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Today

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.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Reflections on Ushaw by Steve T.

It restores your faith a little when sometimes, just sometimes, good things happen to good people.
In the late eighties, I was one of the chief architects of the Upnorth Soul (Jazz/ Funk) Weekenders which are now considered one of the best ‘party’ events in the world. Many people were involved in them but we did it because we wanted it to be brilliant, which for a time it was, and almost despite the organiser.
Many people helped to put the Ushaw Festival together and most of us, yes because we want it to be brilliant, but also because we wanted to help Paul.

The inaugural Upnorth Weekender was held in Berwick, but six months later it had moved to Fleetwood, then Morecambe before it settled for the next couple of decades in Southport.
For some reason, we in the North East never seem to have confidence in our own potential to do something extra special. However, we now have an inordinate number of musicians and bands, in no small part, because of people like Paul Edis, James Birkett, Shaune Eland and many others.
The first Ushaw Festival, at its best, was amazingly good, but we probably now know it was two, maybe three, North East Bands short of epoch defining.
We need to redress the balance between the generations with young people mostly represented by the Early Birds, some other musicians, Russell and a few couples, but with shifting population trends as the baby-boomers come through, this is going to be an issue everywhere
The location is amazing, the building resplendent, the theatre magical and the lounge just like sitting in your front room at home. Any Jazz musician who wouldn’t want to play in that theatre and jam in that lounge, you wouldn’t want.
If it can again attract national giants of the calibre of Alan Barnes, Bruce Adams, Nigel Price and Ross Stanley, and Paul has the respect nationally (not to mention his contacts in the House of Lords) to attract them, we could be looking at American acts in the future and, while I would hate to jinx it, knocking on the door of Cheltenham, Marsden and Ilkley (not forgetting GIJF!) as one of the best weekend Jazz Festivals in the country.
Steve T.

5 comments :

Hilary Say (on F/b) said...

All your hard work and organising skills paid off Paul. It was a great weekend hopefully repeated for many years to come. The musicians I know all have great respect for you. x

Pam Young (on f/b) said...

Yes it was a brilliant event, thanks to Paul and all the musicians. Only wish we had gone to the whole weekend but Saturday was so good. Hope it happens again x

Steven T said...

There was another name on my list of people who have made an enormous contribution to North East Jazz, Lance unfortunately deleted it.

Lance said...

I decided it was more suited to being one of the 'many others'

Steve Tulip said...

No chance.

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