April 29, 2013
Just a quick update on what’s happening in my gig world.
I’ve been doing a weekly Sunday afternoon jazz trio gig for a while now at a bar/restaurant in town called R House. This has now become a fortnightly gig for the time being. There will be music on the alternate weeks, but I hear it’s a guy singing R ‘n’ B to backing track, and I’m guessing if you like live jazz, you probably won’t like that too much, but do feel free to check it out.
Our next gig there will be on Sunday 5th May, 2:30-5:30. We play three 45 minute sets of jazz including a fair bit of swing and also a few ballads, bossas and some blues. The guitarist for this one will be Steve Hemsworth (aka Sonny Intervals www.facebook.com/SonnyIntervalsJazz?fref=ts). The bassist is yet to be confirmed. The next one after that should be Sunday 19th May, but check the gigs page on my website to be sure: www.alyssrose.co.uk/gigs. If you are thinking of coming along and having some food, it’s worth booking, because it’s quite busy there now, but if you just want to come for a drink you can just turn up. The venue is R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH. www.rhousemanchester.com
In other news, I’m still running the Inspire Community Voices choir over in Bury, and we’d be happy to have more singers to join us (especially some men or ladies who like to sing low!). We normally meet the first and third Saturday of each month. Our rehearsals take place at the Met Theatre in Bury, 2pm – 4pm. It’s a warm and welcoming group, open to all abilities. There’s no need to have experience or to read music. All you need is the will to have a good sing! Our next rehearsal is Saturday 4th May. Have a look at our website for more info: www.inspirevoices.co.uk
There’s a new piano-vocal duo in the offing. It’s going to be a soul-jazz-pop-Cuban type of thing. We should hopefully be getting some gig dates in the diary before too long, so watch this space for more news of that.
I’m getting very close to the end of the Professional Diploma in Comtemporary Vocals that I’ve been doing for the last year. I feel like I’ve been saying that for ages no, but it really will be over on the 8th of May come hell or highwater. I’ve learned a huge amount from the course, but I’m going to be so relieved to not have to write any more essays!
Below is a list of my upcoming gigs. As always, do check my gigs page in case of any changes www.alyssrose.co.uk/gigs and I’ll do my best to keep it updated. Thanks for reading, and may the force be with you!
Sunday 5th May, 2:30-5:30pm, Free
Jazz Trio @ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.
We’ll be playing three sets of swing, bossa, blues and ballads.
Sunday 19th May, 2:30-5:30pm, Free
Jazz Trio @ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Manchester, M1 2EH.
We’ll be playing three sets of swing, bossa, blues and ballads.
Sunday 26th May, 8pm, Free
New Sense Brass and The Voice Collective @ Chorlton Arts Festival
The a capella vocal group I sing with is doing a joint gig with a fun and funky brass band.
Friday 21st June, 8:30pm, £6.50 on the door
Jazz @ Hyde Cricket Club
I’ll be singing with the fantastic Vinnie Parker Trio
Sunday 23rd June, 8:30pm-11pm, Free
Jazz Jam @ the Ram & Shackle, 393 Wilmslow Rd, Manchester, M20 4WA .
I’ll be singing in the house band for this one. Bring your instruments and voices and come and jam, or just bring your eyes and ears to soak up the music.
February 8, 2013
Dear friends, I hope you’re all well and that the new year’s not treating you too shabbily. Here’s a quick post to let you know what I’m up to.
SUNDAY JAZZ @ R-HOUSE
So, I’ve got a regular Sunday afternoon gig at a new-ish bar/restaurant in the Northern Quarter called R-House. I was originally doing the gig with a great French guitarist called Hugo Corbin, but he’s gone off to further his studies in New York, so now I’m working with a few different musicians, varying from week to week. We’ve had some great people, so far on the guitar we’ve had Simon Mulcaster and Steve Hemsworth; and on the bass we’ve had Ed Harrison, Matt Owens, Gavin Barras and Stewart Wilson. On the odd week I’ll be off doing other things, so we’ll be having guest vocalists for these ones. We had Jade America Harris on 27th January, and she’ll be back again on 24th February. We’re there every Sunday, 3pm-6pm and it’s free.
Another new project I’ve taken on is leading the Inspire Community Voices, a new community choir based in Bury. We rehearse in Bury Met Theatre the first and third Saturday of each month (although this can vary, so do check the web) 2pm-4:30pm. It’s a very friendly group and all songs are taught by ear, so no music reading required. We will be covering a range of musical styles. So if you’re over Bury way and fancy a bit of harmony singing, get on down!
There’s quite a few gigs on the horizon, so have a look at the gigs page, and I hope to see some friendly faces at some of them.
December 9, 2012
Dear Music-loving peeps,
Just a quick update to let you know that I have a new regular jazz gig if anyone fancies coming down. I’m singing with the French guitarist Hugo Corbin, and double bass player Matt Owens (although it will be someone different next week). We’re on 3pm-6pm Sunday afternoons at the R House bar and restaurant in the Northern Quarter. It’s a glitzy little joint, which also does a mean carvery.
The next one is….
Sunday 16th December
@ R House, 26-28 Hilton Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 2EH.
We’ll probably be doing one on 23rd December too, but as everything becomes a bit irregular around Christmas time, check my Facebook page or website gigs page to be sure.
Seasons Greetings, and a big ho ho ho!
November 9, 2012
Hi there peeps, just a quick post to let you know about a couple of gigs I have coming up. There’s one next Friday 16th November, and one way, way in the future on Sunday 17th March. All the details are below, I hope you can make it!
Also there’s a bit of news about the Sunday Night Jazz & Jam that we’ve been doing at Jackson’s Boat. We had a good 12 week run there, but now we’re looking for a new venue, so we’ll be taking a break until we find somewhere suitable. We’re aiming to find somewhere that will be a bit easier to get to. So watch this space!
Friday 16th November
Alyss McBirney & The Vinnie Parker Trio
I’ll be singing some jazz, blues and bossa nova with the wonderful Vinnie Parker Trio. The evening is hosted by singer Dave Hodges. It’s a regular fortnightly jazz event, which usually features guest vocalists or musicians performing with The Vinnie Parker Trio. There’s a lovely atmosphere, and the band are great.
Music starts at 8:30 pm
@ Hyde Cricket & Squash Club, Werneth Low Road, Gee Cross, Hyde, SK14 3AD
£6:50 on the door
If you do all that Facebook nonsense, you can join the “event” as this link https://www.facebook.com/events/297448237037529/
And one to stick in your diary!
Sunday 17th March
Alyss McBirney & Hugo Corbin
Jazz jazz jazz accompanied by French-born guitarist Hugo Corbin (www.myspace.com/hugocorbin)
Music starts at 9pm
@ The Hillary Step, 199 Upper Chorlton Road, Manchester, M16 0BH
October 8, 2012
So I had a double jazz night last night… First I popped down to the Jackson’s Boat Jazz and Jam, and then I cycled round to The Hillary Step where I was very pleasantly surprised to see HSQ+2 (aka The Hillary Step Sax Quartet). I was expecting a sax quartet, but didn’t know it would be them. I saw and loved them at the Manchester Jazz Festival earlier this year, so it was great to them again, and not have to rush off before the end of the gig. I was just as impressed this time, and they were recording the gig, so hopefully I’ll get to hear the tune I really loved, but can’t remember the name of when they get the recordings out there. Here’s their Soundcloud page so you can have a listen.
The line-up I saw last night was:
Jim Collins – alto & baritone saxophone, clarinet
Helen Pillinger – alto & tenor saxophone
Helena Summerfield – soprano & baritone saxophone, flute
Will Lenton – tenor & bass saxophone
Rachael Gladwin – harp, vocals
Phil Bennett – percussion
September 7, 2012
Hello lovely people,
Well, once again it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. It’s been a very busy time for me with gigs, backing vocal work, arranging, choir singing and leading, ukulele playing, course deadlines. POP! That was the sound of my head exploding
So here’s some info about one of the things I’m involved with at the the moment….
Roll up, roll up, roll up! This Sunday (and every Sunday for the foreseeable future) it’s the Sunday Night Jazz and Jam at Jackson’s Boat in Sale. It’s been going for about 6 weeks or so now, and it’s gradually building, but the more people we get down there, the merrier it will be. So, here’s how it goes…
It starts at 7pm, which is very very early in jazz time, but it is Sunday night, and we know you people have jobs to go to in the morning. In the first half, me and the guys sing/play you some jazz, blues and bossa nova until about 8pm, then we take a short break. Then at around 8:30pm we get back on the stage and invite musicians and vocalists to get up and play or sing with us. We’ve had a great selection of people turning up to jam so far. We are cultivating it as a friendly jam, so if you are a budding or experienced jazz musician or vocalist, please come down and have a play/sing. So far we have had people from across the spectrum of experience getting up to play – guest jammers have included a host of drummers (Chris Paul, Andrew, Ben, Ian bell, and others), on sax we’ve had Ed Kainyek, Mike Farmer and others, we’ve had a few singers including the lovely Nina Henchion who’s becoming a bit of a regular, on guitar we’ve had Colin Stephens and Steve Hemsworth, and on bass John Sandham, there’s also been some trumpet players, and even the odd flugel horn. So you can see it’s a diverse bunch, and that’s what we like.
“The guys” I refer to are the house band, a jazz quartet called “It’s About Time”, normally made up of Tim Horrocks on bass, Paul Duffy on trumpet, either Paul Popelier on keyboard or Hugo Corbin on guitar, and varying drummers. Other musicians featured in the house band so far have been: Simon Mulcaster on guitar; John Sandham on bass; Phil Bennett, Johnny Hunter, Tim Franks, Michael Coote, and Mark Horridge on drums; and Rick Burrows on trumpet.
If you would like to play or sing, try to come prepared with a few charts in the right key for the tunes you want to do, and just come and have a word with me or one of the band in the break. The music ends at around 10pm, but the bar does stay open for a while after that, so if you’re feeling wild you can stay out for another drink before you slope off home to bed. If you would just like to come and enjoy the music, you will be more than welcome. The pub serves hearty Sunday dinners until about 7pm, all the usual alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and also tea and coffee if you’re driving down or don’t feel like having a Monday morning hangover!
It would be lovely to see some of you there,
My facebook page to “like” if you like www.facebook.com/alyssrosemusic
Jackson’s Boat www.facebook.com/pages/Jacksons-Boat/158707774147987
Links for some of the other musicians:
Hugo Corbin www.myspace.com/hugocorbin
Johnny Hunter www.johnnyhuntermusic.com
Tim Franks www.myspace.com/timfranksdrums
Mark Horridge www.effektuators.com
John Sandham www.nwjazzworks.org/manchester/bands.php?band_id=314
April 25, 2012
I thought it was about time for a quick update. But first I’d like to share with you a topical song about April showers. A gorgeous little song, and inspiration for a positive outlook on the random April weather we’ve grown accustomed to. Although I bet Bambi never had to put up with April hail-stone showers like we do. Anyway, moving on…
It’s been a busy old time. I’ve started doing a course to improve my knowledge of singing and teaching, I want to know all there is to know! I’ve also started doing some work leading choirs for the wonderful Simply Singing, and as if that wasn’t enough I’ve begun teaching some one-to-one singing lessons in a high school as well. It is turning out to be a year of personal development and pushing myself forward!
As well as that, all the band stuff has still been going on…
The Beleza Band Is Here!
We had our first gig with the new 6-piece line-up of Beleza at The Chorlton Big Green Festival. The new band members are: Rory Duffy on flute, Justin Shearn on keyboard, Nicky Dupuy on double bass, and Holly Prest on percussion. The day got off to a slightly rocky start when we arrived to find that the PA system had blown up and they were taking it away as we brought our gear in. Luckily the festival managed to procure a replacement PA and get the show back on the road. Thanks to a very patient audience we had a great crowd to watch us, we put our best foot forward and all managed to remember what we were supposed to be doing. It was very exciting to finally get out there and do it, as we’d had the idea of getting a full band line-up for some time, but it had taken a while for it to all come together. It is also very exciting to be playing with such fantastic musicians, each bringing their own bit of magic and character to the music. We have some recordings in the pipeline, and we are on the case to find more gigs, so all being well you should be seeing more of us soon. One of our friends got some video at the gig which you can see on our facebook page. In the meantime you can catch me and Julian playing a few of our songs live on Cat’s Manchester Culture Show, North Manchester FM this Saturday. All details below
Diaspora is the Latin Jazz big band that I sing with. Recently our bandleader Rory has composed a number of new pieces for us, so if you’d like to come and check out our new stuff, we’ll be playing at the Prestwich Festival on Tuesday 8th May (full details below). This is a good one to catch us on, as it’s the full 11 piece line-up, which is a bit of a rare event these days. You can find out more about the band at http://www.facebook.com/diasporamusic
Sadly Riverman is no more. It’s all good though, Chris Manley whose project it was is taking some time to get inspired and focus on his song writing, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from him in the future. We had some great gigs together, and Riverman gave my first opportunity to play my ukulele in front of an audience. Good times.
The Voice Collective
March saw us in the studio (read very cold church!) getting some more recordings done for what will one day be our album if all goes to plan. We’ve also had some exciting gigs. Recently we sang at the sparkly sports star studded benefit for England cricketer Mr Jimmy Anderson. Some of the more sporty members of TVC were pretty delighted about being in the same room as all those sporting greats, some of the less sporty members (like me) were very happy to be there, but none the wiser as to who most of the people were.
Beleza duo live on Cat’s Manchester Culture Show
Saturday 28th April @1pm
Listen live at http://www.northmanchesterfm.org/listen-live.html
Diaspora at Prestwich Festival
St Mary’s Church, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1AN
££7.50 door / £6.00 advance -> email: email@example.com for advance tickets
Thanks for reading,
February 2, 2012
Happy New Year to you all. Happy to see that after a few problems my website is back up and running again. Thanks to my host.
October 9, 2011
Welcome to the Autumn newsletter. I’ve skipped a month or two as there were holidays to be had and house moves to be done. I spent another week in bonny Scotland, far up on the East Coast. I saw seals and dolphins and amazingly we had beautiful sunny weather. If you’re wondering what the newsletter title is all about this time, it’s a reference to September Song written by Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson, a short and sweet reflection on the passing of time and changing of the seasons. I first heard Sarah Vaughan singing it. Click here to hear to have a listen on youtube. Here are the lyrics for your delectation.
Oh it’s a long long time from May to December,
But the days grow short when you reach September
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
I haven’t got time for the waiting game
Oh the days dwindle down to a precious few
But these few precious days I’ll spend with you,
These precious days I’ll spend with you.
What’s been happenin?
So now I am one house move down; a lot of boxes unpacked, things got rid of and stuff organised. The music room is finally up and running without having to climb over a million boxes to get in there. There is a functional keyboard, sound system and desk. Hallelujah! And we also have a lovely garden view. The new place came with a very wild overgrown garden, which I have started taming by much chopping, sawing and weeding. It’s starting to emerge now from the undergrowth and is very pleasing to see and do.
I’m very happy to tell you that we have finally confirmed the musicians for the expanded Beleza band and scheduled our first rehearsal. Planning for the recording sessions is under way, so we should have something for you to listen to before too long. Things are moving along.
Some gigs done and some more coming up…
On September 14th I had the great pleasure of being the featured singer at The Indigo Jazz Jam, a weekly jam night run by saxophonist Ed Kainyek. I enjoyed singing with some fantastic musicians. In the house band that night were Rich Jones on keys, John Sandham on bass and Ben Grey on drums.
On Saturday 24th September I did a lovely gig singing with The Voice Collective at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. The event was part of the Peace Without Borders Festival organised by Musicans Without Borders, a charity that uses music to reduce the stressful effects of war and to connect people across cultural, political and religious borders for peace and positive change. Also playing at the gig was five-piece Australian/British chamber-psych-folk-rock group Samson & Delilah. We were delighted to add our voices to their beautiful song, Silently. Hopefully some time soon there should be some video footage of a couple of the songs from this gig.
Thursday 20th October
I’ll be singing with The Voice Collective at PICNIC CLUB: An acoustic showcase hosted by Picnic Area featuring the immaculate vocal harmonies of The Voice Collective, plus two great local songwriters, Colin Wakeford and Jo Lewis. Starts 7.30pm, we’ll be on at 10pm. Entry is free.
Venue is FUEL Bar, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester, M20.
Saturday 29th October
I’ll be singing backing vocals with acoustic band Riverman. Starts 9pm.
Venue is Bar Place, Crown Street, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 8AH.
Have a listen to Riverman here: http://soundcloud.com/river-man
Sunday 13th November
I’ll be singing backing vocals with acoustic band Riverman. Timings tbc.
Venue: The Red Triangle Cafe, 160 St. James’s Street, Burnley, BB11 1NR, Tel: 01282 832319
Thursday 17th November
I’ll be singing backing vocals with acoustic band Riverman, supporting the Grammy nominated Neil C Young and his jazz trio. Timings and entry price tbc.
Venue: Jim’s Vegetarian Restaurant,19-21 New Market Street, Colne, Lancs, BB8 9BJ, Tel: 01282 868828. Check out the Neil C Young Trio here: www.neilcyoungtrio.com
Saturday 10th December
I’ll be singing backing vocals with acoustic band Riverman. Timings and entry price tbc.
Venue: The Admiral Lord Rodney, Mill Green, Colne, Lancs, BB8 0TA, Tel: 01282 866206
Sunday 11th December
I’ll be singing with The Voice Collective at a charity event at The Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8AA. 12 noon – 4pm. There will be a number of choirs performing in the main shopping centre.
Thursday 15th December
I’ll be singing backing vocals with acoustic band Riverman, supporting James Baxter. Timings and entry price tbc.
Venue: Jim’s Vegetarian Restaurant,19-21 New Market Street, Colne, Lancs, BB8 9BJ, Tel: 01282 868828.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to check my gig page for updates.
Happy Autumn to you all,
July 31, 2011
Time somehow kept slipping away from me this month, so July’s newsletter is a retrospective one. It has been a month of varied gigs and musical activities. There’s been jam nights, burlesque, Latin themed parties, recording sessions, a bit of guitar, and intensive jazz viewing. As I write I’m listening to Gregory Porter’s album, Water. He’s a new American jazz singer that I came across on Jools Holland a few months ago. I would highly recommend it. It’s a mixture of standards and originals and it has a real classic sound.
So, the burlesque night was with The Voice Collective, where happily we were allowed to keep all our clothes on. It was a bit of an eye opener, I can tell you! The night was called Cherry Kiss Cabaret, and it was part of Not Part Of Festival (I love that sentence). I think they are planning it as a regular night, so it would be worth checking out if you like a bit of cabaret style entertainment. One of things I enjoyed most about the night was the compere, who was a stand-up comedian. He really brought the whole thing together and helped to get everyone involved.
Is that fruit on your head?
Beleza (the bossa nova duo I sing in) performed at the annual celebration for The Cranberries Club, an inspiring club for older people which allows them to meet new people and do all sorts of activities. They had decided on a Latin theme for the party, hence the bossa nova music from us, and a plethora of Carmen Miranda style hats from them. There was one particular 94 year old lady with a definite twinkle in her eye, who seemed to take a real shine to my guitarist Julian. It was good to see such a positive and creative attitude to ageing and older people.
Serious recording artists
Well The Voice Collective have now completed the first day of recording for our new album! It’s very exciting for us. We have done a number of recordings before, but this time it’s serious. We’re going to get something out there into the world that shows what we can do. It was a productive day. We got around five songs down, so we’re nearly half way there. Watch this space.
I had the pleasure of going down and taking part in the jam night at the Salutation Pub (known to the regulars as “The Salli”). It’s a very different animal to the jazz jams that I normally go to, in that it’s not improvising from charts to standards, but really someone just lays down a groove and then you see what grows out of it. It’s the first one of that kind that I’ve been to in a long time. I used to go down to one at the Arch Bar, and The Dancehouse, but sadly neither place exists anymore. It was a great experience anyway to do that again. It encouraged me to experiment and be spontaneous with on the spot composing of lyrics and melodies. I do find coming up with lyrics quite a challenge, so I decided to use this as my inspiration, and to sing about the fact that I didn’t know what to sing about. This worked well as a starting point, and helped me to get over that initial fear.
I enjoyed it immensely, but I have to admit that after five or so jammed songs, I was itching to just sing a song that already existed – just for the joy of singing and playing around with something that already has form. Which is why it was so nice to go down to the jazz jam at Matt n Phred’s jazz club. It was part of the Manchester Jazz Festival, so there were some fantastic musicians there taking part. I got to get up and do one song. The house band has a real high energy feel to it, which feeds into the rest of the night when various people are getting up to play and sing. This all seems to stem from Dave Spencer who leads from the double bass.
Would you like some jazz with that?
So I spent the majority of this week planning my life around the Manchester Jazz Festival. I’m exhausted now. Even then I didn’t manage to see everything that I wanted to see, but I did squeeze a lot in. So, here’s my highlights: Clarke-Thorne-Fell, a trio made up of violin, double bass and drum kit. It was completely improvised, with the use of experimental and non-traditional sounds on the violin especially. I’m not sure that I can do it justice with a description. All I can say is that they were extremely imaginative, accomplished players and the way they communicated and played off each other was captivating and really joyful.
I also enjoyed watching Kenji Fenton (sax) and Andy Stamatakis-Brown (piano) playing together. They were less experimental, but again there was a big focus on improvisation, interaction and communication. They have played together in various outfits for at least 10 years they said, so they were a really tight unit. They mainly played standards with some original compositions too and also a song by Bjork. I liked the way they made the Bjork connection by following on with “Like Someone In Love”, an old jazz sing that was included on her album, Debut. I enjoyed the geeky feeling of knowing why they’d put those two songs next to each other.
The other act I’d like to mention is Sally Doherty (voice). She was joined by Paul Kilvington (piano) and Liz Hanks (cello). Sally has a beautiful clear resonant voice, and a gentle and thoughtful style of delivery. There were bossa novas, swaying jazz songs and folk flavours, and the music had a spacious airy quality to it.
The first rule of guitar club is…
…you know, you don’t talk about guitar club. So I’ll keep it short in case I get kicked out by the other members. The guitar class I was doing has reached the end, so I’m on my own from now on. Happily I think me and a friend are starting a mini “guitar club”, so that will help to keep me motivated and inspired to practice and learn. My guitar playing was tested over the weekend. Playing when drunk has always been the ultimate test for me, and this time I could do it. It’s safe to say it wasn’t the best I’ve ever played, but I remembered the chords and my fingers pretty much did as I told them. So that’s progress.
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, my regular accompanist has run away to Corfu, so I was hunting for a new one. Well I’ve now found a great piano player who I’m really looking forward to working with. I’ve also found someone who’s willing to record us, so the cogs are slowly turning, and things are getting into motion. Now I just need to choose the songs, get rehearsing, record them, and send them out to the right people, and then start taking over the world. Easy, when you put it like that.
Thanks for reading,