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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dordogne International Jazz Summer School by Douglas Fielder.

If the accommodation is medieval and the food unexciting to say the least, why do people keep going back to the Dordogne International Jazz Summer School? It's the atmosphere and the stella jazz leaders that shamble through the week.
Check their web site http://www.jazzschool-dordogne.co.uk/ to see that it is organised and lead by Andrea Vicari and Dorian Lockett with big names Mornington Lockett and Mark Lockheart and other well known musicians from the London jazz scene. The “school” is truly international and one group I was in comprised mainly Spanish and French students. The language of the school is English and the Spanish jazzers were very good and kept to the international language, except when very excited. This was my daily group of similar experience and ability. The tutors rotated through these groups so that we got a different tutor and different jazz flavour each day. These daily workshops resulted in our contribution to the evening's performance. We all ate together in a big open sided extension that doubled as the stage and bar later in the evenings. The other groupings were by jazz style which next year will include Big Band, Salsa Band, Soul Band, Mingus Band, Super Sax, and Monk Band. This year I was in Mark Lockheart's contemporary jazz group and as well as playing “free” a bit we also played some Ska and Township music. The output from these groups also get performed. One lady in Mark's group has her own Ska band back in Vienna so we were able to hear how she improvises over Ska music. Each evening, before dinner, there is opportunity to jam with others though these are often prepared groups by the students and you need to be a networker to get in them or invite others to play with you. Most musicians are willing to play with you if asked and then you just add your tune to the jam list and say if it is “arranged” or open to anyone to step up. Late night jamming is in the cave with whoever turns up. The week culminates in a grand concert where the jazz style groups perform what they have learned always finishing with the “Soul Band” and then jam until midnight. I've been two years running and I'll probably put my name down for 2011 which is booking already. There is a Dordogne Northeast Reunion which this year is being organised by Paul Grainger and will be at the Jazz Cafe on 13th November so if you want to hear what level the musicianship is and to say hello come to the Jazz Cafe concert that evening. Douglas Fielder.

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