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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Three Days and Counting to the Big Band Event of the Year!

(Preview by Russell)
Friday evening (March 6) sees the launch of the twelfth annual Great North Big Band Jazz Festival at Sunderland University Student Union. The three day event is staged at North Shore on Charles Street near the National Glass Centre. Big bands travel from all four corners of the UK to engage in friendly, but intense, competition. The standard of musicianship is extremely high across the board – schools, youth and senior sections.
Friday evening features the adjudicators and tutors’ house band – Mick Donnelly (tenor) and Paul Jones (alto) working with pianist Stuart Collingwood, bassist Neil Harland and  Adrian Tilbrook (drums) in a one-set performance. Their audience will include many of the north east’s most promising young musicians. Once the big boys have had a blow it will be over to the Young Turks to show what they can do following many months keen rehearsal sessions under the baton of festival director Bill Watson.    
Saturday and Sunday (March 7 & 8) require stamina. Festival organisers and a battalion of unpaid helpers will get little sleep over the weekend. Festival goers have it easy. Turn up, take a seat and listen hour after hour to top class big bands. The North Shore catering and bar staff will happily serve you with a pint of beer, a glass of wine (tea or coffee for the tee-total) and the staples of any self-respecting student establishment – curry, chips, chilli con carne, chips, burger and chips and, just in case you fancy some, chips!
Car parking is available. Better still, take the Metro to St Peter’s, walk through the underpass and head downriver. North Shore, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, is approximately five minutes’ walk. Admission is £8.00.. Make a day of it, the Great North Big Band Jazz Festival is one of the events of the year.        
Russell.

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