Posted by cathyirons on October 23, 2016 at 11:05 PM
Working with different groups of people is always a creative and fun experience. Here I got to perform with members of Jazzmattaz, Hagley Jazz Course and the CSO at Peterborough library this weekend. We called ourselves Pentadjazz: Judi Smitheram (vocals), Mary Ruston (piano), Cathy Irons (violin), Jonathan Petty (piano) and Gerald Oliver (double bass).
Doing the Hagley Jazz and Improvisation Course this year has really strengthened my playing. I have learnt to breathe normally, practise my scales, listen carefully and then - let go! It has influenced the way I think about performing. In jazz, you are never entirely sure what will happen (yes, I do prepare and practise some passages ahead of time) but in the moment I need to be able to respond to what the others are doing, the feel of the music, what I have to say and my courage factor! It has taught me that sometimes we get so wound up when we learn classical music, that we prepare all sorts of stresses around the difficult passages. In the concert, we should simply respond to what we hear and...let go!