London’s leading off-west end studio theatre




About Us

During the 1930’s the basement of 16b Jermyn Street was home to the glamorous Monseigneur Restaurant and Club. The space was converted into a theatre by Howard Jameson and Penny Horner in the early 1990s, and Jermyn Street Theatre staged its first production in August 1994. Over the last twenty years the theatre has established itself as one of London’s leading Off-West End studio theatres.

Gene David Kirk became Artistic Director in 2009. With his Associate Director Anthony Biggs he was instrumental in transforming the theatre’s creative output with critically acclaimed revivals of rarely performed plays including Charles Morgan’s post-war classic The River Line, the UK premiere of Ibsen’s first performed play St John’s Night with Olivier-winning actress Sarah Crowe, and another Ibsen: his rarely performed late play Little Eyolf starring Imogen Stubbs and Doreen Mantle.

Other notable successes include 70’s musical Boy Meets Boy, which was nominated for six Off-West End Awards, The Two Character Play by Tennessee Williams, Graham Greene’s The Living Room and the Ivor Novello musical Gay’s The Word. In 2012 Trevor Nunn directed the World Premiere of Samuel Beckett’s radio play All That Fall starring Eileen Atkins and Michael Gambon. The production subsequently transferred to the West End’s Arts Theatre and then to New York’s 59E59 Theatre.




Anthony Biggs became Artistic Director in 2013 and has continued the policy of staging rediscovered classic plays alongside new plays and musicals, with a renewed focus on emerging artists, and writers from outside the UK. Recent revivals include Eugene O’Neill’s early American work The First Man, John Van Druten’s First World War drama Flowers of the Forest, and South African Reza de Wet’s supernatural tale Fever.
New work includes US playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel’s exploration of teenage sexuality Dry Land, Jonathan Lewis’s anarchic comedy about young people in the education system A Level Playing Field, and Sarah Daniels’ Soldiers’s Wives starring Cath Shipton, a stage adaptation of Sarah’s acclaimed BBC Radio play about five women living on a British army base whose husbands are serving in Afghanistan.

Jermyn Street Theatre was nominated for the Peter Brook Empty Space Award in 2011 and won the Stage 100 Best Fringe Theatre in 2012.

Jermyn Street Theatre is a registered charity and receives no public subsidy.




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London’s favourite live music club




THE HIDEAWAY – London’s favourite live music club

Live jazz, soul and funk set in a well thought out venue serving great food? There are a few good choices to be had in London.  But those in the know have, for the last six years, been heading to SW16.  With a varied programme of British and International artists, this intimate 250 capacity venue has quickly earned its reputation as one of the finest live venues in town, scooping up the prestigious Parliamentary Jazz Live Music Venue of the Year award along the way!



Hideaway is South London’s award-winning live music and comedy venue featuring the very best Jazz, Funk, Swing and Soul, showcasing new talent, established artists and star performers. Our comedy nights present the very best stand-up comedians on the circuit.  Located minutes from 3 train stations and 18 bus lines in Streatham in the heart of South London, HIDEAWAY never fails to deliver a great show with the top class of performing artists in the United Kingdom today. The stylish environment of our club creates a laid-back, relaxed ambience where you can really appreciate great live music. Join us for a drink in our fantastic bar and a delicious meal from our chef’s exciting, seasonal menu. For a very special night out in London with great live music and a fabulous atmosphere make sure you discover Hideaway too!

Hideaway opened in early 2010 and has amazed live music fans since then at the range of performances and the quality of the shows and hospitality. HIDEAWAY won the Parliamentary Jazz Awards gong for Live Music Venue of the Year, 2011/2012 and has been nominated for other equally prestigious awards since.




Mike Lovatt’s amazing signature trumpet




Mike Lovatt Smith Watkins Bb trumpet

Specification

  • Pitch:Bb
  • Bore Size: .460″dia
  • Finish: Silver Plate or Gold option
  • Bell Material/Diameter: Yellow brass/360mm
  • Leadpipe: ML supplied as standard. Smith-Watkins range available as extras
  • Finger buttons: Laser-etched Titanium (Also available for other Smith-Watkins instruments)
  • Total Weight (ex mouthpiece): 1.2kg
  • Supplied with fitted case with additional space for a second trumpet or mutes
  • Handcrafted and designed in Yorkshire, England
  • *ML mouthpiece supplied as optional extra

Mike Lovatt studied at Trinity College of music where he was awarded the Jon Kelly Jazz Scholarship. He has performed and recorded a wide range of musical styles with many artists including Quincy Jones, Robbie Williams, Eric Clapton, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Michael Buble, Oasis, Michel Le Grand, Tony Bennett, Toots Thielmans, Marty Paich, Johnny Mathis, The Michael Nyman Band, Michael Ball, Shirley Bassey, Michael Crawford, Danny Elfman, Joby Talbot, The BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras, London Brass, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

As Principal Trumpet in London’s West End, Mike has performed in Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Producers, Billy Elliot, Guys and Dolls, Saturday Night Fever, My Fair Lady, and Spamalot amongst others. Mike is the lead trumpet of the BBC Big Band who featured him in a tribute to Maynard Fergusson. He has played on movie soundtracks including the James Bond films Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with The London Symphony Orchestra, the award winning Chicago, Kevin Spacey’s Beyond the Sea, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Madagascar, and The Corpse Bride. He is featured on trumpet and cornet in George Fenton’s Mrs Henderson Presents, and on trumpet in ‘Looking for Eric.’

Mike is principal trumpet with the Grammy Nominated John Wilson Orchestra and has been featured in their celebrated BBC promenade concerts and recordings.

In 1999 Mike first performed the Sacred Music of Duke Ellington with Jessye Norman, Mark Markham, Ron Carter and Grady Tate. This collaboration with Ms Norman has continued with a duo appearance at the Tate gallery in London, and touring extensively with performances at Carnegie Hall, throughout Europe and the Montreux Jazz Festival where the legend Quincy Jones commented “great chops Mike.”

Mike is sought after as a teacher, clinician and is a professor of trumpet at The Royal Academy of Music and The Royal College of Music. In April 2013, Mike was proud to be awarded the prestigeous position of The Derek Watkins’ Chair of Trumpet at The Royal Academy of Music, London.

In 2009 Mike was soloist with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra Brass Ensemble and more recently the Espoo Big Band Helsinki and The London Symphony Orchestra with Eddie Daniels.

In 2012 Mike  recorded and was featured with Carl Davis on his score for the TV Drama series ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ , John Lunn’s music for ‘The Lady Vanishes’ and Charlie Moles’s music for the  hit itv series ‘Mr Selfridge’




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Rock Legends: Jimi Hendrix




James Marshall Hendrix

November 27th, 1942 – September 18, 1970

Widely recognized as one of the most creative and influential musicians of the 20th century, Jimi Hendrix pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar. Hendrix’s innovative style of combining fuzz, feedback and controlled distortion created a new musical form. Because he was unable to read or write music, it is nothing short of remarkable that Jimi Hendrix’s meteoric rise in the music took place in just four short years. His musical language continues to influence a host of modern musicians, from George Clinton to Miles Davis, and Steve Vai to Jonny Lang.

Jimi Hendrix, born Johnny Allen Hendrix at 10:15 a.m. on November 27, 1942, at Seattle’s King County Hospital, was later renamed James Marshall by his father, James “Al” Hendrix. Young Jimmy (as he was referred to at the time) took an interest in music, drawing influence from virtually every major artist at the time, including B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Holly, and Robert Johnson. Entirely self-taught, Jimmy’s inability to read music made him concentrate even harder on the music he heard.

Al took notice of Jimmy’s interest in the guitar, recalling, “I used to have Jimmy clean up the bedroom all the time while I was gone, and when I would come home I would find a lot of broom straws around the foot of the bed. I’d say to him, `Well didn’t you sweep up the floor?’ and he’d say, `Oh yeah,’ he did. But I’d find out later that he used to be sitting at the end of the bed there and strumming the broom like he was playing a guitar.” Al found an old one-string ukulele, which he gave to Jimmy to play a huge improvement over the broom.
By the summer of 1958, Al had purchased Jimmy a five-dollar, second-hand acoustic guitar from one of his friends. Shortly thereafter, Jimmy joined his first band, The Velvetones. After a three-month stint with the group, Jimmy left to pursue his own interests. The following summer, Al purchased Jimmy his first electric guitar, a Supro Ozark 1560S; Jimi used it when he joined The Rocking Kings.

In 1961, Jimmy left home to enlist in the United States Army and in November 1962 earned the right to wear the “Screaming Eagles” patch for the paratroop division. While stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Jimmy formed The King Casuals with bassist Billy Cox. After being discharged due to an injury he received during a parachute jump, Jimmy began working as a session guitarist under the name Jimmy James. By the end of 1965, Jimmy had played with several marquee acts, including Ike and Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, the Isley Brothers, and Little Richard. Jimmy parted ways with Little Richard to form his own band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, shedding the role of back-line guitarist for the spotlight of lead guitar.

Throughout the latter half of 1965, and into the first part of 1966, Jimmy played the rounds of smaller venues throughout Greenwich Village, catching up with Animals’ bassist Chas Chandler during a July performance at Caf‚ Wha? Chandler was impressed with Jimmy’s performance and returned again in September 1966 to sign Hendrix to an agreement that would have him move to London to form a new band.

Switching gears from bass player to manager, Chandler’s first task was to change Hendrix’s name to “Jimi.” Featuring drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding, the newly formed Jimi Hendrix Experience quickly became the talk of London in the fall of 1966.

The Experience’s first single, “Hey Joe,” spent ten weeks on the UK charts, topping out at spot No. 6 in early 1967. The debut single was quickly followed by the release of a full-length album Are You Experienced, a psychedelic musical compilation featuring anthems of a generation. Are You Experienced has remained one of the most popular rock albums of all time, featuring tracks like “Purple Haze,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Foxey Lady,” “Fire,” and “Are You Experienced?”

Although Hendrix experienced overwhelming success in Britain, it wasn’t until he returned to America in June 1967 that he ignited the crowd at the Monterey International Pop Festival with his incendiary performance of “Wild Thing.” Literally overnight, The Jimi Hendrix Experience became one of most popular and highest grossing touring acts in the world.

Hendrix followed Are You Experienced with Axis: Bold As Love. By 1968, Hendrix had taken greater control over the direction of his music; he spent considerable time working the consoles in the studio, with each turn of a knob or flick of the switch bringing clarity to his vision.

Back in America, Jimi Hendrix built his own recording studio, Electric Lady Studios in New York City. The name of this project became the basis for his most demanding musical release, a two LP collection, Electric Ladyland. Throughout 1968, the demands of touring and studio work took its toll on the group and in 1969 the Experience disbanded.




The summer of 1969 brought emotional and musical growth to Jimi Hendrix. In playing the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in August 1969, Jimi joined forces with an eclectic ensemble called Gypsy Sun & Rainbows featuring Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Juma Sultan, and Jerry Velez. The Woodstock performance was highlighted by the renegade version of “Star Spangled Banner,” which brought the mud-soaked audience to a frenzy.
Nineteen sixty-nine also brought about a new and defining collaboration featuring Jimi Hendrix on guitar, bassist Billy Cox and Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles. Performing as the Band of Gypsys, this trio launched a series of four New Year’s performances on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970. Highlights from these performances were compiled and later released on the quintessential Band of Gypsys album in mid-1970 and the expanded Hendrix: Live At The Fillmore East in 1999.

As 1970 progressed, Jimi brought back drummer Mitch Mitchell to the group and together with Billy Cox on bass, this new trio once again formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In the studio, the group recorded several tracks for another two LP set, tentatively titled First Rays Of The New Rising Sun. Unfortunately, Hendrix was unable to see this musical vision through to completion due to his hectic worldwide touring schedules, then tragic death on September 18, 1970. Fortunately, the recordings Hendrix slated for release on the album were finally issued through the support of his family and original studio engineer Eddie Kramer on the 1997 release First Rays Of The New Rising Sun.

From demo recordings to finished masters, Jimi Hendrix generated an amazing collection of songs over the course of his short career. The music of Jimi Hendrix embraced the influences of blues, ballads, rock, R&B, and jazz a collection of styles that continue to make Hendrix one of the most popular figures in the history of rock music.




Classical Legends: Jacqueline Du Pre




Sarah Kirkup speaks to those closest to du Pré to understand what makes her legacy so unique

Some musicians stand the test of time. Their gifts and talents for music-making continue long after they have ceased to perform, thanks to audio and visual recordings and the memories of those whose lives they have touched through personal encounters and concert performances.

Jacqueline du Pré is one such musician. This year marks half a century since her classic recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto with Sir John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra. Not only that but, were she still with us, she would have been celebrating her 70th birthday this year. Yet despite the passing of time, her presence remains keenly felt.

What was it about her musicianship that made her unique? Was she, perhaps, in the right place at the right time? The 1960s signified a social and cultural revolution during which a more liberal, expanded way of thinking became the norm. Du Pré, with her extrovert style of playing, fitted into this new ideal. As Daniel Barenboim says, ‘She was so free, emotional and carefree – not careless – that perhaps she represented what many people in England wished they could be but didn’t quite manage to be.’

In recent times, it’s been almost impossible to separate du Pré’s achievements as a musician from the tragedy of her early death from multiple sclerosis at the age of just 42. I for one find it difficult to hear one of her recordings or watch her on film without feeling a sense of loss. What could have been? What was still to come? Here is an artist whose career as a professional cellist lasted barely a decade, and yet in that time she revealed herself to be both a fine chamber musician and a soloist. Her recordings of the Beethoven and Brahms cello sonatas, with Stephen Kovacevich and Barenboim respectively, testify to this, as do her many concerto recordings, which include not just the Elgar but also those by Boccherini, Haydn, Dvořák, Schumann, Delius and Saint-Saëns. What would she have been capable of had she not had to retire at the age of 28? Would contemporary music have gained more of an appeal for her? (Notwithstanding Alexander Goehr’s Romanza, a piece written expressly for her in 1968 and which she evidently enjoyed playing, du Pré frequently voiced her dislike of ‘modern’ music.) Would she have been active in expanding the repertoire for cello through the commissioning of new works? What new musical partnerships and collaborations would she have developed? Listening to her perform the Elgar, in particular, the sense of nostalgia and yearning already present in that work can take on a new dimension when considering the debilitating illness that was just around the corner. But perhaps there is a danger in viewing du Pré’s musical achievements through the prism of tragedy. As Barenboim says of his first wife: ‘People try to make her musical importance relative to her illness, but I’m absolutely sure that she would have preferred to be known for her music.’




From the age of four, when she first heard the cello on Children’s Hour on the radio, du Pré was drawn to the instrument: ‘That is the sound I want to make,’ she told her mother. Iris du Pré immediately found a full-size instrument for her daughter, who wasted no time in setting about mastering it. Her attraction to the instrument was instant and intense; by the age of six she was performing on stage at the London Cello School and, by all accounts, stealing the limelight. Many witnesses during her short career testify to her lack of nerves ahead of a performance or a recording. In fact, it seems that she was perhaps more comfortable performing than not; as she once noted in her diary, ‘An artist can be at his loneliest in company; and at his fullest, most replete and expansive when alone with his art.’ Even filmmaker Christopher Nupen, who was a close friend of du Pré, admits that although ‘she was not unhappy when she was not playing the cello, she was at her happiest playing it and playing it well’. And playing it well invariably meant performing to an audience; an audience – whether comprising schoolchildren, acquaintances or the paying public – was what du Pré thrived on. As she said to Stephen Kovacevich (then Stephen Bishop), her one-time duo partner: ‘I’ve been blessed with a god-given talent and it’s my privilege to share it with my friends.’

It was this desire to communicate with others – and the seemingly effortless ability to do so – that made du Pré such an exceptional musician. It’s the one subject on which everyone I speak to for this article agrees. For Barenboim, she was ‘a musical conversationalist’. For Kovacevich, she ‘always had something different to say’. For the American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who recorded the Elgar with Barenboim in 2013, she ‘had a direct line of communication with everyone’. And for Nupen, she ‘radiated something when she played’.

It was as if her instrument was, to quote Stravinsky, ‘the vessel through which the music flowed’. The cello was a means to an end, and, despite her inferiority complex when it came to technique (when Rostropovich asked her, in 1966, what she wanted to learn from him, ‘technique’ was her immediate response), she was able to find her way around any practical difficulties for the sake of the music. Yet she wasn’t particularly interested in learning the story behind the work in question or expanding her knowledge about the composer. As her friend the pianist Guthrie Luke has said: ‘I asked her, “When did Haydn write this concerto?” She had no idea and simply didn’t care. There was no point in discussing such things with her. She played the work superbly, without knowing anything about its background history.’ It seemed the music told her all she needed to know. As Barenboim says, ‘She had a capacity that was very rare – she could become one with the music. She didn’t have to learn the notes and think what to do with them – there was an immediate reaction to the music, as if she heard what she read.’ He continues: ‘She hadn’t benefited from having a thorough training in theory and harmony but she had an uncanny instinct and was able to transmit that immediately.’

‘Her excesses were always in very good taste’

Everyone who saw du Pré play was caught up in the passion she conveyed, even though her wild physical movements were not to everyone’s taste. Perhaps English critics at the time weren’t used to such overt displays of emotion; perhaps, as Kovacevich suggests, there was a certain amount of jealousy involved. Or perhaps there was, at times, an excess of emotion. But, as Barbirolli once said, ‘When you’re young, you should have an excess of everything. If you haven’t, what are you going to pare off later on?’ Barenboim agrees, adding that ‘her excesses were always in very good taste’.

In any case, whether or not it was ‘appropriate’, du Pré’s physicality became her trademark, and for the most part, audiences not only in England but also in Europe and, particularly, the US took her to their hearts. As Kovacevich recalls of the first time he heard her play (making her Wigmore Hall debut in 1961): ‘We all fell for her. We were astonished at the level of communication and inspiration.’ Not only that, he and others close to her are adamant that any movement on stage was entirely natural and akin to the music. As Nupen insists, ‘There was never a single bat of the eyelid that was affectation.’ Half a decade on, and the films of du Pré seem to reflect a joy of music-making rather than anything else. Her movements hardly seem wild – perhaps, thanks to Lang Lang and others, we’ve grown used to a more ‘showmanship’ style of playing – and in fact don’t detract from the music at all. If anything, it could be said that they enhance it. She knows when the music requires her to pour her heart out and when she needs to hold back – and her movements reflect this.




Du Pré also had a tender, more restrained side, as Kovacevich was reminded recently when he was sent a recording of a broadcast he had all but forgotten. ‘I was so surprised at how subdued she could be,’ he muses. ‘The word innig – “inside” – comes to mind.’ Kovacevich has great affection for the recording he made with her of the two Beethoven sonatas, particularly the Second. ‘At that time – and in fact it’s the same today – there were only a handful of people who had some instinctive sense about how late Beethoven was different,’ he tells me. ‘There are some things Jackie – or “Superduper” as I used to call her – does that directly capture Beethoven’s deep but sometimes almost abstract expression. In late Beethoven, there are phrases that are officially empty but of course they’re not – they’re revealing the absence of conventional musical ideas and the withdrawal into something completely unconventional. Jackie somehow understood this.’

Du Pré was an enthusiastic chamber music player and everyone who played with her was struck by her remarkable intuition. Back in 1963, when she was seriously questioning whether she wanted to be a professional cellist, chamber music remained a joy for her and this joy was infectious. As the violinist Ana Chumachenco has recalled, ‘The force of her intuition was incredible.’ It was much the same with her duo partners. Kovacevich recalls an ‘instant rapport and appreciation of each other’s gift’. There has been talk in the past of Kovacevich’s ‘classical’ style being an antidote to du Pré’s more flamboyant way of playing, but the pianist wasn’t really aware of that. ‘If she and I came to a point where we couldn’t agree, it was normally about tempo,’ he recalls. ‘One of us would flip a coin, and whoever won, that movement was theirs.’ That rapport was instant with Barenboim, too: ‘The first evening I met her was at the home of Fou Ts’ong and Zamira Menuhin,’ he recalls. ‘We played chamber music and it was an immediate concert. It was perfectly natural playing with her.’ It’s a point echoed by violinist Pinchas Zukerman, who recalls of his chamber collaborations with du Pré and Barenboim, ‘We never wrote things down, we never discussed tempi – it just fitted.’

But despite du Pré’s gifts as a chamber music player, it was her association with the Elgar Cello Concerto, which she first performed aged 17, that fuelled the public’s imagination. Beatrice Harrison had recorded a complete version of the Elgar in 1928 with the composer conducting, and Pablo Casals had made a recording of it in 1945 with Sir Adrian Boult; other recordings followed, but none has earned the astonishing status and success among record buyers as du Pré’s 1965 version with Barbirolli. The conductor had been following du Pré’s progress ever since he had sat on the adjudicating panel of the Suggia Gift award when du Pré was 10 years old. When they eventually gave their first concert together – with the Hallé at the Royal Festival Hall in April 1965 – it was a performance of the Elgar. Barbirolli was steeped in the Elgar tradition, they were both British musicians, the young du Pré was able to breathe new life into an ‘autumnal’ work…It was a perfect match.

Four months later, at Kingsway Hall in London, du Pré and Barbirolli were joined by the LSO to record the work. It was a momentous occasion, as Gramophone critic Edward Greenfield recalls: ‘The orchestra wasn’t in the best of moods because of some internal dispute. . .They recorded the first movement and the scherzo almost in one go, and at the end of that the LSO, forgetting their bad temper, broke out into spontaneous applause, something that is relatively rare in a recording session.’

Du Pré’s interpretation continues to have much the same impact today. ‘It’s still my favourite recording,’ says Weilerstein. ‘But when I was 12 I decided to learn the Elgar myself and I had to develop my own relationship with the work so I put her recording away.’ Steven Isserlis talks of a similar desire to distance himself from such a landmark recording. Only now that he’s recorded the work himself (for the second time) has he dared to listen to it again.

Du Pré went on to record the work once more, with Barenboim, and in 1967 Nupen filmed them both performing it with the New Philharmonia Orchestra at Wood Lane studios before an invited audience. The film is a moving testament to both the rapport between the two musicians and du Pré’s ability to express, with directness and searing intensity, the emotional core of Elgar’s ‘war requiem’. Amazingly, Nupen filmed the whole concerto in one take: ‘I was nervous because I’d never shot a live concert in my life,’ he admits. ‘For six weeks afterwards my crew were coming to me and saying how inspiring the experience had been.’

As I mentioned earlier, while researching this piece I found myself wondering if du Pré was a product of her time – if the period in which she lived was particularly conducive to her ‘celebrity’ appeal. Had she lived earlier or later, perhaps she might not have enjoyed such wide-ranging influence.

For Nupen, the 1960s was certainly ‘a time of discovery. Because of television, Jackie and this new generation of musicians – Barenboim, Zukerman, Ashkenazy, Perlman – were discovering a new world andmaking a new world. When people had something to say, they could address the entire population for the first time in history.’ Kovacevich agrees that it was ‘a golden age’. He enthuses: ‘The audiences were younger, marvellous artists came, you could afford the tickets… Freedom was all around.’ Barenboim, meanwhile, admits that du Pré ‘had a classical status comparable to The Beatles’.

So perhaps the buzz of the 1960s and its accompanying technology propelled du Pré into the spotlight a little quicker than might otherwise have been the case – but most people I speak to believe she would have been famous whenever she had been born. Says Nupen, ‘The essential thing with any artist is what they radiate and how the public responds to that,’ while Weilerstein is convinced that ‘the core of du Pré’s artistry is timeless’.

I had also wondered if being a woman helped du Pré on her way to stardom? Female solo cellists were still relatively rare half a century ago (at least of the calibre of du Pré), and her magnificent presence on the podium – big dress, commanding physique, long, flowing locks – can’t have done her any harm in the public eye. As Kovacevich says, ‘Her appearance on stage was so wonderful – I’m trying to think of a masculine equivalent but I just can’t.’ Barenboim isn’t convinced, however, and nor is Weilerstein: ‘Her sex is completely irrelevant to me,’ she says. ‘It was more that she was so open and I wanted to be that way.’ Nupen finds the middle ground: ‘Her playing had nothing to do with femininity but her appeal to the world did.’




As for du Pré herself, she had mixed feelings about her role as a female cellist. In one interview, she denied any conflict between being a woman and a musician: ‘I can’t see that being a woman limits my playing, technically, in any way.’ Later, however, when preparing to perform Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto – and probably feeling rather daunted at the prospect of taking over from where the work’s dedicatee, Rostropovich, had left off – she said: ‘A woman cannot play as a man plays – she hasn’t the physique or the energy.’ Perhaps this contradictory nature of hers accounts for her ability always to say something unique in performance; as Nupen recalls, ‘One of the great things about Jackie was that even when she recorded the same piece twice it was different the second time. In live performance, too, she was constantly doing things that surprised, and yet made them feel absolutely right. How something can be right and surprising is a mystery.’

Perhaps the word ‘mystery’ is the key here. In vain I’ve been trying to find a stone left unturned, a clue, a reason, to explain why du Pré had, and continues to have, such influence on fellow musicians and music lovers alike. But some things can’t be explained – they just are. As Nupen says, ‘To explain things is to devitalise them.’ We should just be grateful that, through her films and recordings (her later recordings in particular are considered to be as vital and natural as her on-stage performances), we can experience first hand the talent that was Jacqueline du Pré.

But these recorded documents are only part of her legacy. Look at how she single-handedly manoeuvred the Elgar Cello Concerto into the mainstream cello repertoire. Or how she directly influenced musicians who are still dominating the classical music scene in the 21st century. Barenboim, for example, credits her with teaching him ‘a huge amount about string playing. . .Unlike the piano, with a string instrument you have a whole range of colours at your disposal. I learned a lot from her.’ Kovacevich, meanwhile, says that, musically, she ‘loosened me up – and I’m sure some of that continued’. And let’s not forget du Pré’s ongoing influence, via her recordings and teachings, on Isserlis, Weilerstein and the other great cellists of today.

It’s easy, particularly for the younger generations who only knew of her during or after her illness, to associate du Pré’s achievements with her early death, but, as both Nupen and Barenboim have warned, this is misguided; as Nupen says, ‘To view her music through the tragedy is a ghastly mistake.’ Like many other great musicians and composers before her, du Pré had her life cut short, but it’s her music in all its glory that lives on – and surely that’s what she herself would have wanted.




Bebe Rexha: “I got you”





 

YOU COULD SAY BEBE REXHA HAS NO FILTER. THE NEW YORK-BORN AND LOS ANGELES-BASED SINGER, SONGWRITER, AND POP DISRUPTOR CONSTANTLY SPEAKS HER MIND, AND THAT HONESTY DRIVES HER 2017 FULL-LENGTH DEBUT, ALL YOUR FAULT [WARNER BROS. RECORDS]. OVER A SOUNDSCAPE INSPIRED BY NINETIES R&B SASS AND MODERN POP STYLE, SHE’S NOT AFRAID TO CANDIDLY OPEN UP ABOUT BREAKUPS, FLIP OFF FAKE FRIENDS, OR BE A BAD BITCH…

“I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHO I TRULY AM,” SHE EXCLAIMS. “I’VE CHANGED SO MUCH OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND I FEEL LIKE I’VE COME INTO THIS STRONG AND POWERFUL PERSON. IN THIS INDUSTRY, YOU CAN EITHER WATCH YOURSELF DROWN OR LEARN HOW TO SWIM. I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO SWIM, AND NOW I’M GOING TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD.”

IN AUGUST 2015, BEBE FOUND HERSELF IN THE MIDST OF PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL UPHEAVAL. WITHIN THE SPAN OF A WEEK, A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP ENDED VIA TEXT MESSAGE, AND SHE PARTED WAYS WITH HER ORIGINAL TEAM. BOUNCING BETWEEN AIRBNB HOMES IN LOS ANGELES, SHE ATTENDED A WRITING CAMP AT WESTLAKE STUDIOS AND COMMENCED CHANNELING THESE EXPERIENCES INTO WHAT WOULD BECOME ALL YOUR FAULT.

“I JUST STARTED WRITING,” RECALLS BEBE. “RATHER THAN VICTIMIZING, I LOOKED AT MYSELF AND REFLECTED ON WHO I AM. ALL YOUR FAULT IS ACTUALLY A POSITIVE. THE IDEA ISN’T, ‘IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT I’M SAD;’ THE IDEA IS, ‘IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, I’M A BETTER WOMAN.’ INSTEAD OF BEING UPSET AND BITTER FOR GETTING FUCKED OVER, I DECIDED TO TAKE MY LIFE INTO MY OWN HANDS. I’M NOT HOLDING BACK WITH THE MUSIC.”



SHE CONFIDENTLY EMERGED FROM THIS TUMULT WITH THE SONGS THAT WOULD COMPRISE HER DEBUT. DRAWING FROM TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY TRAILBLAZERS LIKE DESTINY’S CHILD, AALIYAH, AND TIMBALAND AND MAKING A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO “GET SEXIER THAN EVER BEFORE,” SHE BOLDLY DEFINES HER SIGNATURE STYLE. IT COMES ACROSS LOUD AND CLEAR ON THE LEAD SINGLE “I GOT YOU.” JUMPING FROM SEDUCTIVE VERSES INTO AN UNSHAKABLE CHORUS, SHE IMMEDIATELY ENCHANTS.

“IT’S ABOUT MEETING SOMEONE YOU REALLY LIKE, BUT THIS PERSON BECOMES CLOSED OFF TO YOU,” SHE EXPLAINS. “YOU’RE TRYING TO SAY, ‘I’M JUST LIKE YOU. I’VE GONE THROUGH THE SAME THING. I GOT YOU.’ IT’S WHAT I WOULD WANT SOMEBODY TO TELL ME. WHEN YOU’RE FRESHLY SINGLE, YOU’RE ESSENTIALLY BRUISED AND SCARRED. YOU’RE VERY WEARY. YOU’RE ASSURING THIS PERSON YOU’RE RIDE OR DIE, WILL DO WHATEVER THE FUCK IT TAKES, AND YOU’RE NOT LIKE THE OTHERS.”

WHETHER IT’S THE RAPID FIRE DELIVERY OF “ATMOSPHERE” OR THE HYPNOTIC HEART OF “SMALL DOSES”—WHICH BOASTS ORCHESTRAL AND CINEMATIC VIOLIN COURTESY OF LINDSEY STIRLING— BEBE’S VISION PROVES BOTH DEEP AND DYNAMIC. ELSEWHERE ON THE ALBUM, G-EAZY SERVES UP SHARP AND SIZZLING BARS ON THE FIERY “FUCK FAKE FRIENDS,” AND TY DOLLA $IGN BRINGS HEAT TO THE EMPOWERING DECLARATION OF “BAD BITCH.”

“I WAS STARTING TO FEEL MYSELF ON THAT ONE,” SHE SMILES. “I’D FALLEN IN LOVE WITH SOMEBODY, AND HE TOLD ME HE WAS TIRED OF ALL THE BASIC, GROUPIE GIRLS. SO, I WAS LIKE, ‘YOU WANT A BAD BITCH. I’M HERE.’ I’VE BEEN TOO GOOD. NOW, I WANT TO BE NAUGHTY AND SHAKE THINGS UP.”

BEBE’S DESTINY WAS ALWAYS TO SHAKE THINGS UP. IN 2015, NEARLY TEN YEARS OF HUSTLING AND GRINDING BEGAN TO PAY OFF. SHE TEAMED WITH G-EAZY FOR THE QUINTUPLE-PLATINUM SMASH “ME, MYSELF & I.” AS THE SONG TOOK OFF TO POP UBIQUITY, THEY DELIVERED SHOW-STOPPING PERFORMANCES AT THE IHEARTRADIO MUSIC AWARDS, THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, AND JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!. NEXT, BEBE CHARGED UP HER OWN SINGLE “NO BROKEN HEARTS” [FEAT. NICKI MINAJ], WHICH AMASSED OVER 100 MILLION COMBINED STREAMS AND 125 MILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS IN LESS THAN SIX MONTHS. ANOTHER INTERNATIONAL HIT WITH MARTIN GARRIX, “IN THE NAME OF LOVE,” FOLLOWED, RACKING UP 350 MILLION COMBINED STREAMS. CAPPING OFF A BANNER YEAR, SHE HOSTED AND PERFORMED AT THE 2016 MTV EMAS. SO FAR, CUMULATIVE SINGLE SALES EXCEED 8 MILLION WORLDWIDE, WHILE TOTAL SPOTIFY STREAMS AND YOUTUBE VIEWS SURPASS 2 BILLION AND 1.5 BILLION, RESPECTIVELY. ALONG THE WAY, SHE’S RECEIVED ACCLAIM FROM ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, GQ, ELLE, USA TODAY, BILLBOARD, AND MANY OTHERS.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, BEBE PULLS NO PUNCHES, AND THAT’S WHY SHE ALWAYS MAKES A CONNECTION.

“I NEVER HAD AN OLDER SISTER, SO I WANT TO BE LIKE THE OLDER SISTER TO GIRLS WHO NEED ONE,” SHE LEAVES OFF. “I WANT TO ENCOURAGE THEM TO GROW INTO THEIR SKIN, LOVE THEMSELVES, AND BE BAD BITCHES.”



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Black Sabbath bow out in Birmingham





Black Sabbath, the band credited with inventing heavy metal music, have played their last concert.

The two-hour gig at the NEC Arena in their home city of Birmingham saw the rock veterans play 15 songs ending with their first hit, Paranoid.

Ticker tape and balloons fell as singer Ozzy Osbourne, 68, thanked fans for nearly five decades of support.

Sabbath’s The End Tour began in the US in January last year and took in 81 dates across the world.

The tour schedule saw the band visit Australasia, Europe, North America and South America, finishing with two shows in Birmingham.

Black Sabbath were formed in 1968 by Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward.

While Osbourne quit in 1977 to be replaced by Rainbow’s Ronnie James Dio, the classic line-up made their way back in 1997.



Ward has not played with the band since 2012 and Osbourne, Iommi and Butler were joined on stage at the final shows by drummer Tommy Clufetos and keyboard player Adam Wakeman.

The final song was streamed live on Sabbath’s Facebook page and fireworks went off as the band took their final bow, posing for a farewell photograph in front of the cheering crowd.

“Thank you, goodnight, thank you so much,” Osbourne said as they left the stage. Iommi gave a thumbs-up as he waved goodbye.

Black Sabbath's final gig
Black Sabbath's final gig
Black Sabbath's final gig
 Speaking to the BBC before the final show, Osbourne said he was “a whirlwind of emotions”.

“I remember playing the Crown pub in Birmingham and thinking, ‘This’ll be good for a couple of years – drink a few beers and have a jam’.

“But it was the beginning of the most incredible adventure you could think of. I’ve had the best life out of it.”

Osborne said Black Sabbath’s farewell tour was the definitive end, vowing: “This is definitely it. It’s run its course.”

BBC music reporter Colin Paterson said the final concert was heavy on nostalgia, with only one of the songs played having been released after 1972.

The audience had come as far away as Australia and Honduras and were emotional, with one telling the BBC: “People behind me were in floods of tears about it. They were absolutely devastated it was the last one.”

Another said: “That’s the 10th time I’ve seen them. It feels like I’ve broke up with a long term girlfriend.”

The fans were also having their portraits taken and memories recorded, as part of the Home of Metal project.

The project is asking them to contribute photos and memorabilia for an exhibition celebrating the legacy of Black Sabbath, which will tour internationally in 2018, followed by a summer season in Birmingham and the Black Country in 2019.



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Rag’n’Bone Man, Grace










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The brilliant Wayne Bergeron here in London





Wayne Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most sought-after musicians in the world. Studio sessions, film dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest appearances, and clinics keep him busy not only in his hometown of Los Angeles, but worldwide.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1958, Bergeron came to Los Angeles at age one, so considers himself a native Californian. Originally starting on French horn, he switched to trumpet in seventh grade and found he had natural upper register ability. Bergeron credits his junior high and high school teachers, Ron Savitt and Bob Smith, for molding his talent into practical working skills.

Bergeron first caught the ear of many when he landed the lead trumpet chair with Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1986. Bergeron can be heard on Maynard’s recordings of “Body and Soul,” “Big Bop Nouveau,” “Brass Attitude,” and “The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.”  Bergeron demonstrates daily why Maynard remarked, “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of recording credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day. Other names include Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, The Dirty Loops, Seth MacFarlane, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion, Seal, Diana Krall, Tito Puente, Christina Aguilera, Dianne Reeves, Michael Bolton, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pussy Cat Dolls, My Chemical Romance, The Mars Volta, INXS, Chicago, Rosemary Cloony, Diane Schuur, Barry Manilow, Lee Ann Womack, Lou Rawls, Eric Marienthal, Kenny G., and David Benoit.



Bergeron has worked on over 350 TV & motion picture soundtracks. A partial list of film credits include Moana, Frozen, Bridge of Spies, Get On Up, Toy Story 3, Monsters University, Planes, Despicable Me 1 & 2, Cars 2, Charlie St. Cloud, High School Musical 3, Pink Panther 2, Marley & Me, Get Smart, Superman Returns, The Simpson’s Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Mission Impossible 3, Ice Age 2, Spiderman 1 & 2, Team America, Catch Me if You Can, and South Park.

 Bergeron’s featured trumpet solos can be heard on the motion pictures La La Land, Ted 2, Minions, Jersey Boys, The Incredibles, Rocky Balboa, The Green Hornet, The Interview, Smurfs 2, Despicable Me 2, Duplicity, Leather Heads, Princess & the Frog, The Perfect Game, High Crimes, Rounders, Fled, Hey Arnold (the movie), The Life Aquatic, The Rat Pack, Child Star, Illegal Tender, Aladdin King of Thieves, Foolproof, and Two Days in the Valley.

 Numerous TV credits include Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, SAG Awards, NBC, ESPN & TNT sports themes, Entertainment Tonight Theme, American Idol (2001-02), Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Latin Grammy’s, Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, Jeopardy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Phineas & Ferb, Emperor’s New School, Mouse Works, Have a Laugh, House of Mouse, King of the Hill, Futurama, Buzz Lightyear, Hercules, Disney Mickey Mouse Shorts, and Hey Arnold.

 Bergeron’s passion for big bands has led to his inclusion in some of Los Angeles’ most well-respected bands. He has recorded and played with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Jack Sheldon, Chris Walden, Tom Kubis, John La Barbara, Bob Florence, Ray Anthony, Bill Watrous, Bob Curnow, and more recently Vince Mendoza’s re-creation of the Gil Evans/Miles Davis recordings featuring Terance Blanchard and Sean Jones.

 After being behind the scene for so many years, Bergeron stepped out on his own with his first solo effort, “You Call This a Living?”  This debut project earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble, as well as rave reviews from fans and press worldwide. Bergeron’s second CD, “Plays Well With Others,” released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007, was met with the same acclaim. Bergeron is excited about his latest release, Full Circle, Full Circle was released in January of 2016. Bergeron feels this is his best work to date.

Bergeron has been principle trumpet at the Pantages Theatre for over 15 years and is regularly featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has done guest appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Bergeron is a National Artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America and is co-designer of the YTR-8335LA trumpet and YFH-8315G Flugelhorn. Bergeron also designed a series of trumpet mouthpieces with Gary Radtke of GR Technologies that are available through Bergeron’s website.

Bergeron was mentored by legends like Uan Racey, Bobby Shew, Warren Luening, Gary Grant, Rick Baptist, and George Graham. He hopes to inspire a new generation of young players and enjoys his work as a clinician and educator. “Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than hearing a young musician say that I inspired them or had a positive influence on their life. For me, that’s the real payday.” Bergeron is currently on faculty at California State University Northridge.

Maybe Grammy winning composer and bandleader, Gordon Goodwin said it best, “Wayne is a once in a lifetime lead trumpet player.”



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25TH BIRTHDAY COMMISSIONS FOR CLASSIC FM




25TH BIRTHDAY COMMISSIONS FOR CLASSIC FM

RPS has teamed up with Classic FM in celebration of the broadcaster’s 25th Birthday.

To mark this milestone, RPS and Classic FM are co-commissioning six new works, written by composers who are no older than Classic FM itself, to be presented in a series of special concerts and events throughout 2017.

Each successful composer will be allocated an event at which their piece will be premiered. These events include International Make Music Day, The Welsh Proms and Classic FM’s 25th Birthday Celebration with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. With varying ensemble sizes, each composer will be paid for their work, which will be recorded live and broadcast to Classic FM’s 5.3 million listeners throughout the UK.

Entrants’ work will be considered by an eminent panel of judges, including Classic FM’s Composer in Residence, Debbie Wiseman, with six individuals then appointed as Classic FM’s 25th Birthday Composers.

Who can apply?

The competition is open to those who were born on, or after 7th September 1992 and who are UK residents or studying full time in the UK.

N.B. The successful composers will have borne in mind the fact that one in ten adults in the UK listens to Classic FM every week, and will demonstrate an ability to write accessible classical music, for varying sizes of ensemble.

How can I apply?

If you fit the age criteria, and would like to apply for Classic FM’s 25th Birthday Commissions, in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society, please email classicfm.commissions@classicfm.com, registering your interest. You’ll then receive a reply with all the information you’ll need to put together an application.

We’ll ask for a few details, and some examples of your recent compositional work. Entries close on 1st March, after which a judging panel will select the six composers.





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