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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Dee: "I feel my generation had one advantage over today's players in that we were not musically educated in colleges, so we all sounded different. I could tell who it was just by the sound." - (Jazz Rag, Summer 2020).

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11,783 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1023 of them this year alone and, so far, 50 this month (Sept. 17).

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SEPTEMBER

IT IS ADVISABLE TO CHECK IN ADVANCE WITH THE VENUE THAT THE GIG IS ON

SUNDAY 20

Vieux Carre Hot 4 - Spanish City, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay NE26 1BG. Tel: 0191 691 7090. 12 noon. Free.

Riviera Quartet - The Globe, 11 Railway St., Newcastle NE4 7AD. 8:00pm. A limited number of seats are available which MUST be bought in advance online. £7:50 or £5:45 live stream only.

THURSDAY 24

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

Maine St Jazzmen - Sunniside Social Club, Sunniside Road, Sunniside NE16 5NA. Tel: 0191 488 7347. 8:00pm - 10pm. Free. Note earlier start/finish.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Alexys de Alfaro & Julija Jacenaite @ Jazz Cafe Mezzanine - June 19

Alexys de Alfaro (guitar); Julija Jacenaite (vocals, piano) + Irene Birkett (vocals)
(Review by Russell)

A musical partnership born on Tyneside comprising a Peruvian and a Lithuanian could be a first. If so, the pioneering duo - guitarist Alexys de Alfaro and vocalist/pianist Julija Jacenaite - could/should make hay before other Peruvians and Lithuanians spot a gap in the market!  
Julija Jacenaite is a favourite with Newcastle Arts Centre patrons. JJ wowed, and continues to wow, jam session audiences in the Black Swan basement venue and performances in the recently instigated midweek 'Mezzanine' concert series have seen her popularity soar. Alexys de Alfaro, a new name to some, was making his debut here on Westgate Road and he too was about to win a legion of new fans. 

De Alfaro's fingerstyle guitar playing incorporating the sounds of his Latin-American heritage fused with Spanish/flamenco elements make him the ideal foil to Jacenaite's full-on vocals. Countless gigs around town (notably with Burundanga) and endless days busking on Northumberland Street, recital accompanist to undergraduate students, over the best part of a quarter of a century living and working in Newcastle, de Alfaro cut a relaxed figure as JJ did the talking...and singing!

De Alfaro opened the show with JJ sitting on the sidelines. A looping rhythm track enabled our guitarist to play around with Daft Punk's Get Lucky (if it wasn't Daft Punk, it sounded remarkably like the French duo!). JJ began with an oh-so slow tempo Bésame Mucho with few signs of her trademark theatricality - that would surface later. 

De Alfaro then JJ, one after the other, performed an original number followed by more familiar material in the form of Bill Withers' Just the Two of Us. JJ inquired of her musical partner if he'd like to go to the moon. He said not, given his dislike of flying. Cue Fly Me to the Moon.

JJ's Lyra opened the second set, this time Alexys sitting out. A vocal student of Julija was in the house - step forward Irene Birkett. Nerves of steel or petrified, Irene sang Body and Soul. Many a fledgling performer has come a cropper when tackling such an iconic song. For the record, JJ's student did just fine. Now then, Irene, how about getting along to one of Newcastle's many jam sessions?! 

Oh, no! JJ likes to encourage audience participation. Together now..opa, opa, opa (Mais Que Nada). The ordeal didn't last too long! Finally, or rather, At Last, sung by Julija, as only Julija can, accompanied by Alexys' excellent rhythmic accompaniment, brought the afternoon to a close. Enthusiastic applause suggests Julija and Alexys will be making a quick return to Jazz Cafe Mezzanine. 
Russell.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Could have listened all day - really enjoyed Lyja.

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