It’s the last weekend in June and it’s time for Jazz School UK Big Band weekend lead by ace British trumpeter Steve Waterman - composer, conductor, arranger and general good guy with the patience of a saint.
It’s been in my diary since February and finally the time has rolled round. A three hour drive and I arrive in Rushden, Northamptonshire.
The venue is The Shoe Factory, Rushden, owned and run by Nick Weldon and Andra Sparks. Two very accomplished musicians and a lovely couple.
Day one, Saturday, consisted of a 13 piece band and we covered 5 songs including Our Delight by Tadd Dameron, La Fiesta by Chick Corea, Walkin’ Shoes by Gerry Mulligan, Lady Bird by Tadd Dameron.
Day two, Sunday, we did 6 songs amongst them - Killer Joe by Benny Golson, Nowhere to go by Steve Waterman, Good Bait by Tadd Dameron …..
The lineup was larger on Sunday as some more musicians joined for this day. I think there was around 16 musicians.
The attention to detail is microscopic. The day is long and hard but the experience is invaluable and rewarding.
However experienced one is there is always more to learn.
Onwards and upwards.