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City youngsters in Guildhall gig

Published Monday, 11 June 2018

Young musicians from Coventry schools are being given the chance to showcase their talents in one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

Coventry Music logo

St Mary’s Guildhall will echo to the sounds of Benny Goodman and the Beatles when Coventry Youth Jazz perform there at 7.30pm on 22 June.

The event is backed by funding from the Umbrella Club, a local arts group which has been supporting music and other arts-related events since the 1950s.

Ivor Lee, the event organiser, said: “This is all about giving youngsters a chance to do their thing.

“It’s about the music they listen to today and how it connects with jazz and blues – the roots which popular music sprang from”.

Coventry Youth Jazz have been earning a growing reputation since they were formed five years ago under the guidance of Coventry Music Hub.

At full strength they can boast an 18-piece line-up of trumpets, trombones and saxophones, supported by drums, guitars and keyboard.

Membership is drawn from music students across the city, who rehearse every week at the Bluecoat School, working on material ranging from swing era classics to modern pop and rock.

Numbers featured at the Guildhall gig will include “Sing, Sing, Sing”, from Benny Goodman’s heyday, and Beatles hits such as “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Twist and Shout”.

Musical Director Mark Allinson, said: “The kids really enjoy playing this kind of repertoire. It’s the basis of our approach – helping young musicians experience different genres.

“At Coventry Music Hub we are doing our best to champion youngsters and give them a chance to show what they can do.”

The Guildhall event is just the latest in a series of bookings which are helping to put Coventry Youth Jazz on the map. They have even had Talking Birds’ Derek Nisbet write a specially-commissioned piece for them.

Ticket cost £5 on the door or are available from Coventry Tourist Information Centre at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

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