Festivals as learning environments and the coolest instrument in the world – Emma Webster

The coolest instrument in the world is the electric guitar – or, at least, that is what was taught to twenty school children today as part of one of the EFG London Jazz Festival educational events. And after today’s wonderful concert by Chris Montague, I am fully inclined to agree!
Continue reading Festivals as learning environments and the coolest instrument in the world – Emma Webster

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Why do audiences attend festivals? – Emma Webster

As part of my research at the EFG London Jazz Festival, I have been speaking to audience members about what they get out of festivals and why they attend. The following is a brief overview of just some of the themes that have arisen so far:- Continue reading Why do audiences attend festivals? – Emma Webster

Festival as amplifier rather than umbrella? – Emma Webster

The EFG London Jazz Festival is often described as an ‘umbrella’ for events taking place within it. Events take place at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s which operate all year round, with the addition of special events with ‘big name’ artists promoted by Serious, the Festival’s producer, and other special gigs. However, I suggest that rather than an umbrella – a device for sheltering and protecting – the Festival is instead an amplifier of cultural activity. As an amplifier, the Festival increases and intensifies existing activity and in doing so, attracts other media and hence – in the case of radio – literally amplifies the music beyond usual levels of activity. In the case of the London Jazz Festival, this is through media partnerships with BBC Music and Jazz FM, but jazz is also getting more coverage than usual in broadsheets and other media as a result.
Continue reading Festival as amplifier rather than umbrella? – Emma Webster

Behind a live radio broadcast at Ronnie Scott’s – Emma Webster

Over the course of my research into live music, the phrase I’ve probably heard the most is ‘You can’t beat live music’. Another phrase often repeated more generally is how the pictures are better on radio. Last night I was lucky enough to actually be at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz on 3 on Friday 13th November rather than having to create my own pictures, broadcast live on Jazz on (Radio) 3, BBC Music Jazz, and Jazz FM, and presented by Jez Nelson. Continue reading Behind a live radio broadcast at Ronnie Scott’s – Emma Webster

Paris – Emma Webster

I was in Ronnie Scott’s last night when the terrorist attack in Paris happened – I didn’t see the news until this morning.  Before that, I was in the Barbican for the Jazz Voices concert in a concert hall.  To quote a friend, “Last night I went to a gig, No one shot at us. No one took anyone hostage. That is how it should be” (thanks, Nick Mcallister). I will blog more about the London Jazz Festival later but wanted to write something about this shocking news and have used someone else’s words while I try to digest it.

The Signs of Festival (cont) – Emma Webster

Walking to the Barbican Centre – one of the main EFG London Jazz Festival venues – I keep a keen eye out for signs of festival.

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Outside the venue, a stone’s throw from the theatre stage door, is a grey BBC outside broadcast van. Whilst perhaps not an obvious sign of festival, it nevertheless indicates that something out of the ordinary is happening inside (the Jazz Voices concert later on will be broadcast live on Radio 3).
Continue reading The Signs of Festival (cont) – Emma Webster

The Signs of Festival – Emma Webster

Tomorrow (Friday 13th November) sees the start of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2015 (LJF), the biggest music festival in the UK’s biggest city.  I will be attending a variety of LJF events as part of a new project, The Impact of Festivals, led by Professor George McKay of the University of East Anglia (UEA).  In anticipation of what I hope will be an exciting ten days, today’s blog post considers the signs of festival – how we know a festival is on its way before it begins. Continue reading The Signs of Festival – Emma Webster