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Bebop Spoken There

Randy Brecker: "It's still a thrill for me today to stand out front of a big band as the soloist and hear all that sound going on behind you. It brings the best out of me" - (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 Tuesday May 21

Afternoon

Jazz

Classic Swing - The Ship Inn, Front Street, Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 0191 251 3677. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Kamasi Washington - Sage Gateshead, St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR. Tel: 0191 443 4461. 7:30pm. £30.00.

River City Jazzmen w. Maureen Hall - Block & Tackle, Blackthorn Way, Ashington NE63 8NN. Tel: 01670 813983. 8:00pm. £5 (raffle inc.) Bob Wade, Gordon Solomon, Keith Stephen, Phil Rutherford, Tommy Graham.

Lindsay Hannon Band - Fox Inn, West End Terrace, Hexham NE46 3DB.Tel: 01434 603681. 8:30pm. Free (donations).

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

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jazz Singers – Enhance Your Skills with Bulgarian Singing

(By Ann Alex).
Lance thought it was most amusing when I said that I was going to a Bulgarian Singing Workshop. This was at the Sage on Wednesday December 18 and was lead by Katherine Zeserson, and very useful and enjoyable for the 30 or so people taking part.  This type of folk singing is usually performed unaccompanied, out of doors, with big natural voices, no vibrato, and has a sort of ‘earthy feel’.  Very different from jazz singing so far. 
The bit that helped me as a would-be jazz singer was to do with the way the harmonies are constructed.  Many songs are in 3 parts, with 1 voice doing a drone, another voice singing a ‘crooked’ drone, that is the original drone with small differences, and the third voice singing the tune.  The intervals between notes are much smaller than we are used to, quarter tones or less.  We practised singing slightly sharp or flat against the drone, fascinating to try.  When a whole choir does this you get a shimmering type of sound, which has to be heard to be believed.  The songs also have tricky Balkan rhythms, which are best learned  by walking to the rhythm.  It struck me that these exercises were useful for jazz singers, especially for improvisation and scat.  Mock not, Lance!
We then attended a concert of this music by Bulgarian Voices Angelite, conducted by Georgi Petkov, who is also a composer whose work has been played by such bands as The Chieftains.  This featured religious songs, folk-based tunes and lots of individual singing, including what we would consider to be scat singing, as part of a song Dumba, which was a cheerful song about a group of women working together.
It seems to me that it’s a good idea to experience as many types of singing as possible.  
Ann Alex

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