I'm now a few months into studying jazz drums at Trinity, and the last few weeks have been really busy and have had lots of highlights. I've been enjoying playing drums with a new jazz big band - the Trinity Composer's Jazz Orchestra - who only play original material, and have done two gigs with them. The band features a great pick of students and alumni from Trinity as well as featuring members of the jazz faculty and is run by a really amazing pianist Andrea Vicari. I also really enjoyed playing on a musical MD'ed by Andrea and with bassist Dorian Lockett called Austerity.
I've been getting drum lessons with Asaf Sirkis and Gene Calderazzo which is the best part of Trinity - they are both amazing drummers and it's a real honour to be studying with them.
The MO Jazz Orchestra have had a great few weeks where we have played a couple of fun gigs at the Vortex Jazz Club and did a recording at the fantastic Air Studios in London... here's a slideshow with some pictures:
The Swinging Magpies have had some fun gigs, including at Tiger Rag in Shoreditch, here's a video from the stage where the swing dancers were on fire:
We have a New Year's Eve 1920s gig at The Albert in Kingston, advance tickets are £50 with a 4 course meal, or £20 for entry only.
The Amati Orchestra had a fantastic concert playing Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Elgar's 2nd Symphony and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker (I played drums on West Side Story and timpani on the others - it was a good roast!). There were 6 percussionists and there was a massive backline of percussion to run between - this photo misses out most of the drum kit and the timpani unfortunately.
I've also enjoyed playing concerts on timpani with the BBC Elstree Concert Band (playing film music) and the Pico Players Orchestra at St James' Piccadilly (playing Glazunov's 5th Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Rossini's Overture to William Tell).
I was very honoured to be invited to talk at this event - Making the Changes: A Powerful Symposium for Women in Jazz which was hosted by Issie Barratt and took place at the Southbank Centre. I spoke alongside drummer Michele Drees who has 35 years of professional drumming experience. We spoke about our experiences in the jazz scene and discussed ways to make younger women and girls feel supported in the jazz scene.
Cygnus Flare have had a productive few weeks - we have been working on our debut album and whilst recording for this we have participated in Serj Tankian's 7 note challenge. Hosted by Creative Armenia, Serj from System of a Down wrote 7 notes to begin a tune and challenged musicians to complete the composition, and here was what we recorded for this challenge:
We were also accepted to participate in a workshop by pianist Bill Laurance from Snarky Puppy at Morley College. This was a public composition masterclass workshopping our new music in front of a live audience. Thank you very much Morley College Jazz Department for choosing us as one of two U.K. bands for this opportunity.
Another highlight was putting on a Caroline Scott Trio gig at Oliver's Jazz Club in Greenwich featuring two Trinity postgrad jazz musicians - Dan Berkson on piano and Sam Ingvorsen on double bass. Then I hosted this year's Trinity jazz department Christmas jam session at Oliver's, which had a really nice mix of students and staff up playing.. it was a fun night and then we went to the Ronnie's jam session. Also had a good time as always playing with Pete Boulter's The Bluematics at Aint Nothin' But the Blues bar in Soho and with Yur Yesli's band at a new jazz bar Jazzgir at Canary Wharf.