I visited Olympia this afternoon to oversee the installation and set up of the MU stand at this year’s Music & Drama Education Expo. We have exhibited and held seminars at this event for several years, although on this occasion the MU Education Dept has opted to not act as official sponsors and elected to share our stand space with David Barnard’s Resonance initiative. My colleague Rose Delcour-Min will be in charge once the show is underway – it runs for the next two days – and together we spent a couple of hours putting everything in place. A swift of the show floor followed, during which we greeted many familiar faces from across the music education industry.
I attended a drinks reception this evening hosted by David Warburton MP, in the Jubilee Room at the House of Commons, to mark Michael Dugher’s leaving his role at the CEO of UK Music. Michael has accepted the offer to become Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council and the UK Music team had invited those in the music industry with whom he had worked closely over the three years of his tenure. We wish him the very best of luck in his new role.
Thanks once again to the marvellous Maggie Crowe, Julie and I had tickets last night – on my birthday – to the Brit Awards being held at the 02 Arena. We arrived at 5pm and made our way to the Continental Hotel, where the pre-Show dinner awaited.
I attended the UK Americana Awards this evening at the Troxy in Commercial Road in London’s East End. The venue is a wonder in itself, having been England’s largest cinema when opened in 1933 with a showing of King Kong.
This year’s UK Americana Conference was as engaging as ever with its in-depth series of seminars, workshops and interviews over three days. The showcase festival, meanwhile, offered its usual array of excellent acts in Hackney venues. First up this evening, I met photographer Jonathan Stewart at the Moth Club where there was to be a focus on Canadian musicians.
Opening day of the UK Americana Conference in Hackney proved entertaining and informative once again, with the keynote speech on a theme of collaboration being presented by the ground-breaking Joan Armatrading. The annual event is always a great opportunity to catch up with many familiar names in the genre and this year Jonathan Stewart and I were soon exchanging pleasantries with organisers Stevie and Jamie Freeman, plus songwriter / guitarist Simon James.
Vocalist, pianist and MU Executive Committee member Andi Hopgood, Mark Batchelor and I attended the 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards tonight. The event, which was established in 2005, was once again organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG) and staged downstairs at the PizzaExpress Live in Holborn.
I met up with Nigel Kemp this evening in The Library pub in Islington, ahead of our crossing the road to see a solo performance by Graham Parker in the Union Chapel, an artist we saw play live many times in the early 1980s.
My thanks to Chris Holland, keyboard player and songwriter, for guest tickets to his brother Jools’ big band concert at the Royal Albert Hall this evening.