So, I was lucky enough to be asked to perform on the Main Stage as part of the Ealing Jazz Festival this summer. I felt hugely blessed and shocked when I was given this opportunity due to the fact that I was a recent graduate and opportunities like this don't come up very often.
I was lucky enough to be able to perform with my talented band which included firstly two pianists and bassist... Which made me feel like I was part of my very own Snarky Puppy ensemble with Alastair Elms and Quantz Ramdin ( my very own Bill Laurance and Cory Henry), and Michael League.. I mean, Dan Hemsley on the bass. I was also lucky enough to perform with Josh Neale on drums and on horns the incredibly versatile and talented - Luke Kenningham-Brown on saxophone and Michael Cifuentes on trumpet.
As a band we decided it would be best to stick to our roots and what we really enjoy playing, mixing up our setlist with classic jazz standards and some more modern funk tunes. We therefore performed a very varied set from 'Sunny Side of the Street' and old standard by Jimmy McHugh, to 'Somebody Else's Guy' a funk, disco tune from the 80's. I feel like this is what made our set so successful, with a wide variety of styles covered in our repertoire we managed to interest a huge audience.
Upon arrival at Walpole Park after a long morning of rehearsals we were pleasantly surprised to be picked up in a little golf buggy, from where we were taken into the backstage performance area. It was pretty easy to see we were very excited to be there! When we arrived at the venue we were massively shocked and excited by the size of the circus tent where the Main Stage was located (All of this see in snapchat video below!!).
We decided to perform a variety of tunes including some jazz standards, some originals and some classic funk tunes. We were overwhelmed by the amount of people who came into the main stage area whilst we were performing and I was proud of how much we engaged with our audience.
The performance itself was absolutely electric, we all had so much fun.. minus the heat, which was slightly unbearable. I was so so proud of myself and my band, we smashed it and I couldn't think of any better people to share the experience with. Finally, with so much positive feedback after the performance we are all really looking forward to the next step forward.