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The BYMT Blog

28 February 2018

Multi-instrumental JAZZ Master classes and Live Jazz gig 12 May 2018

Written by LADW

ARQ Jazz Quintet will be visiting the Centre on the 12 May 2018, Saturday, to give variety of instrumental master classes to studnets interetsed in learning jazz improvisation and live performing.

ARQ’s profile has risen rapidly in the past four years, with extensive touring and critical acclaim for their second album, ‘A Magic Life’. Described by the Guardian as ‘spirited, eloquent and graceful’ and by the Observer as ‘purposeful, full-toned and melodic, a beautifully integrated band’, their music is awash with infectious grooves, lyrical melodies and a music founded in jazz but with folk, rock, classical and world music influences. They have built a substantial and wide-ranging audience, receiving national and international radio play and four and five star reviews in jazz and national press. Their recent 35-date ‘Magic Life’ UK tour concluded with a sell-out night at the Soho Pizza Express Jazz Club.

  ‘The quintet’s multi-faceted pieces are full of delightful colour and detail –but for all their sophistication remained wholly accessible and unfailingly melodic.”

British bassist and composer Alison Rayner’s 2014 debut album, August, was an expected reminder of her warmth and alertness as an ensemble player, but also the unexpected emergence of a vivid new compositional voice. A Magic Life retains the same fine band (Diane McLoughlin on saxophones, Deirdre Cartwright on guitar, Steve Lodder on keys and Buster Birch on drums), and a similarly open and accessible mix of jazz, folk and classical ingredients. Celtic, eastern European, jazz-funk and swing rhythms variously drive the music, with a spirited folk dance shared by soprano saxophone and guitar immediately spurring Lodder’s fluid eloquence and a snaking sax break on the opening title track, Cartwright bursting into rockish guitar distort on the funky, handclapping Mayday, McLoughlin smoky on tenor in the lilting ballad New Day, and exhibiting a gracefully languid old-school swing on the instrument in the emphatic, riffy OK Chorale. A Magic Life may be stylistically diverse, but Rayner’s themes are united by the inviting impression that many could have been written to be sung.








2:00 Band arrive to set up

2:30 Introductions and ARQ perform two pieces  

3:00 Split in to two performance groups and work on pieces  

4:15 Tea break   4:30 Rhythm Section / Frontline master classes  

5:15 Regroup to rehearse pieces  

6:00 break 


There will be LIVE JAZZ PERFORMANCES by BYMT bands, the Jazz school, students and staff from BYMT, and will include a mass performance by the newly-formed ensembles from the daily master class

End apps. 9:30pm



Steve Lodder has worked with Naná Vasconcelos, George Russell’s “Living Time” orchestra, Sarah Jane Morris, John Harle, Carla Bley and Andy Sheppard. He has also been musical associate with Paul McCartney on the ‘Standing Stone’ and ‘Ecce cor meum’ projects and musical arranger for the Zappatistas. Originally a Cambridge organ scholar, he has written several books, one on Stevie Wonder, one on the Hammond organ and The Keyboard Bible.


Lodder is both an improviser of originality and a musical thinker of erudition and depth’ The Guardian


Deirdre Cartwright has recorded five albums with her own group and played festivals from Mexico to Warsaw; played with Tal Farlow, toured with Jamaican composer Marjorie Whylie, founded Blow the Fuse with Alison Rayner and presented on BBC Radio 3. She also presented BBC TV’s ground breaking series 'Rockschool', written seven books on guitar playing, was head of guitar syllabus for the Rockschool exam series and currently presents her own radio programme on Jazz London Radio.


If there is a more complete guitarist in contemporary music than Deirdre Cartwright - I'd like to know who it is’ The Observer

Alison Rayner has played with a myriad of jazz artists such as US jazz guitar legend Tal Farlow, New York jazz poet Jayne Cortez and drummer Denardo Coleman, Ian Shaw and John Etheridge. In the 80s she spent five years with the critically acclaimed jazz-Latin group ‘the Guest Stars’ touring all the major international jazz venues and festivals and recording three albums. She has co-run Blow the Fuse Records and Blow the Fuse Jazz Club in London since 1989, starting ARQ in 2012 to focus more on composing and developing her own group sound.

‘A big, beautiful bass sound that comes from the heart. Highly intelligible music, characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’

Val Wilmer, author, As Serious As Your Life: the Story of the New Jazz


Diane McLoughlin is a highly regarded saxophonist, composer and arranger. She holds a post graduate degree in jazz composition from the Guildhall School of Music and an MMus in film composition from the London College of Music. She leads the chamber jazz group ‘the Casimir Connection’ and her 17-piece jazz orchestra ‘Giant Steppes’ performed to critical acclaim throughout Britain, including BBC Radio 3 with an interview and live concert broadcast.

'Attractively punchy and highly emotive, McLoughlin's soaring alto solo vibrates with echoes of the late Cannonball Adderley'  The Guardian

Buster Birch holds a degree in music from the University of London and a post-graduate diploma in jazz from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He studied at the Drummers Collective in New York City and privately with Joe Morello. He has performed at virtually every major concert hall and jazz club in London as well as international festivals, toured in over 30 countries and appears on 25 albums. He has backed some of the UKs finest jazz musicians, recorded with critically acclaimed "world" music groups, freelanced with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, played for West End shows and commercial pop studio sessions. 


Active participant: Master classes and Live gig: £10 (to include all tuition and refreshments.

Live gig guests: £15 (cons. £10)

Licensed Bar will be available on the night.

Clockwise from top left: Steve Lodder, Buster Birch, Diane McLoughlin, Alison Rayner, Deirdre Cartwright

Supported using public funding by Department for Education and Arts Council England
London Borough of Bromley

Bromley Youth Music Trust
Bromley Youth Music Centre
Southborough Lane

020 8467 1566

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