Monday, 12 December 2016

Fluid Orchestra celebrate Jazz North East's 50th

From Wes Stephenson

Who'd have believed it? Started back in 1966 with a concert by Earl 'Fatha' Hines, this year Jazz North East has been celebrating its 50th birthday.

And we couldn't let our special year come to a close without putting on something really extra special. Early in the year we decided that we wanted to create an entirely new band drawing on some of the most imaginative improvising musicians across the North, and we came up with a 12-piece line-up that must surely be unique in its composition, with theremin, violin and vibes sitting alongside the more conventional horns and rhythm section. Add Zoë Gilby's amazing vocal talents, and we have an orchestra with extraordinary creative potential.

Then, to make the best of that potential, we commissioned music from Graham Hardy, Corey Mwamba, Roller Trio's James Mainwaring, and the collaborative pairings of Faye MacCalman & Graeme Wilson, and Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion, giving us five new compositions reflecting the five decades of our existence. The orchestra have been rehearsing and refining the music since September, and now, for the very last concert of our anniversary year, everything will be revealed in all its remarkable glory!

The 12 piece orchestra comprises of Musicians predominantly based in Tyne and Wear and the North of England, or having very strong links with the location. Five pieces of music have been commissioned and written by members of the Orchestra, with each piece representing a decade of Jazz North East, which will be followed by an Improvisation to reflect the future.

But why the 'Fluid' Orchestra? Well, in part because we believe that the instrumental combination allows for an unprecedented flexibility, fluidity, in approach. But also we're so excited by the project that we hope to keep this going in future years, although probably with evolving changes in personnel to stimulate new creative challenges. It's a fluid concept, and it starts right here at the Black Swan.

Admission £ 13 ( £ 10 concessions)
Zoe Gilby
Steve Hanley
Mark Williams
Johnny Richards
James Mainwaring
Graham Hardy
Graeme Wilson
Faye MacCalman
Corey Mwamba
Beatrix Ward-Fernandez
Andy Champion
Aby Vulliamy


Tuesday 13 Dec
Black Swan
67 Westgate Road, Newcastle NE1 1SG
Doors are at 8.00pm,

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