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Thursday 6: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Women Play Jazz! Workshops @ The Globe, Saturdays - January 6 -27

Four workshops led by Cumbrian Jilly Jarman -  composer, singer, arts organiser - resulted in several of us having a great time, playing and learning, rounded off with a gathering where we performed for each other and had a feast of food to indulge in. I suppose about 20 women, in all. were involved, though not everyone was able to attend every session. And what a good- humoured lot we were – there were certainly plenty of laughs.
I don’t know where all these capable musicians have been hiding – we had a good steady bass guitarist, a drummer, a pianist (who doubles on euphonium!), 3 or 4 alto saxes, a tenor or two,  2 or 3 flutes, and about 5 of us vocalists. Oh, and the drummer sings too. 
Jilly got us to do as much as possible by ear, which is challenging but so useful to get the real ‘feel’ of the music, and a good preparation for doing one’s bit in jam sessions. One of the aims of the course was to get more used to jam sessions, so we worked on a wide variety of material such as Willow Weep For Me (ballad); Trouble In Mind (bluesy); Evil Ways (Santana’s Latin number); and tricky numbers like Stolen Moments and Coltrane’s  Equinox. We learned about the various hand signals used in jams, some of which I’d never seen before, and possibly won’t again, but it does no harm to know anyway. We all tried the percussion instruments from Jilly’s bag of goodies, and I tried the Globe’s set of hand drums, which I love to play, but which may not be so enjoyable for the listeners!
Our final gathering and feast included music and songs such as Put It Where You Want It; Frim Fram Sauce; Work Song; Black Coffee; Unchain My Heart and Summertime (Sorry Lance!)  We discussed the differences between playing music with men and playing in all- women groups. We all enjoy mixed groups but we thought that it’s much harder for men to admit it if they make a mistake, which leads to all sorts of problems for both genders. We are still considering about whether to continue this project in some form. But what fun we had!
Thank you so much to Jilly, and also to Sheila Herrick for organising, and to Jenny Lingham for doing the till and the sound system.  

Ann Alex

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