Play it with top names

18th April 1997 at 01:00
Jazz has become part of the staple fare at the Wigmore Hall, London, but the current Jazz Encounters season is going one better: under the aegis of the hall's education department, a galaxy of talent is making itself available to the young.

On bank holiday Monday (May 5) six to 15-year-olds will be able to spend the day with a group of musicians in a workshop for developing rhythm, aural, and improvisation skills. For those aged 16 and over a separate workshop will be held on May 24-25, at which John Dankworth, Scott Stroman, and Richard Michael will preside. Participants will not need to have had any previous experience of jazz or improvisation, but both workshops will culminate in a public performance.

But the season itself promises to be outstandingly good. Tomorrow Django Bates and his ensemble, Human Chain, will perform: this will be his first UK appearance since winning the international Jazzpar award last autumn. His music is unique in its combination of anarchic wit and serious experiment: he's one of the few musicians capable of giving "crossover" a good name.

Later concerts will include one of America's leading jazz improvisers, saxophonist-composer Jane Ira Bloom, the guitarist Jim Hall, and on May 25 South Africa's Abdullah Ibrahim.

Further information from Ruth Goldstein on 0171 486 1907

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