|Photo captioning and numbering: Sylwia Bialas|
Reports keep coming in to us about what a special time the Ambleside Days festival in Cumbria was. Musicians and their partners were made extremely welcome by host Derek Hook. This festival has been described by a number of the participants as having been the completely ideal circumstances in which to make music.
The twenty-eight people in the photo above are:
1. Joe Locke
2. Johnny Wiles
3. Rosa Garland
4. Amanda Garland
5. Nadja von Massow
6. Tim Garland
7. Nick Smart
8. James Maddren
9. Stan Sulzmann
10. Sarah Sulzmann
11. Olivia Maguire
12. Steve Watts
13. Mike Walker
14. Helen Mayhew
15. Dave Holland
16. Kathianne Hingwan
17. Gwilym Simcock
18. Mark Lockheart
19. Nikki Iles
20. Sylwia Bialas
21. Asaf Sirkis
22. Norma Winstone
23. Christine Allen
24. Derek Hook
25. Max Steuer
26. Hugh Mitchell
27. John Helliwell
28. Paul Allen
This is Sylwia Bialas’ photo of the entire cohort of musicians and their friends and family who assembled at the invitation of Derek Hook at Yewfield in Cumbria for a four-day festival (*) .
The full name of the festival was “Ambleside Days. A contemporary music festival in memory of John Taylor (1942-2016)”. JT had a long association with the location and with host/festival director Derek Hook. He chose the original Steinway which now has pride of place at Ambleside.
As Derek Hook wrote in a preview of this festival (link below): John Taylor, to whose memory this year’s festival is dedicated, was a great supporter of the venue. In those early days we had very little money, and an old Bluthner grand piano was the best we could afford. John convinced me that we needed a great piano, so we met in London, went to Steinways together and chose the beautiful Steinway B that we have to this day.
The gigs take place in a cinema known as Screen 2. All were all sold out. This has been described as an inaugural festival but that is somewhat misleading: Ambleside has been inviting world-class musicians for decades. Howeveer, given the success of the first festival – it is believed that there are likely be more…
Mike Collins has written two blog posts telling the story of the four nights of sold-out concerts. (LINKS BELOW).
|Ambleside Quntet on the first night
Photo credit: Sylwia Bialas
FIRST NIGHT Thursday August 31st
Ambleside Quintet: Stan Sulzman, Mike Walker, Asaf Sirkis, Dave Holland and Gwilym Simcock (above)
|Joe Locke Quartet on the second night
L-R: Gwilym Simcock, Joe Locke Daryl Hall, Asaf Sirkis
Photo: Sylwia Bialas
SECOND NIGHT – Friday 1 September – Double Bill
1) Gwilym Simcock, Dave Holland, Mike Walker,
2) Joe Locke Quartet with Gwilym Simcock, Asaf Sirkis, Daryl Hall (above). Plus guest Tim Garland.
THIRD NIGHT – Saturday 2 September – Double Bill
1) Printmakers: Norma Winstone, Nikki Iles, Mark Lockheart, Mike Walker, Steve Watts, James Maddren
2) Gwilym Simcock, Tim Garland and Joe Locke.
FOURTH NIGHT – Sunday 3 September
Carte Blanche to Dave Holland:
– Quartet (with Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Norma Winstone)
– Trio with Nikki Iles and James Maddren
– Quartet quartet (trio plus Mike Walker)
– Large ensemble – the assembled company plus Nick Smart
Note: (*) We are aware that the American Paris-based bassist Daryl Hall and organizer Stuart Johnson are missing from the group photo, and there may be more (?)