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Bebop Spoken There

Jeff Lindberg: "You can have innovative new music and you can play music of the masters. They're not going to cancel each other out" - (DownBeat June 2019).

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2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

The voting is open between now and May 31 to enable site visitors to nominate their choices in the various categories of this year's APPJAG awards which can be done here.
BSH was very proud to be nominated and to win the 2018 Media Award and hope we can have your support again this year.

Today Saturday May 25

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - St. Cuthbert's Church Hall, Dovecote St., Amble NE65 0DX. 12:00pm - 3:00pm (music from 1:00pm). £10.00. See poster for more details.

Sax on the Tyne, St George's Church Hall, St George's Close, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2 2TF. 5:00-7:00pm. Free (donations). A Jesmond Community Festival event.

Evening

Baghdaddies - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. 6:00pm. £10.00. Whitley Bay Carnival.

Lady & the Jazz Tramps - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm. £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Radio Pensacola Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Blues/Funk/Soul

Teresa Watson Band - Billy Bootleggers, Nelson St, Newcastle NE1 5AN. 9:00pm. Free.

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

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Ayanna Witter-Johnson @ The Black Swan December 7

Ayanna Witter-Johnson (cello/keys/voice).
(Review by Steve H/photo courtesy of Mike Tilley from archives)
Ayanna Witter-Johnson made a more than welcome return to Newcastle at The Black Swan, virtually a year after appearing the Jazz Café. Everything I said in the review of that gig still applies The audience ….. were rewarded with a performance of charm, elegance, and sheer quality’. Her performance on Thursday night seemed to be more relaxed and confident than previously and there were some new songs to appreciate and enjoy. A measure of just how comfortable Witter-Johnson felt on stage was that she invited questions from the audience in between numbers. 
Two questions were asked about the history of Reuben her beloved cello which we found out was originally loaned and then subsequently purchased from her headmaster at secondary school. A lot of the self-penned songs are autobiographical referring to relationships past and present. One composition Romeo was a commission from the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company which featured many of the bard's most famous works. 
A traditional Jamaican call and response song  Hill an Gully gave the gave the audience the opportunity to participate in proceedings. As a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Ella’s birth, a moving version of Misty was performed. One of the advantages of performing in the larger venue of the Black Swan as opposed to the Jazz Café was that it allowed Witter-Johnson to use the large stage to great effect. Her main stance was standing upright at a microphone whilst accompanying herself on Reuben but this was only one of the performance positions adopted. Reuben was played lying on the floor, guitar like on the lap and at one point Witter-Johnson curled herself downwards and sung into the cello mike. The only method not employed seemed to be the classical one of cello being rested on chest whilst being sat down on a chair. However, she did adopt a more conventional style when playing the keyboard on a selection of numbers. 
The final scheduled piece of the evening was a non-reggae cover of Bob Marley’s One Love but luckily for the select and highly appreciative audience, they managed to coax one more tune. Unconditionally dedicated to her mother which seemed only fair since her father had previously had a song Chariot honouring him. A really entertaining evening and I look forward to not only seeing Witter-Johnson back in Newcastle again but also to see her becoming a major star on the British music scene which her talent and personality surely deserve.
Steve H.

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