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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

16434 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 16 years ago. 314 of them this year alone and, so far, 26 this month (May 9).

From This Moment On ...

May

Sat 18: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Free. Celebrating ‘10 years of the Jazz Jam!’. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, Tim Johnston. A Late Shows event.
Sat 18: SH#RP Collective @ Holy Name Parish Church Hall, Jesmond, Newcastle. 7:00-9:00pm. Tickets: £15.00. Bar available, BYO snacks. A Jesmond Community Festival event. All proceeds to Kabuyanda Charity (Ugandan health care).
Sat 18: Red Kites Jazz @ Staithes Café, Autumn Drive, Gateshead. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Alligator Gumbo @ The Witham, Barnard Castle. 7:30pm.
Sat 18: Rockin’ Turner Brothers @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 18: Papa G’s Amigos special summer Latin set @ The Schooner, Gateshead NE8 3AF. 9:00pm. Free.
Sat 18: Late Night Special with Ruth Lambert & special guests @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 10:00pm-midnight. £5.00. (booking essential). Lambert & surprise jam session guests from down the years.

Sun 19: BTS Trombone Day @ Mark Hillery Arts Centre, Collingwood College, Durham University DH1 3LT. 11:00am-5:00pm. Free to British Trombone Society members (£10.00. & £5.00. to non-members). Recitals, workshops and mass blows.
Sun 19: Women Play Jazz! workshop @ The Globe, Newcastle. 1:30pm. £25.00. Tutor: Andrea Vicari. Enquiries: learning@jazz.coop.
Sun 19: Ransom Van @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 7:00pm. A ‘Jar on the Bar’ gig.
Sun 19: Tweed River Jazz Band @ Barrels Ale House, Berwick. 7:00pm. Free.
Sun 19: Andrea Vicari Trio @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 20: Harmony Brass @ the Crescent Club, Cullercoats. 1:00pm. Free.
Mon 20: Michael Young Trio @ The Engine Room, Sunderland. 6:00-8:00pm. Free. Opus de Funk: Horace Silver.
Mon 20: Joe Steels-Ben Lawrence Quartet @ The Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. £8.00.

Tue 21: Jam session @ The Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free. House trio: Alan Law, Paul Grainger, John Bradford.

Wed 22: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Alice Grace Vocal Masterclass @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 6:00pm. Free.
Wed 22: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Free. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 22: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Free.
Wed 22: Daniel Erdmann’s Thérapie de Couple @ The Glasshouse, Gateshead. 8:00pm.

Thu 23: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 23: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library, Gateshead. 2:30pm.
Thu 23: Castillo Nuevo Trio @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30pm. Free.
Thu 23: Immortal Onion + Rivkala @ Cobalt Studios, Newcastle. 7:00pm.
Thu 23: The Doris Day Story @ Phoenix Theatre, Blyth. 7:30pm.
Thu 23: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Guests: Jeremy McMurray (keys); Dan Johnson (tenor sax); Donna Hewitt (alto sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Adrian Beadnell (bass).

Fri 24: Hot Club du Nord @ The Gala, Durham. 1:00pm. £8.00. SOLD OUT!
Fri 24: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms. 1:00pm. Free.
Fri 24: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ The Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 24: Swannek + support @ Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle. Time TBC.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Abigail Pogson, Managing Director, Sage Gateshead tells us her thoughts on the past week...

“This will only exist in the moment…” 

These were the last words spoken in Sage One before we closed to the public for the foreseeable future, in response to government advice and for the safety of our audiences, our team and our musicians. The words were spoken by the wonderful Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero, who always finishes her concerts with an improvisation. Improvisation is the purest form of ‘only existing in this moment’ – not written down, not thought about in advance, always in response to a musical idea which she asks an audience member to suggest.  

She gave this last concert on the back of a rollercoaster 48 hours in which she thought she had Coronavirus, self-isolated, then tested negative, missing her first concert scheduled at Sage Gateshead, then played her second with us as her country’s borders were closing and the number of flights to get her back home to Spain was decreasing by the minute. In the end, this last concert (which we all knew in our hearts it was) was exceptional and very moving. 

Indeed the whole sequence of performances last week in Sage One – widely accepted as the best concert hall in Europe – reminded me of the power of live performance and the power of different music for different contexts. As closure steadily became inevitable, the diversity of Sage Gateshead’s musical and audience reach played out in three days. 

On the Wednesday, Sage Gateshead was filled with the incredible sound of 900 Year 4 pupils from 30 Gateshead and South Tyneside schools, lifting the roof of Sage One with their voices in front of an audience of parents and friends – an audience which had come to watch the culmination of several months of work by them in school. 

On Thursday, The Lightning Seeds opened their six date UK tour at Sage Gateshead and as everyone got on their feet and sang and danced their hearts away to Football’s Coming Home, three decades faded away and we were in a totally different time. 

On Friday, Royal Northern Sinfonia performed music written across a whole century, composed by a Norwegian and two Russians, with a conductor from France and soloist from Germany.  It’s hard to imagine three more different concerts, three more different audiences, three more different atmospheres. 

‘This only exists in the moment’ applies to any live performance  – these words capture what is so compelling and unique about live performance. A group of people who don’t know each other, select to come together to form a community – an audience – for a short period of time. Only they will have this experience, and when it’s over, it’s gone. 

Time and again people tell me it’s not just about the magic of a great musician at their height which brings them to gigs, it’s also that it’s shared with other people and the electric atmosphere which this creates.  Last week the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra proved this by streaming a concert in an empty auditorium – brilliant music and musicians, led by the legendary Sir Simon Rattle. A fantastic thing to do, and something we will all do a lot of in coming times. But no audience, no atmosphere, no community, no immediate exchange. 

So this is a curious time to run an organisation for which a core part of our purpose is to organise ‘massed gatherings’ for over 1000 people on a daily basis.  We do much much more than performances -we teach young people, give classes to adults, support the next generation of musicians from the North, use music to help people who are vulnerable, work in communities across the region. We are one of the biggest cultural charities in the country. But this week it is the performances – perhaps the most visible aspect of the charity’s work – which I’ve been thinking about. And as we have closed down the building, postponing all of our concerts, classes and activity, the building feels incomplete  –  empty with no preparation or anticipation of an event which is just around the corner. No anticipation of an audience – of parents anticipating hearing their children, of long term fans anticipating hearing music which is the soundtrack of another part of their life, of people wanting to hear something new, to have their ears opened to a new world of sound. 

As the building has fallen silent, one thing has been really clear to me – live music will be back. We are heading into a time when gigs will go online, we’ll build virtual choirs, music classes will take via Facetime. We will all live closer to home and in much smaller networks for a while. But beyond this, the live, face to face, in-person experience will be back.  As our box office team are beginning the process of calling every audience member who has a ticket for a concert which won’t go ahead on the planned date, something has started to happen. Rather than a refund, people have started to donate their ticket back to the charity.  Knowing the risk which the charity – like so many others – will be at through this crisis, members of our audience have opted to help us out. This will enable us to keep things secure for our musicians, our teachers, our staff and to be here at the end of this – to give world class performances, to teach people of all ages, to serve our communities, to use music to help people in their lives. We’re incredibly grateful for this generosity and that people are thinking of us. 

Above all I wonder whether this is a sign of the value of live music and that unique atmosphere created by an audience coming together for a brief time to hear something which only ‘in this moment’. 
Keep safe 
Abigail Pogson 
Managing Director
Sage Gateshead

1 comment :

Hugh said...

I was at the Gabriela Montero concert and it was indeed very moving. The audience were (with one exception) at one with the artist.

Hopefully the improvisation will "exist only in the moment" due to the prompt intervention of one of the staff when an idiot seated further down the hall was noted to be recording on their phone. At the end of the performance another (or possibly the same) idiot was videoing the artist's progress from the piano to the exit doors.

Absolutely unbelievable - and so rude!

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