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Round Two of Fun Size Jazz at The Ark this August

The new series from IMC and The Ark, ‘Fun Size Jazz’, began this May with the first set of scratch performances for kids. On a lovely, sunny bank holiday Monday, the upstairs of The Ark was filled with eager children and families, many experiencing their first taste of live improvised music.

The first series of performances were led by improvising musicians Mary & Katherine Barnecutt, Mike Nielsen and Filipa Quintino.

String Play’, the project from sisters Mary and Katherine Barnecutt was a charming and inventive string duo which used improvised music to express everyday experiences such as sleeping, waking, dreaming, conversations, arguments, friendship and travelling.

I thought it was a really amazing opportunity to try something new in front of kids …. we had no idea if what we were doing was going to work or not...the kids were great, and it was a really nice thing to do, to be able to share that way” - Katherine Barnecutt (from 'String Play)

With the Flow’, the project led by Filipa Quintino along with Tommy Moore (electric bass and voice), John Moriarty (guitar and double bass) and Shane O'Donovan (drums) used their performance to explore the elements, such as water and wind, all mixed with some Latin swing.

It was cool playing for kids, it was something different! Some of them were bopping along, and some of them were was pretty hilarious, and they seemed to be enjoying it. I’m sure it’s a very positive thing for children and their development growing up” - Tommy Moore (from With The Flow)

Family Sound Recipes’, with Mike Nielsen and his musically talented family, was a delightful experience of improvisation and creativity, making fantastic music together on the spot using the sound ingredients provided by all their various instruments, as well as some live art-making as a part of the performance. Michael Nielsen (guitar), wife Marta Nielsen (accordion), and children Oskar Nielsen (drums) & Harriet Nielsen (tin whistle/painting).

I wasn’t worried about the kids walking around because they take everything in, even though they seem distracted, they’re not! It doesn’t matter if they’re going to sit here or there, or walk around, because the whole ambience of the room - the sound...they take everything in, I guarantee that. You think they don’t listen? They are on the ball! More than you could ever imagine.” - Marta Nielsen (from Family Sound Recipes)

For some of these artists, it was their first time performing for children, so the whole day was a new experience for both audiences and performers. The short performances and the small audience allowed for a comfortable and interactive atmosphere, with our excellent MC Sam Kavanagh facilitating a fun dialogue throughout.

After such a great experience at The Ark for this first outing, we are delighted to announce that there will be another set of performances on the bank holiday Monday on 6th August in the main theatre at The Ark. This is a great chance for music lovers, young and old, to try something new together. Details of the next set of performances below:

MONDAY 6th AUGUST 2pm & 4pm

Playing the Blues with Ben - A participative performance with an emphasis on fun. You may even get a chance to come up with some lyrics and along the way find out what the AAB 12 bar format is!

- With Ben Prevo (guitar, vocals, loop pedal).

Space Voyagers - Voyage into space with this band travelling across the planets on the vibrations of sound, communicating through the metaphysical medium of music!

- With Lioba Petrie (cello, loop pedal, voice), Abigail Smith (voice, viola, other instruments), Dave Redmond (double bass), Phil MacMullin (drums/percussion).

The Smashing Red Kite's Blues - This performance uses the children’s story ‘The Smashing Red Kite’ story by Ann Lorraine Mack to bring the blues to life. The music follows the red kite as he leaves the toy shop for a life of adventure.

-With Emilie Conway (Vocals), Johnny Taylor (Piano), Damian Evans (Bass), Ann Lorraine Mack (Narration/vocals/flute).

Tickets are on sale now. BOOK HERE

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