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London Jazz Festival Preview (7): Learning and Participation


Preview by Sarah Ellen Hughes

Learning and participation is an integral part of the work that Festival Organisers Serious do through the year, so the London Jazz Festival is the ideal time for Learning and Participation to be centred around, and driven by, jazz.

There is a series of collaboration events that involve work with artists such as Robert Glasper and Norma Winstone. These are usually on-going projects which culminate in a performance during the festival, and information on these can be found on the London Jazz Festival website.

There is also a series of workshops hosted by various artists featured in this year’s festival, details of which are below. All quotes are from the London Jazz Festival website – What’s on section.

Chris Sharkey Workshop
Sunday 14th November, Spirit level at Royal Festival Hall, 11am £5+booking
A workshop in jazz, metal and rock improvisation, aimed at 8-16 year olds. Chris is a lecturer at the Leeds College of Music, and is also a co-founder of the Leeds Improvised Music Association – LIMA (don’t you just love it when acronyms actually spell something?!) Chris also plays guitar for trioVD, so this should be a terrific workshop.

Natalie Williams Big Sing
Sunday 14th November, Barbican 2pm, £5+booking
Natalie, a stalwart London-based jazz and soul singer and recent MOBO nominee, has much experience in leading singing workshops for children. I can imagine that a combination of her music credentials and engaging personality would make for great fun in a workshop for all ages.

Pete Churchill Vocal Workshop
Sunday 14th November, The Forge 2pm, £15/£10
“Pete Churchill’s vast experience as a vocal educator par excellence has seen him work with the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim and Mark Murphy, and he is currently a tutor at the Royal Academy of Music. Leading this workshop he offers advice and inspiration to aspiring singers.”
I would highly recommend this workshop, as Pete is generally the trusted man to go to if in need of a bit of jazz advice.

Marilyn Mazur: Jazz for kids
Sunday 14th November, Purcell Room 2pm, £10+booking
Marilyn Mazur has had quite an incredible career thus far, having been percussionist for the Miles Davis, Gill Evans, and Wayne Shorter bands between 1985-9. Early this century her music took a new turn when she decided to focus on education, performing solo percussion concerts for children and writing works for children’s choirs. She is a regular at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, where her family performances have been a highlight for many years. This workshop is aimed at children aged 7 or over.

Marilyn Mazur appears in association with the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.

Jazz for toddlers: Raymond MacDonald
Wednesday 17th November at Arts Depot, Saturday 20th at Kings Place and Sunday 21st at Discover, 2pm, £7+booking
A workshop for 2-5 year olds plus parents/carers. This session promises “fun, movement and plenty of ideas to take away.”

Arun Gosh Workshop
Sunday 21st November, Spirit Level at Royal Festival Hall 11am, £5+booking
“Clarinettist/composer Arun Ghosh leads an indo-jazz improv workshop, aimed at all instrumentalists of all levels. Ages 8–16.”

Battle of the University Big Bands
Sunday 21st November, The Bull’s Head 1pm-11pm, £5 per session or £15 for full-day pass
This isn’t a workshop but it looks like brilliant fun. I can’t imagine how loud it’s going to be!

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