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Preview: Guildhall School Jazz Festival and Improvisation Fringe

Preview: Guildhall School Jazz Festival and Improvisation Fringe (21st -26th March 2011.) Video above: Stan Sulzmann’s arrangement of The Thrill is Gone (*)

Press Play. How characterful, how wonderful this big band writing from Stan Sulzmann is. Just how gorgeous and deeply affecting is that meandering countermelody on unison saxes which starts at 2: 04. And then, how triumphant that build to climax in the following minute.

As one musician put it to me, the final concert on Saturday night, the culmination of the Guildhall’s week of jazz, will be the opportunity to hear one of the giants of this music “completely on his own terms,” working with the Guildhall Jazz Band directed by Martin Hathaway.

There’s a lot else happening besides – here’s the full programme:

Monday 21 March

2.30pm Improvisation Fringe event: Eddie Prevost & Guildhall School student musicians

7.30pm Jim Hart (vibes) & Guildhall Jazz Alumni Ensemble
Unreserved tickets: £15 (£10 concessions) available from the Barbican Box Office 020 7638 8891; http://www.barbican.org.uk; The Pit, Barbican Centre

Tuesday 22 March

3 & 4pm Small Bands, Lecture Recital Room

7.30pm Poetry & Jazz: An evening with Michael Garrick, Music Hall, Guildhall School

Wednesday 23 March

7.30pm Guildhall Jazz Faculty Concert: Jazz Faculty staff led by Head of Jazz Studies Martin Hathaway (saxophone), Sundial Court Music Room, Guildhall School

Thursday 24 March

12 – 2pm Small Bands, Music Hall, Guildhall School

3 – 5pm Small Bands, Music Hall, Guildhall School

7.30pm Guildhall Jazz Singers & Choir: directed by Scott Stroman & Malcolm Edmonstone, Music Hall, Guildhall School

Friday 25 March

12pm Small Band, Music Hall, Guildhall School

7.30pm Improvised Music Night: Eddie Prevost & Guildhall Jazz Musicians featuring Eddie Prevost, John Butcher, Jennifer Allum, Ute Kanngresser Music Hall, Guildhall School

Saturday 26 March

4.30pm Junior Guildhall Jazz Ensemble: directed by Ollie Weston & Jonathan Taylor, Lecture Recital Room, Guildhall School

7.30pm Festival Finale: Guildhall Jazz Band featuring Stan Sulzmann, saxophones – Music Hall, Guildhall School

(Video above: Stan Sulzmann with Voice Of The North Jazz Orchestra performing ‘The Thrill Is Gone’ Splinter @ The Bridge’ Newcastle upon Tyne November 14 2010. Arranged by Stan Sulzmann. Solos: Mark Williams guitar, Sue Ferris flute, Stan Sulzmann tenor, Graham Hardy trumpet.)

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