Jazz for Young People

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HMS Syncopation



Main target age group

2-10 years

Key artists

Members of the HSQ saxophone quartet: 
Helena Summerfield, Helen Pillinger and Kyran Matthews.
Oliver Bishop – storyteller.
Simone Manunza – guitar.
Paul Harding – bass.
Neil McMinn – drums.

Practical information

Length - 45 minutes to 1 hour performance length as appropriate to venue / festival. 
Format – Interactive workshop session (15-30 minutes) followed by 30 minute interactive performance.
The workshop session introduces children to *Dalcroze Eurythmics movement techniques and musical themes that are later revisited during the performance session. The session can be tailored to meet any specific needs of the audience – age and ability. 

*Dalcroze Eurythmics is a concept that teaches creative expression and deeper musicality through whole body movement and makes great use of improvisation. 

Technical requirements – 1 x headset mic, 1 x radio mic. 
Drum kit
Guitar and bass amps – DI box
Flute mic – DI box
1 x DI box for laptop/ipad samples

Musicians perform as acoustically as possible on the same level as the audience and need to be able to move freely around the performance space. 

Artistic idea

“HMS Syncopation” is an interactive concert experience for children and the young at heart. Building on the success of “How Monkey found his swing” members of HSQ now collaborate with storyteller Olive Bishop aka Professor Jigget  from Yan Tan Tethera - www.yantantethera.org and rhythm section Simone Manunza - guitar, Paul Harding - bass and Neil McMinn – drums.

During “HMS Syncopation” the audience are encouraged to respond creatively to the music they encounter through song, dance and Dalcroze techniques. 

As HMS Syncopation travels around the world it encounters different styles of jazz music (Tango, Calypso, Funk, Latin) and collects pieces of fruit finally creating a vibrant fruit salad Samba of world rhythms. Each style of music has a featured rhythm e.g. Triplets (Pineapple) in the Tango, Double quavers (Apple) in the Calypso, Semiquavers (Watermelon) in the Funk to help the audience make an aural connection between the rhythm and the fruit. 

“HMS Syncopation” is not a traditional concert situation where the audience has to be quiet and sit still, instead they are actively encouraged to respond personally to the music they encounter. The show teaches children how whole body movement can be used to show the essential elements of music, such as: melody, phrasing, rhythm and dynamics.

Materials and hand held percussion instruments are provided to help children explore and engage with the music.

Main costs

£150 per performer plus travel expenses

Additional info

HMS Syncopation was premiered at the Manchester Jazz Festival in 2017.

Booking contacts

c/o Jazz North 
Helena Summerfield 


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