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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

That Was the Week That Was by Ann Alex

My Week Of Music: May 30 - June 3 (not quite a week).
This week was one of my favourite weeks of the year and I felt as if I’d been on holiday without ever leaving the area. It was the week of final recitals from the students of the Folk and Traditional Music Degree, which take place at Sage Gateshead. And this year, my week was rounded off by the Djazz Durham Jazz Festival at the weekend, the icing on the cake.
Obviously, I’m not about to give a blow by blow account of the folk music (‘thank goodness’ says Lance), and I’ve accounted for myself at the Djazz already. However, jazz fans will be interested to know of some jazz influences which cropped up at the Sage performances.
I gather that the students on this degree are encouraged to have flexible ideas about their music, so we saw a fiddler who played some gypsy style jazz and a singer who used loops and various electronic devices, and performed a traditional folk song to beat-boxing sounds.
Some of the bands used full drum kits very effectively and judging by the standard of drumming, these people would be able to cope in a jazz ensemble. One student did a superb clog dancing set which included USA flat foot dancing, often done to jazz tunes. Someone did a contemporary fiddle tune written by Adam Sutherland. This was in a 1920’s jazz style, as the writer’s grandmother was a jazz fan. So jazz gets everywhere, and so do our jazz people.
Fiona Finden is halfway through the Folk Degree, and she expects to be doing her final recital in 2020. So watch this space. The week also provided me with an absolutely stunning blues song. This song was so impressive that I googled, learned and performed it on the next Sunday at South Shields folk club.
But more about that, another time...
Ann Alex.

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