Hello there. . .

(photo : Tom McElvogue)
it’s been a while and I’ve been away in Ireland. I was really blown away by the organisers and students at the Meitheal Summer School in Limerick a few weeks ago; for me, it was the culmination of several months of research and thinking about people I have known throughout my life and who have affected me and who have now passed on.

It also inspired me to really appreciate how amazing Ireland’s cultural and artistic legacy is, was and continues to be. . .  and lucky I am to have that as part of my early learning. I enjoy ‘wake up’ calls like that. If I ever think I’m doing ‘quite well’ artistically, trips like this whack me straight back down to earth.

Here is a country that is surviving a serious economic crisis, all sorts of scandals and yet their children and artistic groundforce are stronger than ever. It makes me look at my music / artistic ideas and work so much harder. Noeline Kavanagh’s speech (see below) says it all.

The piece I put together is here; entitled ‘The Caroline Suite’ it was a celebration of the life of Caroline Fegan (nee Judge) who sadly died of cancer before Christmas.

Since then, several friends more have passed on including Gerry Hewitt, Ted Caulfield and yesterday, Mick Dolan.

Gerry and Ted were wonderful, wonderful men who encouraged me so much from when I was 11, to play and have fun with music, song and dance.

Mick, I met through playing on Johnny Coppin’s Christmas shows. Their deaths are terribly sad and leave me thinking about how lucky I am to know so many lovely people through music. . .especially as these I am mentioning never asked for anything in return but celebrated music and creativity in a quiet, loving way.
For those left behind, the grief never leaves yet perhaps it teaches us to value a little more those people and things we love. . .

So, in a way, I feel very priviledged to be allowed to put music like this together with 94 outstanding young Irish players, many of whom do not read music – not that it matters; listening is the key, I feel, more and more these days – if I can sometimes be inspirational, it’s only because I was and continue to be, inspired by others.

Inspiration gives hope and as Liz Gray’s book ’99 words’ points out, ‘ ‘Love’ is the last word’.

I hope you enjoy this (and many thanks to Key Hideki Nakao and Garry Shannon for permission to use this link) :

Meitheal (filmed by Key Hideki-Nakao)


Before Meitheal, my friend Vic and I went for a few days to the Galway Arts festival / fringe.

Crikey. . . it was amazing. Too much to report there but we saw Giant Lobsters, trapeze artists, hula-hoop girls and an exhibition of John Kindness and Eduardo Paolozzi which were free and we also sawThe Harp, The Accordion and The Ugly’  at  Arus Na Gael, followed by ‘Midsummer’ (A Play with Songs) by David Grieg & Gordon McIntyre, directed by Andrew Flynn. We also saw ‘Ballyturk’, written and directed by Enda Walsh.

Brilliant. Truly brilliant.

And one of the people we were delighted to meet while in Galway, was Noeline Kavanagh, director of MacNas. Now there’s an inspiring woman! :


Back on the beloved island this week, I was delighted to hear BBC Radio 3 Live from Glasgow (Commonwealth Games) and some lovely music played by 2 members of the group, Cherrygrove. Watch out for them – they’re great and are writing some great new Scottish music.

I love writing letters because it means you always come home to a few letters (rather than bills) and this week I was delighted to receive the new CD from Rune Barslund’s Danish duo entitled ‘The Danish Immigrant’.

Rune is a superb accordionist who has studied in Ireland and this CD is worth buying just for his beautiful composition ‘Vals til mor og far’ (Waltz for Mum and Dad). I can’t help noticing the words that crop up in Danish and Irish more and more.  . . see www.andreasrune.dk for more details (and superb accordion and fiddle music).

On the teaching front, I’m now doing Creative Accordion Days in :
Norwich (Sun 7th September)
Frome (date tba)
Bangor (Sun 5th October)

see www.karentweed.com for more details – spaces are limited to 12.

The Droitwich Teaching days are taking a break until September (see www.learningaccordion.com) but the dates are now set if you fancy a lesson.

And announcing, here on the beloved island :

(poster inspired by Alan Rowe)



Organisers are hoping their harp festival will strike a chord with

Harp on Wight organisers are holding an open meeting at Michelangelo’s
Restaurant, St. Thomas Street, Ryde, at 11:30 am on Thursday 7th August
for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer.

There will be a short presentation about Harp on Wight, which is taking place in Ryde between November 24th and 30th, and how volunteers can help.

We’d be delighted if interested people could contact Tony on nitoniow@gmail.com or me on
07522 606871.
There is limited space available – and we need to know for numbers.

See harponwight.com for more information.

And . . .  it’s nearly VENTNOR FRINGE time. . . some tasters for you :

Holy Trinity Church, Ventnor .
Thursday 14th August 8 pm.
Tickets £10.00 available through Ventnor Fringe
tel 08432898718 or www.vfringe.co.uk

Rod is from Tyneside and best known for his work with the much-loved band Lindisfarne. He wrote theirhit single ‘Meet Me On The Corner’. He has toured with Bert Jansch and his solo work is delivered in a broad rootsy and bluesy style.

Holy Trinity Church, Ventnor
Friday 15th August 7:30 pm.
Tickets £10.00 available through Ventnor Fringe
tel 08432898718 or www.vfringe.co.uk

Gypsy Fingers are a cinematic folk, rock and pop duo – the collaborative musical creation of songwriter Victoria Coughlan and producer Luke Oldfield (son of Tubular Bells’ Mike Oldfield). They play almost all sounds and instruments themselves, creating a modern orchestra of acoustic and electric instruments amd textures interwoven with lyrics inspired by life, love, loss and dreams.

St. Catherines Church, Ventnor.
Saturday 16th August. 3 pm.
Tickets £7.00 available through Ventnor Fringe
tel 08432898718 or www.vfringe.co.uk

Father and daughter James and Sally Halsey share a natural love of chamber music and promise to delight with a varied programme including the wonderful Brahms ‘cello and piano sonata in F. Sally is in her third year studying piano and harpsichord at Trinity College of
Music in London with Gabrielle Baldocci, while James is a ‘cellist with the Birmingham String Quartet and Tagore Trio. They both live on the Isle of Wight.
All profits will go towards new equiptment for the Chemotherapy Unit at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.

The Story of Ventnor’s Victorian Consumption Hospital
Ventnor Botanic Garden Studio
Wed 13th August 11.00am to 12.30am
Tickets £2.00 each available through Ventnor Fringe
tel 08432898718 or www.vfringe.co.uk
Based on a true story. It is 1897 and John Whiteley is a patient in the Ventnor Royal Hospital for the treatment of consumption. He forms a friendship with Thomas, a young fisherman with an artistic talent.John wants his portrait painted and Thomas is desperate to save John’s life.

Ventnor Library
Thurs 14th August 11.00am-11.45am
Tickets £2.00 each available through Ventnor Fringe
tel 08432898718 or www.vfringe.co.uk
A reading of stories by John Goodwin.
John is a professional writer and has had many children’s books published including the award winning Nice One Sam. He has also written BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Plays.
‘A Little Gap in the Curtains’ is a new collection of original stories drawn from life.

6. THURS 14th August : KAREN TWEED VENTNOR FRINGE FESTIVAL ‘MY FIRST CEILIDH’ with the DUSTBIN CORNER CEILIDH BAND (Karen Tweed, Mark Hickman & Friends; Caller : Ian Watterson)
2.30pm – 4pm
Ventnor Baptist Church, Pier Street, Ventnor PO38 1SX
Tickets : £3 / ‘Big ticket’ (2 adults and 2 children under 16) £10

A fun, festive, family shake-your-legs dance! Come and try out polkas and patt-a-cakes, dance to shanties and hornpipes – no experience necessary. All ages welcome from the very young to the young-at-heart. Prizes for the best dressed-up dancers on the theme of voyage : pirates, crustaceans, Star Trek, mermaids, Amy Johnson, Captain Scott, jelly fish, Atlantis, Mary Rose, Dr Who – who’s your favourite voyager?
(Children must be accompanied by an adult).

Meantime! This Friday. . .

Music Recital /Launch of Piano Accordion CD 3 and Accompanying Music Book CD 1/ Seisiún Mór/Refreshments

A host of accordionists including Mick Foster,Moyra Fraser,Dean Warner,Michael Tennyson,Edel Mcloughlin,Seamus Meehan , Vince Jordan,Karen Tweed, Frank Kelly,Billy Greenall,Alan Kelly,Frank Kelly
Colin McGill, Gerard Moloney , Martin Power, Sean Gavigan

Farnham Arms Hotel, Cavan Town, Ireland

Friday 8th August at 8 30pm


Come along and enjoy all the top Traditional Piano Accordion players at this exciting free event. Pass on the word.

Lastly,. . .

Check out this great website of Alan Rowe :


Have a lovely Sunday. . .


And around and about!

1.  From: Robert Huxtable <bobhuxtable@btinternet.com>
Sent: 02 August 2014 20:37
Subject: Next Session at the Woodman’s

Hello All,

Sorry this is a little late. Still catching up with things following a fantastic time in Canada.

Next Irish session at the Woodman’s will be Wednesday 6th August, 8:30ish.

Hope to see you there.

2. Ian Storror
e-mail: storror.albertjazz@talk21.com

From: Jazz at the Albert <storror.albertjazz@talk21.com>
Sent: 28 July 2014 14:40
Subject: August Gig & NEWS

AUGUST: Gigs & News
Hi Everyone

Our next jazz gig is on Sun 3 Aug with a young starlet band The Session from New Orleans, read on for full details. Hope you can make it along.

NEW Pricing Benefit!
From now on, anyone buying tickets in advance can also get the concession prices, so book early for money off!
Cheers, Ian

The SESSION (New Orleans,USA)
The Hen & Chicken, 210 North St, Bristol, BS3 1JF
Doors 7.30 for 8.15pm start
£14/£12(OAP’s/students/adv) Jazz
Sunday 3 August 2014
Full Gig details at http://jazzata.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=2dcece57a9&e=5028ca49a7
James Partridge (Saxes), Ashlin Parker (Trumpet), Andrew McGowan (Piano),
Jasen Weaver (Bass) and Darrian Douglas (Drums)

Interesting and lucky chance to get these guys to Bristol!

These young talented musicians are all based in New Orleans and play with major Crescent City based musicians. They also all play in the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which is touring to Europe and specifically Moscow, Russia in late July.

So airfares covered, they decided to stay on for a while with their own quintet “The Session”, who have been offered a slot teaching and performing at the Aberystwyth Music fest (July 26 –Aug 2)

They also have selected dates in Cardiff and the London area, with our gig on Sunday 3 Aug’

For more details of upcoming gigs go to ‘Jazz at the Albert’ website at http://jazzata.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=7539efad35&e=5028ca49a7

Upcoming JAZZatA Performances in 2014

Tues 23 Sept: Carrie Elkin Band (USA) ~ Acoustic/Americana (See Video of the Week below)

Sun 28 Sept: The Cloudmakers Trio ~ Jazz
Jim Hart (Vibes), Michael Janisch (B), James Maddren(D)

Thurs 2 Oct: Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer (USA) ~ Acoustic/Americana

Sun 26 Oct: ARQ by Alison Rayner ~ Jazz
Dierdre Cartwright (G), Diane McLoughlin (Sax), Steve Lodder (P), Ali Rayner (B) & Buster Birch (D)

Thurs 30 Oct: While & Matthews ~ Folk / Acoustic

Sun 9 Nov: Tim Richards Hextet ~ Jazz
Featuring: Tim Richards (P) Dick Pearce (Tpt), Ed Jones (Sax), Ralph Wyld (Vibes) & Domonic Howles (B), Peter Ibbetson (D)

Jazz Video of the Week
Tin Men & the Telephone
at Manchester Jazz Festival (MJF)
I attended the inaugural Conference of the Jazz Promotion Network in Manchester last week. This new national organisation of; venues from the largest to the smallest, promoters, agents and tour managers, musicians, producers, press and media was established in Bristol earlier in the year, to give jazz a voice on a national and international level.

Several days of great discussion ensued, about how the group can further the aims of getting more funds for jazz and more people to attend gigs with increased co-operation across the board. In between we were able to see some showcases and jazz offerings courtesy of our hosts the MJF.
One of those that I would like to introduce to you are the Tin Men & the Telephone. A quirky, anarchic and highly entertaining trio from Holland. They combine contemporary jazz with tinges of classical, hip hop all with a theatrical edge and visual projections.
Not only hugely dynamic and musically top class but laugh-out-loud funny and entertaining. The concert was also interactive with those with i-phones able to download an App, to be able to in struct the band to play solos or play faster tempos. The next number involved participants turning their phone speakers to full allowing the pianist’s computer to send out sounds of tiny bells to individual phones creating a mystical fairy-dust sound during the piece.

Other pieces involved projections and film clips with music played similar to old silent movie theatres: a ladies Wimbledon singles match (to a hard drum & bass rhythm, changing to cheesy-sweet passages of “someday my prince will come” during play): an audio Rap of Dutch football commentators mentioning “da Bal” and an interaction with cows in a field, mimicking the mooing but within a jazz improvisation.

They finished with an on line survey from the audience messaging the band with the pianist replying tonally on the piano which was converted to word messages on the screen!

If you ever get the chance to catch these guys I highly recommend it and I’ll try and see if we can get them here in future.

The tracks below are a montage of the some of the different things they get up to, hope you find it as amusing and entertaining in equal measure:

Short promotional band video:
http://jazzata.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=15801ff6a8&e=5028ca49a7 (1.46 mins)

(2 pieces) Penthouse Serenade & Da Bal
http://jazzata.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=0a273ea978&e=5028ca49a7 (4.08 mins)

Prokofiev 7th Sonata (Fragment No2)
http://jazzata.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=e8fd8d68b3&e=5028ca49a7 (3.57 mins)

(2 pieces) The Cow & The Fly
http://jazzata.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=32243ec3fe268b962ec52185d&id=8c16dd9c64&e=5028ca49a7 (1.25 mins)

Our mailing address is:
Jazz at the Albert
38, Eldon Terrace
Windmill Hill
Bristol, England BS3 4PA
United Kingdom

Our telephone:
07766 741417

Ian Storror