harder to reach and many musicians supplement their income with teaching or "normal" work.
Barry Ballman from playjazz.blog.co.uk asks. . .
Q3: Do you know of any jazz workshops or classes in Prague that visiting jazz dabblers can take part in?
A3: There is an annual Czech Jazz Workshop that attracts teachers and students from around the world, but it is a serious affair, not just dabbling. Some of the clubs host jam sessions, but the standard is high, so anyone who isn't at that level won't get a look in. That is the downside of having so many talented musicians running around the city!
Peter L Bacon from thejazzbreakfast.wordpress.com asks . . .
Q4: Can you name five Prague-based jazz musicians that we should be listening to? Maybe a combination of well-established that we might have heard of and stars of the future...
A4:
·   Emil Viklický is the greatest of the Czech jazzers and quite possibly the greatest pianist you've not heard of. You can read an interview with him here http://praguejazz.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/interview-emil-viklicky.html
·  Luboš Andršt is the country's resident guitar god. Self-taught, he's been highly regarded since the early 1970s.
·   František Uhlíř is known as the "Paganini of the Bass". He can make it sing in a way that many bassists can only aspire to achieve.
·   Beata Hlavenková is a very talented young pianist who isn't afraid to innovate, and her band sometimes features slightly unusual instruments such as the steel guitar. She is a good example of how Czech isn't frozen in time.
·   Robert Balzar was the bassist in the band that played with Bill Clinton at Reduta in 1994. He has a well-established and vibrant Trio who play original material and standards.
Q5: The question that is always on my mind, and I suppose links to the one about young musicians but is more about the pros, is it possible for jazz musicians to make a living in Prague? Is there any state support? Do Prague venues pay a living wage?
A5: It is possible but it is not easy. The issue of how much venues pay is a live one, with some clubs having a reputation for being fair and others less so. Some musicians are quite vocal about not playing venues that don't pay reasonably. Either you have supplementary income, play most nights, or eat cat food.  The opposing view is that club gigs aren't for money - they're a workshop to hone your art - and revenue should come from elsewhere.
Steph from blog.lowcostholidays.com asks. . .
Q6: Do you ever miss the UK jazz scene at all? Have you always been a jazz fanatic or only since you moved to Prague?
A6: I always liked jazz but moving to Prague gave me a chance to see a lot more great music than I could when I was living in London. There are several venues in Prague where I can see world class jazzers in action every night and it costs less than a tenner to get in. The style of Czech jazz also appeals to me - there is such a strong sense of melody and the tunes can be deliciously bitter-sweet. Emil V is the master of this - sometimes he plays and it is truly a transcendental experience.
Q7: Also (one more cheeky, one) – what would be your perfect day/night out in Prague?
A7: That last question is the hardest of the lot. There is so much to do here... hot afternoons in beer gardens, rowdy evenings at the ice hockey or football, a night at the opera or ballet, and of course going to jazz clubs. A good day is one where I wake up. A perfect day is one where I make it through to the end. Other than that it's all good...

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Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: lanceliddle@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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Whilst we appreciate the many emails, texts, messages and other communications we receive requesting album/gig reviews on BSH, regrettably, we are unable to reply to all of them other than those we are able to answer with a positive response.
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