Rhythm by the river

11th July 1997 at 01:00
The rhythms really help people lose their inhibitions," says Chris Baron. "And the music is fun for children because they can move to it, and perform it without having to read notation."

Baron plays in the Jazz Percussion Quintet, one of the bands appearing at next week's Rhythm Sticks Festival on London's South Bank. And his introductory workshop on African, Cuban and Brazilian rhythms at the Hothouse on July 19 (3.30pm) promises some exciting sounds. Baron has advised participants in the session to "bring something to rattle or bang", and the event is intended for 12-year-olds and above.

The Latin-American rhythms explored in Baron's workshop will reappear in the Jazz Percussion Quintet's performance on July 20 (Purcell Room, 7.30pm). The quintet's programme of "world jazz" will also draw upon musical influences from Turkey, Africa and Ireland.

Lord Eric Sugumugu is at the Purcell Room on July 19 (11.30am). This talented storyteller will introduce an audience of children to some famous African folk tales before a performance by the Master Drummers of Africa on July 20 (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 9.15pm).

Other events for children include performing on the South Bank Gamelan (July 13, Festival Hall, 11am or 2pm) and joining the Ping Ting Boom Band (July 19, Hothouse, 1.30pm). The band, for seven to 11-year-olds, will be led by Simon Limbrick, who aims to "get the children involved in creating a piece using whatever resources are available. It doesn't matter whether they play dustbin lids or flip-flops."

Rhythm Sticks opens on July 13 (Queen Elizabeth Hall, 7.45pm) with a concert by Te Vaka, a band from the South Pacific, and also features music from Korea, India and Ghana.

"We believe in broadening people's cultural horizons," says Chris Baron. Obviously, this is a belief shared by the festival's enterprising organisers.

Rhythm Sticks Festival, South Bank Centre, July 13-20. Tickets: 0171 960 4242

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