We are delighted that Courtney Pine and Benjamin Zephaniah have chosen to lend us their support and encouragement for The Drum’s ongoing development, and in particular our Raising the Roof campaign. Both artists are long-time friends of Birmingham’s cultural scene, appearing and performing at The Drum in the past, and now helping ensure great future opportunities for our audiences and young people.“It is a great honour to become a Patron of The Drum, particularly during the organisation’s twentieth anniversary. The Drum has evolved into an essential part of Birmingham’s cultural ecology, providing a creative intercultural platform in the UK’s most diverse city, which is home to Europe’s largest Under-16 population.The Drum’s Raising the Roof campaign will increase the capacity of the Auditorium by a third, transforming it into a flexible, dynamic space… A place where individuals, groups and communities – whatever their age, culture of social background – will be welcome.I do hope that you will join me in helping to make this visionary scheme a reality for young people in Birmingham.” - Courtney Pine CBE“The Drum is the kind of place I would have liked to be around when I was growing up in Birmingham. It is so important to have places where young people can explore and develop their talent, which is exactly what The Drum’s Young Gifted Brum achieves so successfully.Supporting The Drum means supporting some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK by giving them the creative platform they deserve. To do that you need the right place with the right equipment, and that’s why I’m so excited about The Drum’s Raising the Roof campaign, which is going to create a flexible dynamic space fit for the 21st Century.It’s such an honour to have become a Patron of The Drum, and I am proud to ask you to join me and help bring their vision to reality. That’s what we do. We Keep it Real. ” – Dr Benjamin ZephaniahRaising the Roof is a revolutionary £4.8 million plan to redesign, refurbish and upgrade The Drum with new features, facilities and equipment, including expanding our Auditorium capacity, and most importantly, improving and upgrading our services and facilities for young people working in Digital Arts, Dance, and Drama.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Saxophonist Courtney Pine has been announced, together with poet Benjamin Zephaniah, as a patron of Birmingham intercultural arts centre The Drum, and will be crucial in encouraging high profile support of the centre’s expansion campaign.
The Drum’s press release reads like this:
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Its described as THE global Jazz Jam: Since 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization () has officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. The further caps a month of celebrations marking Jazz Appreciation Month.
Here in Jamaica, while the genre may have gone south in terms of mass appreciation from a few generations ago (when clubs like the Glass Bucket and Silver Slipper and bands like the Skatalites ruled the roost), there remains a nub of hardcore jazzophiles, many of whom will be heading to the Zinc Shack on the famed Hip Strip in second city Montego Bay, for the Jmaaican version of International Jazz Day.
This will take the form of a dance party/selector session presented by Gordon Wedderburn through his GW Jazz outfit. Wedderburn, who has hosted Jazz radio in the UK and also worked in the hospitality industry locally is committed to keeping Jamaica "in swing" with the rest of the world's jazz aficionados.
"Its our small way of recognizing the huge contributions of jazz to popular music and even of Jamaican musicians to jazz and music as a whole," he said in articulating the motive behind the event. "There'll be music for dancing and music for listening and just an overall atmosphere of good vibes."
Wedderburn, with support from musicophile and writer Michael Edwards previously staged a birthday tribute to the late Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti in October 2013, and plans are afoot to renew that event this year. Overall, the aim is to grow both events so as to be able to welcome live musical participation as the support base - and corporate interest - grows.
Internationally, Jazz Day 2014 celebrations will be centred in Osaka, Japan and will feature a wide array of live and synchronized acts, including giants Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
One of the last bastions of music retail in the Big Apple having survived Sam Goody, Tower, Virgin, HMV and countless others who came and went over the years J&R Music World was a solid rock of retail.
Opened in 1971 with one store on Park Row I can remember when Raachele Friedman worked the register in their record department down in the basement under her father’s upstairs electronics store. From that one store they expanded to pretty much buying up all the real estate on that one block (except the hardware store) to an empire and giant of electronics retail with an international reputation.
Back in the hey day of the record business J&R Music World probably sold more records per square inch then any retailer in the US.
In fact when they first started they paid all their vendors in cash. I was a sales rep back then and believe me when I tell you they kept many an independent record distributor afloat with their cash flow.
From 1985 to 1987 I managed their jazz department, a stand alone store on top of their classical store at 33 Park Row.
Back in those days the record business was flush. You could sell records with both hands 9 to 5 with no problem.
During the lunch rush (to 2) you could sell a box of records right off the wall of any new release you played in the store.
I did ‘In Stores' with many jazz legends including Horace Silver, Abbey Lincoln and Wayne Shorter.
You never knew who would stop in the store. One time the actor Matt Dillion came in looking for classic Be Bop records for a role he was considering.
The article in the New York Times says it’s a reorganization so who know’s what the future will bring.