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I was inspired by this Chopin e- competition because, thanks to the YouTube entry format, it’s open to absolutely anyone.’ Leanne Hassan, who represents

the organisers, told us: ‘We are particularly keen to encourage non-professional pianists with no formal music education to apply – on either acoustic or digital piano – and we’ll be using the competition and YouTube platforms to showcase passionate UK amateur piano talent from all walks of life.’ Entries will close on 1 August

2010, following which a public vote will take place to nominate a shortlist of semi-finalists. The judges will then pick the prize winners from this list. Competition information,

rules and application forms are available from: and

Yamaha Parliamentary Jazz scholars get MP’s vote

A capacity audience at London’s award-winning 606 Jazz Club was treated to an evening of outstanding live performances in December, from the UK’s hottest new jazz talents, to celebrate the

launch of The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions 2009 CD,

the cover-mount on the Christmas and New Year double-issue of Jazzwise magazine. Produced by Andy Ross at Astar Studios the highly acclaimed The

Yamaha New Jazz Sessions 2009 CD showcases the

UK’s very best new young jazz artists, alongside special guest tracks from renowned Yamaha jazz artists Liane Carroll, Nigel Hitchcock and Ryan Quigley. The 2009 CD takes the total number of copies distributed by Jazzwise and Yamaha to 30,000, ensuring maximum exposure and support for this crop of new British jazz musicians. Nominated by the heads of jazz at six of the

instrument perfectly compliment both Artur’s style and the Chopin works.’ Artur says: ‘Yamaha Pianos have

always been there during my life journey. My first photo at a piano when I was 18 months old is at my grandmother’s Yamaha upright. The first lessons I had as a child in Lisbon were on a Yamaha C1. My first new grand piano was a beautiful shiny black Yamaha G2 which was the piano I practised on to win the 1990 Harvey’s Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. My first concert in Tokyo in the early nineties at the beautiful Orchard Hall was on a Yamaha CFIIIS piano. Many of the performances that I have given all over the world and of which I have the fondest memories have been on Yamaha pianos. I look forward to the rest of my life with Yamaha pianos, which have always provided me with excellence, consistency and fulfilled my every musical dream. Yamaha pianos are my closest musical friends and confidantes.’ To hear for yourself, why not take your piano students to some of the remaining London recitals at St John’s Smith Square on Tuesdays: 11 May, 21 September, 26 October, 23 November and 7 December.

For tickets please contact the box office: 020 7222 1061 or book online:

UK’s leading conservatoires, Yamaha’s award- winning jazz scholars - Sam Wooster (trumpet), Kit Downes (piano), Mark Perry (trumpet), Gethin Jones (drums), Daoud Merchant (drums) and Alex Munk (guitar) - each played a 30-minute set in a three-hour musical powerhouse of stunning live jazz creativity and virtuosity that both packed and entertained the 606 Club audience and provided a unique insight into the musicians who will take UK jazz forward in the future. Many of the

Trumpeter, Mark Perry

ensembles also featured previous Yamaha jazz scholars, including Calum Gourlay (bass) and Rick Simpson (piano). Among the discerning jazz audience were Michael Connarty MP, of the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, Yamaha senior director, Mike Ketley, Jazzwise editor, Jon Newey, producer Andy Ross of Astar Studios, award-winning Jazz FM broadcaster, Helen Mayhew, and 606 owner, Steve Rubie. Michael Connarty MP, co-chair of the All Party

Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group and co- patron of the Yamaha Jazz Experience project, stated, ‘Yamaha added another dimension to the Parliamentary Jazz Group’s efforts to promote jazz, with their wonderful Yamaha Jazz Scholarships, developing our events from appreciation and enjoyment of jazz to encouraging jazz education. I hope this showcase CD of the young talents we enjoy at our live Yamaha jazz scholarship concerts in Parliament will open peoples’ ears to the high quality of jazz music being created in the UK. Yamaha gets my vote - of thanks!’

Shadowball jazz opera awarded Olympic Games ‘Inspire Mark’

Shadowball, the pioneering jazz opera from the Hackney Music Development Trust (HMDT), by Julian Joseph and Mike Phillips, has been awarded the highly coveted ‘Inspire Mark’ by the London organising committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games – an award for the most outstanding projects which contribute to the lasting legacy of the 2012 Games and the Cultural Olympiad. In an added boost to the acclaimed project, Shadowball has also won the support of Major League Baseball. Shadowball tells the moving and compelling

story of the struggles and triumphs facing black athletes in the USA during the sixty years they were excluded from playing with the major leagues. The title, Shadowball, refers to a pre- game exercise when Negro League players warmed up by staging mock games with an imaginary ball – an emotional and highly poignant metaphor.

The opera also charts the development of jazz as a backdrop to this time of segregation when, against heavy odds, black athletes and jazz musicians were using sport and music to reach their dreams. Julian Joseph, who has also taken a leading role in the Yamaha Jazz Experience

Julian Joseph performing Shadowball on a Yamaha Avant Grand, with Cleveland Watkiss

Julian Joseph performing Shadowball on a Yamaha Avant Grand, with Cleveland Watkiss

project, comments: ‘Shadowball is a story of triumph in the face of adversity. It demonstrates the greatness of a people denied their civil liberties. How do you thrive in an unjust system? Baseball and jazz.’ Shadowball’s extensive educational

programme, supported by a HMDT teacher support pack, includes composing workshops with Julian Joseph, residencies, performances and baseball activities to introduce hundreds of young people in more than 20 schools to the sport and music. There is an extensive programme of music in the run-up to the opening of Shadowball, with the first performances scheduled on 29th and 30th June at London’s Mermaid Theatre. Further information is available from: shadowball_1.html


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