The flowers are out here in London and we've already had weather warm enough for shorts! The past few months since my last entry have been varied (as usual) and I'm still finding my feet here in the south of England. As ever, I'm expanding my private teaching and have released another short video outlining a few questions that many people have in their first drum lesson:
I've also made a facebook page for my teaching. I upload exclusive content that you won't find on my website so check it out here and give me a 'like' if you fancy!
In other news, My trio has recently completed a 10 session residency for Live Music Now at Ayletts Care Home. It's been lovely working with Pete (and occasionally Aron) and getting to know the residents over the span of time. Special thanks to Ivan Gonzalez the photographer for these excellent shots on the last session!
This residency has marked the end of Katie's Allsorts Trio's time with Live Music Now. We've had an excellent 6 years and have done 151 participatory performances. I'm now looking forward to mentoring other musicians on the scheme and look forward to my continuing involvement with such an amazing charity.
In other news I'll be submitting my (dual) citizenship application this month, which has been a pile of work to put together. This will be the very last piece to the very long sega, but first I will have lots of waiting to do. Good thing I'm patient (or trying to be!)
It's been 5 months since my move to London and I thought I would do a quick blog update to share some new things with you and also to wish everyone well - I hope you all have a relaxing time over the holidays and all the best for a prosperous 2017. It's going to be a good year!
New Function Band - 'There SHE Goes'
I've recently joined a brand new acoustic roaming function band called There SHE Goes. The idea with this group is that we can roam around the events we play at and perform to smaller groups of people and then move on somewhere else. It's a great idea for some different, unique entertainment that will really engage audiences. Everyone in the band has great energy and we are looking forward to a busy 2017. It's been lots of fun creating drum parts for my new mobile rig, and coordinating my singing along with it too!
New Drum Lessons Video
I recently tried my hand at making a promo video for my drum lessons with the idea of giving the viewer a bit more insight into how I structure my lessons and what to expect. I had a great time learning more about video making and already have some ideas about another video in early 2017. My teaching has started to pick up in London and I am still taking on new students so please contact me if you are interested!
New 'Up All Night Band' Live Clip
Up All Night Band (My 4 piece party pop/rock group) is still going strong and we are now taking bookings for the summer 2017 season. Here is a live clip from a gig this autumn - we suit any group of folks wanting to have a good time. Get in touch today for a personalised price quote!
Faculty Member of 'Camden Light Orchestra'
Karaoke Rocks @ The Constitution, Camden
I've played a few times at a brand new night in Camden - Karaoke with a live band. Our music is linked to the lyric monitor so it's just like traditional karaoke, and we've got a huge song list. We've had some really entertaining characters get up and sing and it's been fun trying out some songs I have never sung before. The next one will be 2 February and although I'm not in the house band for that one, I'm hoping to come anyway and have a sing - see you there!
Well, it's time for a new chapter - this summer I moved to London! My new place is pretty neat - I can look out from my office/studio to my huge back garden (featured in the video clip I've posted below) that has a walnut tree, apple trees and every so often a handsome ginger cat strolls by that I've named Morrissey. I've only been here a month and have some very exciting projects in the works which I will be able to share more about soon (it's still a secret!!). The past 8 years in Leeds has been really wonderful of course, but I'm hoping this change will spark some fresh creativity into my music.
Also you may have noticed a website makeover. It's about time, eh!
This summer I had a great photoshoot with the brilliant Maria Alzamora. I wanted to capture a bit of Leeds before my move and chose to showcase the beautiful Leeds Market and Burley Park Train Station. If you mosey on through around the website, you will spot some more snaps. Which one is your favourite?
Recently I've been collaborating with fantastic South African musician Thanda. We've worked together delivering music workshops for darts and decided we would like to do some playing together on top of that. We made a little video in my back garden showcasing our music. We've really enjoyed figuring out how to make the music work with just vocals and drums. Also it means that we are totally mobile and can add exciting movement to our performing. If this is something you might like for your event, please get in touch for more information!
Can you feel the crispness in the air? This blog will be taking a look back at the past few months. This summer was filled with great music, learning and new experiences. I will share a few highlights (in no particular order):
I've been playing with excellent vocalist Jenny Smith quite a bit recently. From sunny Sunday Bossa Nova music in Leopold Square, Sheffield to filling the dance floor at Revolucion de Cuba for their 'Big Swing' events in both Sheffield and Manchester, it's been tons of fun.
Another relatively new project that celebrates the music of James Taylor has been taking off nicely. Sweet Baby James has had 2 brilliant gigs, one in Halifax, West Yorkshire and one in Abergavenny, Wales. Check out a new addition to my kit in the picture above - some majestic wind chimes! It's so hard not to play them constantly in every song because they sound so nice. I'll keep working on it!
In other news, I've started taking advanced driving lessons through the Institute of Advanced Motorists and am working towards the advanced driving test. I'm really enjoying the process of becoming a better driver and practicing is a great excuse to get out and about and enjoy everything Yorkshire has to offer. I recommend the lessons to everyone!
As always, please get in touch if you are looking for a drummer, or teacher or anything at all. I look forward to hearing from you!
The fellas in the band really rose to the occasion and played at a consistently high level each night. Matt Hurt on guitar nailed all of the Brian May solos and often combined 2 guitar parts in his playing so that the 4 piece band sounded even bigger than the 5 piece band last year! Pete Gavin laid down the signature Queen bass lines with flair and ease, also he wowed audiences with his entertaining and adventurous solos. Lastly Oli Cadman was the master of the sounds - from pumping rock synth to storm soundscapes he made the band sound smokin'. On top of this, his great keyboard playing kept the singers in line and on form. Not to mention the stunning dance moves from all 3 guys - from choreographed bass + guitar flourishes to Oli's hip dip and clap it was a feast for the senses.
Now it's back to the usual mix of teaching, workshops and gigs in and around the UK. Next month I'll be heading back to the Tuscia in Jazz Festival in Bagnoregio, Italy to play a gig with Aeroplanes at Brescia, soak up the sun, food and jazz. Until then, please get in touch if you are looking for a drummer or want to say 'Hi'. Remember, keep fit and have fun!
This past month has been very busy with my trio doing workshops from Live Music Now. Over half term we partnered up with Harrogate International Festivals and NYMAZ to present 'Musical Villages' in North Yorkshire. We started out with a few taster sessions in the local schools leading up to the half term week. Over half term we worked with a great group of kids for 5 half days in a row and composed our own suite of music that we performed on the last day. Using a few words for inspiration, we created a story about Pete (the bass player) and his nemesis, Mr. Artichoke. In the story, Pete unintentionally squashed Mr. Artichoke's family which upset him so much he decided to get Pete back. Pete narrowly escaped death in various scenarios - in the shower, in the car, in the hospital, in the kitchen. We then composed the sound track for the story using drums, percussion, guitar, bass, clarinet, trumpet, alto sax, flute and other instruments. We even recorded our own samples for the music! The final performance was a combination of acting and music and it went down a storm.
On top of that, we've been working in a few schools in South Yorkshire. It's been really nice to spend the whole day in one school so we can get a chance to work with more individual children instead of a large group concert style performance.
I'm thrilled to announce that I have become an Evans artist! I've been playing Evans drum heads since my very first kit so I'm very excited about this. Special thanks to Elaine Smith at D'Addario for sorting it out.
In other news, I've had a fantastic summer filled with great gigs including getting my hard hitting klezmer on at Audio Farm Festival in Wales with Tantz (filling in for Matt Davies)
The Allsorts Band had a great few gigs - pictured below is with special guests Riley Stone - Lonergan and Alex Munk at The Bull's Head, London. Also we were in Leeds at Wharf Chambers and back with the original lineup at at Glyde House in Bradford and at The Lescar in Sheffield.
I've had a few dandy gigs with Up All Night Party Band, and I've depped in a few new bands and met some lovely people. Most recently I've joined Louise Gibbs new project - Seven Deadly Sings. Looking forward to upcoming gigs in Scotland in November.
On the educational side of things, I've been doing my training in Makaton which will be a blast to incorporate into my workshops, and I'll be heading down to London a few times in the upcoming months to do some workshop training with Spitalfields Music. I'm looking ahead to a cosy, musical winter full of drumming and composing (long overdue!!)
I've recently joined a new hard hitting guitar led trio called Aeroplanes at Brescia. The music is heavily influenced by Allan Holdsworth and also features some more laid back, folky inspired music. We recently travelled to Bagnoregio in Italy to perform our first gig together as finalists in the Tuscia Jazz Festival European Jazz Award competition. It was a fantastic week of checking out some great music, meeting new friends, eating great food and enjoying the sun!
Check out this live recording of a groovy Holdsworth tune from the semifinal:
It was such an honour to play our music for the judges - Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Hays, Scott Colley, Eric Harland, Donnie McCaslin, Giorgio Rosciglione, Gegè Munari, Aldo Bassi, Elisabetta Antonini and Italo Leali - the director of the festival. What a lovely surprise to win! Above is Kurt and Italo presenting us with the beautifully painted plate with a portrait of Ray Charles. We will be coming back to Tuscia in Jazz 2015 to perform a gig that will be recorded and released. We are looking forward to that already!
We made some lovely friends along the way - check out 2nd place winners Carla Restivo 5tet from Palermo, Italy and 3rd place winners Acquaphonica. It would be great to collaborate with these folks in the future (hint hint!)
I'm also thrilled and proud to have won the 'Best New Talent' Award in the competition. Wow! Still blown away by that..
Here's a new tune that we debuted in the semi-final:
What a great start to the summer! And with a view like this who could go wrong? Special thanks to Pop Teodor from JazzyBIT who took this lovely photograph. A very inspiring week indeed.
I'm very excited about this new drum kit!! Special thanks to the guys at Manchester Drum Centre who were extremely helpful and knowledgable. The Yamaha Live Custom kit is similar to the Oak Customs but the shells are 10% thicker which means I get a huge, powerful sound!
I took them out on their maiden voyage to The Netherlands for a month in April/May for Icon Theatrical's brand new show 'Somebody to Love' featuring the Bohemian Rhapsody Band. It was such a blast rockin' out every night to packed out theatres playing such well loved music. Long live Queen!