If you hunt around, there are Jazz ‘workshops’ in almost every corner of the country. There is a pretty standard format as well. Roughly, an ensemble that resembles a band in the range of instruments (although numbers may be large with multiples of some instruments) is lead by a ‘tutor’ through playing a mix of usually classic jazz tunes. Periodically, the group performs for other similar groups and invited guests.
The quality of the listening experience may vary, but the commitment, nervousness (of performers and supporters) and generally enjoyment remain constants.
Jazz Factory, based at the Wiltshire Music Centre, pretty much fits that description, but has distinguished itself by not just surviving 10 years, but thriving for ten years. Its also been supported by some great musicians and teachers over the years and seems to have generated a fierce loyalty amongst its students ( be they 9 or 79)
Monday night was a gala occasion to celebrate the 10 years. And what a lovely occasion. The usual performances of workshoppers was interuppted by Jason Rebello once again showing us why people talk of him as world class (http://www.jasonrebello.co.uk ) playing solo and then in duo with Mike Mower (http://www.itchyfingers.com/about-mike-19/18.htm), by Backbud (former JFact students) doing a short set with jason joining them for a bit (http://www.myspace.com/blackbud) and former students now at music college returning to sprinkle a little stardust.
Brilliant – what a great atmosphere, lots of music making from beginner to jaw dropping, all performed with soul; defintely warmed up a cold Monday night in December