Will Michael Jazz Education Award

BlueJam was awarded a diploma along with three Music Hubs from around the UK last week. Jilly shown here receiving it!
This is a real boost for the work being done by all the organisations promoting youth jazz in Cumbria and for the Music Hub’s commitment to a viable and innovative jazz development programme.
Congratulations to everyone!

Penrith Improv Choir songwriting session Nov 2017

Tonight there was a small group of 4 – we had been working on vocal dexterity last week and this week I had just done a skill swap with Catherine Ashcroft who is a lovely whistle player so I thought I would use the whistle and the way it sounds on a jig with some rolls and cuts and move that onto the voice. We then took a 14C secular carol and sang it to the jig then Ruth improvised a new tune. We then moved that into different time signatures and worked out a chord structure. We ended up going over time we got so engrossed. I will put the tune up in vocal union – it is beautiful – thanks Ruth!

BlueJam Arts award for services to jazz education

Jilly is off to London next week to pick up an award for BlueJam from Will Michael Foundation – a chance to meet new people in the jazz world and also catch up with old friends. Thanks to all the team at BlueJam and Cumbria Music Hub who helped to make this happen.

Girls In Jazz with India Harding

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 18.33.05IMG_2356The first Girls In Jazz session this academic year started with a fizz with India Harding joining us and getting a great vocal section improvising, riffing and harmonising the tune.

We had 4 woodwind, two keys, bass, drums and vocals, so a great band setup.

We started with a descending bassline and wrote our own song over it – the Grass Is Greener – this developed into a full arrangement with vocal and instrumental solos and acapella sections. We also did Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child and a funky version of Summertime.

India had just heard she has been offered a scholarship at Birmingham Conservatoire, so definitely intend to get her back up here from Lancaster before she goes next year.

The Kindness Of Others

the kindness of others“..to absent friends” was a wonderful series of events happening across Scotland on November 3rd organised by the Palliative Care Trust. In Eskdalemuir the Improv Choir sang a song “The Kindness Of Others” to words written by the Eskdalemuir Writing Group, set to music by Jilly Jarman.

BlueJam at Carlisle Fireshow 2017

IMG_2216Jilly Jarman was again asked to write the music for Gavin Lewery’s pre-firework build and community event, with Jeff Wallcook creating the story and words and Kate Gilman Brundrett designing the firework covers.

It was the best so far musically we think, (we are in our 3rd year now) with the music veering towards filmic while using a live band of Josh Jackson on drums and vocals, Dan Harrison on bass, Geoff Bartholomew on trumpet and Mel Stewart as the voice of the Girl puppet. She wowed everyone with her voice on the torch song and her and Josh set up a fantastic improvised section at the end (with Geoff getting some jazz trumpet licks in) as we waited for the Catherine Wheel to ignite.

Thanks to Tom Leah for his work with Yewdale school and sounds for the show and to Yewdale and Hallbankgate children for their creative input into the whole process.