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New Morley College Online Jazz Series launches with Joy Ellis (Friday 1 May at 1pm), then Ivo Neame (8 May)

Sebastian writes: 
The  Jazz@MorleyCollege series had hardly got started…. As the Head of Jazz Flavio Li Vigni explains: “We had just managed to run the first concert of the series before canceling every event due to the COVID-19 crisis. That is such a shame – we had a full house the first night.”
Morley will be running an online jazz series on the Morley Facebook page . on Fridays at1pm.Ivo Neame,” explains Flavio Li Vigni “is our guest of honor. He was supposed to play the second gig of our Morley Series …).

Joy Ellis at Cable Cafe, Brixton, February 2020. Photo by Pedro Velasco/freezeproductions.co.uk

The other concerts will be by Morley College tutors, and the first will be this Friday 1 May at 1pm featuring pianist/singer Joy Ellis (picture above). Sebastian interviewed her by phone: 

It is understandable that Joy Ellis also has a strong sense of disappointment: “It’s such a shame that this has happened.” She teaches at Morley (and also, incidentally, at Guildhall School’s Junior Department). The series of jazz concerts that Flavio Li Vigni had instigated had really “built a vibe” at the college in its first series, and the tutor concert in the first series had built the sense of cohort among the tutor group and given an appetite for more events like it. So this series of online concerts, with the exception of Ivo Neame’s on 8 May, puts the focus on the Morley faculty.

What will Joy Ellis’s programme this Friday focus on? “It will be solo and I’ll be playing all my original material,” she explains. Her development as a characterful and individual singer-pianist over the past few years has been widely noticed, and it is something she is well aware of herself. “Through producing my own music I feel I have really been able to discover my own voice. A few years ago people might tell me at gigs that I sounded like Diana Krall – I’m assuming because I’m blonde and I play the piano.” She used to take it as a compliment, but also notes: “I don’t get that any more and it’s nice not to be boxed in.” That is not least due to the songs she has written which delve into a world she likes to inhabit: “Exploring lyric-writing and storytelling has been a part of the music-making process I have discovered I really enjoy.”

How has she found lockdown? In practical and technical terms the switch to online learning and performing has been relatively straightforward, not least because Joy’s husband, drummer Adam Osmianski, has been teaching his students at University of Western Virginia remotely for some years. They have also been livestreaming regular weekly home concerts (Fridays at 7pm) from their home in North London since March. How does she find it? “ It can be nerve-wracking, and the lack of an audience takes getting used to, but it is instantaneous…and I have a nice upright piano.”

But there is also clearly disappointment because the timing of the lockdown has also been, to say the least, unhelpful. Joy’s quartet with Rob Luft, Henrik Jensen and Adam Osmianski had done the early dates of an Arts Council-supported tour to launch her second album.“I was really getting into it – touring…preparing and recording a third album…I just want to play and record more music!”

PROGRAMME – FIRST FIVE CONCERTS – MORE TO BE ADDED LATER

01/05/2020 Joy Ellis

08/05/2020 Ivo Neame

15/05/2020 Adam Dyer

22/05/2020 Tim Richards

29/05/2020 Tim Boniface

Categories: News

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