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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

13,132 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 551 of them this year alone and, so far, 106 this month (April 22).

Coming soon ...

April 29: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at The Holystone.

May 20 Maine Street Jazzmen are back at Sunniside Social Club.
May 23: Vieux Carré Hot Four are back at The Spanish City.

June 2: Vieux Carré Jazzmen are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.
June 7: Jazz in the Afternoon are back at Cullercoats Crescent Club.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jazz North East & Splinter @ the Bridge present a ‘Women Make Music’ event; Beatrix Ward-Fernandez Trio + Watching Sideways @ The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle – March 8.


Beatrix Ward-Fernandez (theremin); Derek Saw (flugelhorn, valve trombone, tuba); Charlie Collins (drums, percussion).
Zoë Gilby (voice & electronics).
(Review by Steve H/photos courtesy of Ken Drew)
There used to be a TV series - ‘Who Pays the Ferryman?’ Jazz North East/Splinter seem to have created their own similarly named series - ‘Who plays the Theremin?’ As the old adage goes you wait decades for a jazz Theremin player to come along and then two come along at once. The Beatrix Ward-Fernandez trio arrived hot on the heels of the Splinter appearance of Bluebut at The Bridge last November featuring Theremin player Pamelia Kurstin.  

As the official BSH Theremin reviewer, I can safely say that no two Theremin players are alike. Ward-Fernandez’s playing takes a far more minimalistic approach than Kurstin’s so there were less melodic solos but more punctuated interactions. The dominant force behind the trio was the one man brass band Derek Saw who played tuba, valve trombone and trumpet with considerable aplomb although not necessarily all at the same time. The magnificently bearded Collins on percussion provided a great visual spectacle and seemed to have more tricks up his sleeve than Paul Daniels which is somewhat appropriate because any band which includes a Theremin in its line-up is always going to be somewhat magical.
The event was part of the popular ‘Woman Make Music’ series and the first part of this impressive double bill saw the launch of Zoe Gilby’s ‘Watching Sideways’ project. Zoe performed a set of vocal pieces using a range of electronic effects to produce an incredible virtuoso solo piece of performance art. There were some completely improvised pieces and some based on well known tunes including Don’t Stop me Now and a memorable version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene. The set ended with a piece which contained the repeating lyric Crazy girl in the park, I don’t know if this is autobiographical or not but at its conclusion the packed audience responded with rapturous applause. 
The final part of the evening saw both halves of the double bill unite to perform an exhilarating final collaboration.  Yet another triumph for the Jazz North East’s Women Make Music season.
Steve H.

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