Richmond Jam is an improvising ensemble of young musicians that made its debut at the Georgian Theatre Royal in September 2010.
If you are a musician, aged 14 – 18 years, and want to create your own music, you are welcome to come along to a Richmond Jam workshop to see if it offers what you are looking for. Previous experience of improvisation/‘playing by ear’ is not required.
Richmond Jam arose out of a two-day jazz workshop held as part of the 2009 Richmond Jazz Festival. The aim of the workshop was to help young musicians to create their own music through individual and group improvisation. Many of the musicians who took part in the workshop, most of whom were new to ‘playing by ear’, wanted to continue the experience as did the Festival. Some of the musicians also wanted to contribute to the realisation and development of the experience and to be involved in its management and administration.
Out of this mutual desire came the aim to establish a series of workshops leading to a debut concert at the 2010 Richmond Jazz Festival on the 19th September. The concert was enthusiastically received and a recording will shortly be available on CD and www.bandcamp.com.
A second series of workshops began in January, 2011, which will lead to a concert in the Richmond Jazz Festival at the Georgian Theatre Royal on the 18th September.
The fundamental aim of the workshops is to help young musicians, through individual and group improvisation, to acquire the knowledge, skills experience and confidence to create their own music in whatever genre they wish to work.
Pieces are developed on existing tunes/and or chord progressions presented by the workshop leader and members or through group improvisation. Workshop members are encouraged to present original material for development and to direct pieces, whether their own or those already developed in the workshops.
Workshop material is recorded and made available to members via MP3 format on a Facebook site for members in order to allow members to reinforce and internalise learnings in between workshops.
Members are encouraged to invite other young musicians to join the workshop.
The workshops and the Georgian Theatre concert are funded primarily by the Keyfund Federation. The prime objective of Keyfund is to engage young people and help them to develop social and emotional skills so that they may make successful transitions to adulthood and play a positive role in their community. In order to achieve this objective, Keyfund awards incremental grants to groups of young people, giving them the opportunity to run projects and gain experience previously beyond their reach. It uses these grants as an incentive to young people to organise something beyond their present capabilities and to progress the stages by designing and developing more complex projects. The NYCC4Youth Service, Richmondshire, provide free use of Richmond Youth Centre in which to hold the workshops.
The workshop leaders are Mike Fowler and James Mainwaring. Mike is a performer, teacher, composer, bandleader and jazz educator. For over 25 years Mike was a director of Birmingham Jazz, one of the most successful jazz promoting organisations on Britain with a history of annual jazz education weekends. James is a performer, composer, arranger and bandleader who graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2010 with a BA in Jazz. In addition to jazz, jazz fusion and jazz soul, James’s playing and writing experience takes in drum and bass, funk, grunge and heavy rock!
The dates of the remaining workshops in 2011 are August 7th, August 21st, September 4th and September 11th. If we don’t see you at one of these workshops, we hope to see you on September 18th at the Richmond Jam concert at the Georgian Theatre Royal!
The next series of workshops will start in January 2012. The dates will be posted on this site.
For further information, email email@example.com
Ben Stockdale, James Emmerson, Joe Tankard, Rob Tweddle, Will Stockbridge
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Richmond Jazz Festival is a ‘not for profit’ event