Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hackney Students

I went to see a new band "Descendents of a Quest" featuring students Yao,Renell,Chantelle and Samson who I have the pleasure of working with for about 4 years now in Hackney.They were playing on the last Beacon Band Nights gig at Camden's Roundhouse Venue on friday.The Beacon nights feature bands that show promise.I 'm happy to say DQ did not disappoint they were absolutely spot on polished and tight with good songs.The audience were really ecstatic and responded positively to every word, nuance, phrase delivered by singer Chantelle and the band. Having never seen them play live or outside the workshop and Hackney environment it was a real pleasure to sit back in the audience and just observe.Lets hope something positive happens for them. They have actually recorded an album that will be out early septembe.Look out for it..........

The last few days before the holiday

Just back from a happy recording session for Beggars & co the group put together by Members of the seminal Brit funk band Light of the world.Beggars and Co had some hits in the eighties under charting high in the Pop charts around the world that also included a number 1 hit with Spandau Ballet.They also had a big influence on many of the musicians on the london scene when they were a part of the original Light of the world band.Through the magic of myspace.com They have managed to connect with and put together a new 10 piece group project featuring members of other bands from that period i.e Mirage,Central Line,Incognito and myself from Savanna.There will be some shows in October at the Jazz Cafe 8th October and the Battersea Barge 3rd October,

Monday, August 14, 2006

A busy summer

I have neglected the blog for a while due to some mad schedules based around Education projects at the newly reopened Roundhouse Venue in Camden.An absolutely fantastic place full of goodies a ton load of studios both media friendly and recording.Editing suites for video and rehearsal spaces with lots of courses running through the summer to keep the young occupied.On my part I led a Percussion project with the help of ace drummer Rod Youngs that mixed Tapdance with Samba and drumming of all description.A lot of fun and a real start of something new and a little bit different.At the end of our intensive period of workshops there was a live performance that brought the house down.It was a lot of hard work full of teething problems that we managed to overcome.The students did themselves proud and it was great to see the Joy on their faces as the crowd gave them a standing ovation.
Meanwhile I was also keepig my eye on another Hackney Empire Artist Developement project.This is year 6 of the programme and I have been the MD for 5 of them.This one due was being co led in my absence for the first part by Cleveland Watkiss who did a sterling Job helping about 60 students from different artistic backgrounds and skills write an original 2 hour show. I then took over for the last week of the course putting the music content from the adp Dance and drama depts into the 2 acts that would form the show.The students were excellent on the night of their show.They were playing the main house of the Empire, which was the first time in the 5 years that I have been musical Director at Hackney we have been allowed to perform on the main stage.The stage show was conducted by two Young Musicians Renell and Yao who were fantastic and seriuosly on the case.The students were cheered by a large audience,That I am sure will support other projects that are done at the Empire from now on.Now I have to get stuck a week creating work with the Older students,who will tour their own show to other youth projects around london in september.They showcased a taster of the work they have done so far at the Empire show and brought the house down so I am really looking forward to working with them this week.Next week Hols and not before time!!!

Duet with corey mwamba

A new venue on the circuit and a lovely crew of people led by the ultra helpful Beatrice put this one on at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.A full house came along to support including the fantastic vocalist Deborah Jordan with the Robert Mitchell band who I hope to work with at some stage and premier division allrounder Cleveland Watkiss.We covered a series of improvistions between us moving through all the instruments I could conceivably get in the back of my car.The set was well received from an appreciative audience.Some of which had turned up to maybe hear music more steeped in the past but were greeted with all manner of newness all the same they seemed genuinely to have enjoyed the evening.A few days later we recorded some pieces for a possible future project that we were quite happy with.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Orphy & Corey Mwamba duet

Here's the info for the gig at whitechapel this coming friday hope you can make it as it's always a pleasure callaborating with Corey.
4 Aug 2006 07:00pm - Whitechapel Art Gallery [Edit]
80 - 82 Whitechapel High Street,, London, E1 7QX, ,UK -
Improvised duet from two of the most talented percussionists in the UK, Corey Mwamba and Orphy Robinson. Using instruments as diverse as the Appalachian Dulcimer, Peruvian Cajon, Marimbula, Marimba, Vibraphone, Flutes, Soprano Sax, Percussion, Irish Penny Whistle, looping and sampling live as they go combining jazz, contemporary classical music, african, funk and noise.

Should be a cracker.............