8 April 2018

Afternoon at TheL

For this purpose, TheL is Llewellyn Hall (as TheQ is QPAC). Saturday was to be a concert at night and prep during the day but this day was more. I arrived to hear Canberra Youth Orchestra on stage rehearsing the Peer Gynt Suite. Just 20mins or so but always informative. Lenny conducting. He's a busy one and he's going places. Then a run through for the evening's NCO performance of a string of Spanish music and one world premiere. The composer of the premiere, Jessica Wells, was there to listen and advise. Then the guitar pieces with Matt Withers and Callum Henshaw. That finished a little after 2pm so next door to Wig & Pen where John Mackey and Leisa Keen were running a jam session. There were several brass and sax players sitting in: new names I hadn't met. Leisa provided concert and Bb charts in her singing keys. Mostly renowned standards: Lullaby of Birdland, Blue bossa, Fly me to the Moon, Tenor madness and the like. For one ballad, Leisa asked if I had a bow and my classical offsider, Geoff Prime, was there with his so I could oblige. That was a change and louder than pizz so easier work. I had a bass and no amp, so jazz pizz was a workout. I retired after two sets to prepare for the evening. Great to play with John and Leisa and the others. Leisa is nicely professional, with a great take on voice and piano, not least for her convincing LH bass while singing and chording. Impressive and engaging. John, of course, just blew the house down whenever he started playing. Miro arrived as I was leaving so I missed that set. Too bad. Then home to prepare, get into stage black for the evening, to be in for the pre-concert talk at 6.30.

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