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Bebop Spoken There

Adam O'Farrill: "Right now in my life, I don't see music as the be-all and end-all." - (DownBeat November 2020).

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12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

Ferg Kilsby with the National Youth Jazz Collective - Nov. 4

This year's National Youth Jazz Collective Summer School was an online affair. This evening's Facebook stream presented audio recordings featuring various ensembles and socially distanced conversations via Zoom. Issie Barratt moderated discussion between Kathy Dyson, Mark Hodgson and a host of talented young musicians. Of particular interest to BSH's readers in the Tyne Valley and wider region was the participation of Ferg Kilsby. 

Trumpeter Ferg first came to prominence as a junior member of Dave Hignett's Hexham big band empire and a familiar face at Sage Gateshead, performing in various jazz ensembles. And then there was the occasion when Ferg, perhaps fourteen at the time, mixed it with the big boys at a Black Swan jam session...and more than held his own. This evening's first of three weekly NYJC live streams went 'live' at six o'clock and, notwithstanding initial difficulties logging on, it proved to be a fascinating listen. 

A Zoom split screen included Ferg (sitting in front of a wall map of the world) listening and contributing to the discussion. Issie Barratt, a hugely experienced tutor, spoke with great enthusiasm about the project, offering its youthful particpants every encouragement. Ferg's ensemble was mentored by Kathy Dyson. There was much talk of how numbers were selected, how individuals were able to contribute their parts and what they got out of it. 

Guitarist Dyson (Leeds Conservatoire) coached the ensemble in readiness for this lockdown live stream performance of American guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg's The Spin. Ferg's fellow online band mates included a trumpeter, a sax player, guitarist, bass player and drummer. To achieve what they did was quite something. Downloading files, trying to make sense of the charts, then bringing something to the table couldn't have been easy. Ferg and co did a great job and Barratt, Hodgson and Dyson made sure they knew it.

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