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Bebop Spoken There

Cécile McLorin Salvant: "She [Melissa Aldana] makes us realise how terrible it is to be complacent." - (DownBeat July 2019)

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Today Thursday June 20

Afternoon

Jazz

Vieux Carré Jazzmen - Holystone, Whitley Rd., Holystone NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free.

Evening

Jazz

Jeremy McMurray & the Pocket Jazz Orchestra - Arc, Dovecot St., Stockton on Tees TS18 1LL. Tel: 01642 525199. 7:00pm. £12.00. + £0.10. bf. ‘Jazz & Tapas’ - booking essential.

Ruth Lambert Quartet - St James' & St Basil's Church, Fenham Hall Drive, Fenham, Newcastle NE4 9EJ. 7:30pm. £8.00.

Heller-Glendinning: Billie Meets Kurt - The Globe, Railway Street, Newcastle NE4 7AD. 7:30pm (doors). £6.00. (£3.00. student).

Acoustic Infusion - The Forum, Borough Road, Darlington DL1 1SG. Tel: 01325 363135. 7:30pm. £5.00. Line-up: Alan Thompson (tenor sax); Rick Laughlin (piano); Bruce Rollo (double bass); Ian Halford (drums). Now Abbie Finn on drums.

Durham University Concert Band + Grollingwood Big Band - Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham DH1 3NJ. 7:30pm. £10.00., £9.00., £8.00.

Durham University Big Band - Black Swan Bar, Newcastle Arts Centre, Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. £6.00. (£5.00 concs.). JNE.

Tees Hot Club w. Gus Smith (vocals); Donna Hewitt (tenor sax), Dave Archbold (keys) - Dormans Club, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough TS5 5DT. Tel: 01642 823813. 8:30pm. Free.

Maine Street Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Hollywell Lane, Sunniside, Gateshead NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:30pm. Free.

New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band - Oxbridge, Oxbridge Lane, Stockton on Tees TS18 4AW. 8:30pm. £2.50.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Great North Big Band Jazz Festival 2019: Schools Section (Day 3) - Mar 3

(Review by Russell)

Sunday, the last lap, day three of three. The previous day's events culminating in the Managers Big Band retaining its senior open title were still fresh in the mind. Now it was over to the coming generation to show what it was capable of.

Two competition sections - schools and youth - offered a full day's entertainment at Park View Community Centre. Durham County Cricket Club aside, there can be few occasions in the calendar when hundreds of people descend on Chester le Street to participate in a truly social gathering.  

The overcast conditions threatened rain, the kind of conditions a seam bowler would relish down the road at the Riverside. At this time of year, it's either indoor nets or a warm weather training camp. That's for the cricketers, here at Park View conditions were ideal for big band jazz - a large, well-lit stage, a cabaret-style seating arrangement, a real ale bar, food, stalls - in short, a festival which ticked all the boxes.


SCHOOLS SECTION

The Johnston Stompers (MD Lucy Wiggers) arrived in school uniform, perhaps the only band to do so this year. The Stompers were representing Durham Johnston School. First-time participants, their programme comprised three numbers - MalaguenaSummertime and, refreshingly, Tiger Rag. One or two short in some sections, the local representatives gave a good account of themselves. 

The Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble (MD Dave Hignett) tends not to have a problem recruiting musicians, indeed it would come as no surprise to learn there is a waiting list! Sophie Speed is a talented member of the saxophone section and Dave Hignett ensured she was given every opportunity to shine and shine she did! TVBB gave value for money fitting in five numbers; Buffalo HeadGospel, the welcome inclusion of Basin Street BluesGimme Some Lovin' (minus the Hammond B-3) and Lady Madonna

Greenhead College Big Band (MD Nick Dolling) from Huddersfield featured an instantly popular vocalist - Ms Daisy Cameron. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend sang Daisy, Lullaby of Broadway and Mambo from West Side Story were staple fayre either side of a world premiere piece - Last Dance - composed by band pianist Louis Enright. 

The reigning champions Burton Borough School Big Band (MD Alison Ruston) made the long journey from Shropshire no doubt determined to mount a stout defence of their title. Sam Jones' Unit 7 opened the programme. This was impressive! A big band fan said: “Frightening, isn't it?” He was referring to the exceptionally high standard and it continued with Life Long Friend (a trombone feature for Ed Simons), Joe Zawinul's Mercy, Mercy, Mercy and Soul Sacrifice from an early incarnation of the Santana band. Our big band fan confided: That's it. 

Well, not quite it. Yarm School Big Band (MD Chris Hibbard - pictured) wanted to have a say and so they did. The hirsute Hibbard, of Crooners' fame, put his young charges through their paces with solid contributions from Femi Afolabi, tenor sax, on I Concentrate on You and James Muir, alto sax, on the band's final number Swingin' Shepherd Blues

Adjudicators Mick Donnelly and Marcus Brown compared notes and in due course made their way on to the stage. The results, announced by Bill Watson (director GNBBJF) were as follows:

SCHOOLS SECTION

Best Band: Burton Borough School Big Band

Best Soloist: Ed Simons (Burton Borough School Big Band) 

Best Section: Trombones, The Johnston Stompers (Durham Johnston School)*
* The section consisted of one trombonist - Harry Coe! 

Adjudicators' Awards

Kyle Walker, drums (Yarm School Big Band)

Ed Simons, trombone (Burton Borough School Big Band)

Sol Plumb, piano (Tyne Valley Jazz Ensemble)

Daisy Cameron, vocals (Greenhead College Big Band)

Russell

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