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Rumour Jazz It: Sixth Form Trip to Ronnie Scott’s

Monday, 03 February 2020

On Thursday 9th January, a group of Senior Sixth boys was taken by the Music Department to Ronnie Scott’s as a thank you for their services to CLS jazz.

Felix (S6) writes:

“What better way to celebrate three years of rehearsals and performances, ranging from busking outside The Leadenhall Building to a recital at the National Concert Band Festival in Manchester. For those less familiar with the London jazz scene, or indeed the style of music altogether (you’re missing out), Ronnie Scott’s is the legendary jazz club in London. Located in a basement at 39 Gerrard Street in the heart of Soho, its picture-coated walls and well-trodden floors have witnessed many of the greatest musicians in this genre. From Curtis Mayfield to Roy Ayres, the club has been home to performances and live album recordings that have defined 20th Century jazz. After walking down a darkly lit hallway covered with black and white images of club concerts ranging back to its opening in 1959, we were greeted by a well-used bar, tables individually lit by the soft orange glow of low lamps, and the famed stage. Such an introduction makes it impossible to forget the history of the club, and immediately sets the atmosphere for some of the best live jazz the UK has to offer. Our night began with a rendition from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra quintet. Consisting of a saxophonist, trumpeter, pianist, drummer and bassist, the group amazed for an hour, with a rendition from vocalist Helena Debono of David Mann’s ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ particularly standing out. After a small interval, the full NYJO concert band squeezed onto the Tardis-like stage and proceeded to perform one of the highest quality jazz renditions the music department or I had experienced. Alongside a composition named ‘Grandma’s Odyssey’ with a 13/8 time-signature, written by NYJO saxophonist Tom Ridout, a personal highlight was the groups incredible performance of ‘Willow Weep for Me’ by Ann Ronell. After over three hours of jazz we emerged into drizzly Soho humming favourites of the evening’s performance, excited to replicate some of the NYJO style in our own concerts. All of us would like to thank the Music Department for such a wonderful evening. We hope it becomes an annual occasion for jazz musicians in the Senior Sixth.”

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