I was looking through old photos and cam across this gem from 1990. I was fortunate enough to attend Homefield School in Winkton, Christchurch when Colin Young was the head of Music. Colin crafted a fantastic orchestra from children who attended Homefield and other schools. We went on various tours over the years to countreis including The Czech Republic, Germany, France, Switzerland and the most interesting for me, Russia. We played in Leningrad and Moscow and visited Tchiakovsky’s House and the graves of Russian master composers. One concert was attended by a large group of the Red Army who were a great audience! Here is a photo from our very quick busking attemp in Red Square, we were moved on rather quickly by the KGB! I am the geeky looking one on the far right. From left to right Jason Barlow (Trumpet), Jim Partridge (Trumpet), Glenn Barlow (Trumpet), Simon Boothroyd (Trombone), James Aldred (Tenor Saxophone, James Rawlinson (Alto Saxophone).
Jazz Saxophone in Red Square 1990
Jay MetCalf Bettersax Workshop
I was honoured to work with Jay Metcalf of YouTube fame on May 13-15th. Jay is well known for his well presented, easy to understand tutorials as well as his great reviews of new products. A lot of topics were covered over the weekend, including important fundamentals such as long-tones, pentatonic improvisation, dispensing with the written music, overtones and the importance of listening.
I also got the chance to try some of the SYOS 3D printed mouthpieces. Pauline from SYOS was incredibly helpful and I will be visiting their website to investigate further www.syos.co As you can see I was being very serious in the photo and not messing about at all!
D’addario reeds and mouthpieces were also in attendance and I tried one of the new VENN synthetic tenor saxophone reeds. I have been slightly sceptical up to this point of the plastic reeds on offer on the market but was very pleasantly surprised to find the new VENN reeds were great! I usually use a strength 3 Vandoren Blue box tenor reed and was advised by Lucy from D’addario to try a 2.5 VENN. I haven’t stopped using it since. Well done D’addario, I know it’s been 6 years in the making but it’s been worth the wait.
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A big thank you must also go to Vandoren, Yanagisawa Saxophones UK, Key Leaves, sax.co.uk, Jody Jazz, Rovner products and Legere Reeds who all sponsored the event.