Hey! I have, of course, been teaching my regular students, as well as an infant school in Daventry, a youth club in Sutton on Trent, and will be returning to work with the highly successful and award winning Cantamus girls choir next weekend, but this post is very much about the recent gigs that have kept me busy rehearsing, rather than updating the blog! Enjoy!
Well, Jude and I (Jujumaa) took to the stage on Monday 5 March at Monty's Acoustic Night for our debut performance on kora and piano. As ever, the listening crowd was supportive and appreciative, and John Montague, who runs the club, said it was a great sound and would be good to record! I also received the following feedback, which I just have to share with you! (Not sure whether the writer had had one too many cokes, or just has a very vivid imagination, but I love the review!)
'I was thoroughly entertained and enchanted by an unusual musical duo called Jujumaa. Jujumaa are Julie Wright on piano and Jude Winwood on Kora - a unique combination (at least to me). They played two delightful original pieces. I missed the title of the first which started with a catchy arhythmical section, the two instrumental lines winding around each other before resolving into a structured second section as the two lines connected and combined. Images came readily to mind for both pieces, for this one I saw streams of bubbles from a deep ocean rising past a bustling coral reef!
The second piece, 'Lost in A Minor', was written around recurring themes which one or both instruments would pick up extremely effectively at different points. As I sat and listened this time, the picture the piece evoked was of a vast subterranean cavern where the forest bats roosted before flying out into the fading evening light. All this in a golf club in East Goscote! Wonderful!'
The Sileby Slappers
On Saturday 3 March we had a great gig at Sage Cross Church in Melton Mowbray, as part of a mixed musical programme. I have a great mp3 recording of us playing, but as you know, I'm not very good at all things technological, and have tried to upload it to this blog, with no success ... if anyone can tell me how, please get in touch! Otherwise you'll just have to email and ask me to send it to you as an attachment, if you'd like to hear some really funky beats!!! Our next confirmed gig will be at Oakham Festival, Saturday 23 June.
We're rehearsing hard at the moment and will be back in the recording studios at the end of the month. Fabulous photographer Yvonne Lishman came to take some more photographs of a rehearsal last week, which was recorded live at Groby College for a student assessment, and you can see some footage of that if you go to my youtube page. Our next gig will be at Olives Bar, Leicester, Thursday 22 March.
Saturday 10 March saw me playing with Phil and Coops (Backwater) at The Old Crown Inn in Fleckney, Leicester. A great country pub atmosphere with a mixed crowd, who enjoyed the wide range of covers that the guys keep updating, which keeps me on my toes (or should I say fingers, as a percussionist?) Thanks to all our mates who came along to hear us play and boost the crowd. Our next gig will be at The George and Dragon, Broughton Astley, Saturday 7 April.
The Harley Staples Trust
I was asked to sponsor my dear friend, Ian Morris of Willow Finance, who was raising money for the Harley Staples Trust through his Decembeard efforts. Harley was a local child who lost his life to cancer (like my Mum), and the trust was set up by his family to help other children and families in similar circumstances. Instead of donating cash, I offered my services as a drummer, as Harley had been a keen drummer himself. On Wednesday 7 March I had the most rewarding morning on the Children's Cancer Ward at Leicester Royal Infirmary, lots of noise and lots of smiles with children, hospital staff and family members from the Trust. What a great way to remember both Harley and my Mum, who was a great supporter of cancer charities all her life.