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Joe Thompson's Jazz Workshop

Date / Time:

26 Nov 17 14.30 - 15.30


The Conservatoire, Blackheath

Performing Group:

Jazz Workshops at the Conservatoire


Book here for our next Jazz Workshop


We are running a special Jazz Workshop for young musicians with Joe Thompson, Musical Director of the Ivy Club and founder of our popular family concert series, Family Jazz, followed by an opportunity to play at the Family Jazz concert straight after. “If you enjoy “messing about” on your chosen instrument, then you are already improvising”, says Joe. "In our masterclass series we hope to open up new avenues, to build on strengths and to encourage the young musicians to shape their improvisations into something more lasting, as well as offering guidance on how to take their music making to the next level.”

On 26 November we are joined by local jazz hero Mark Armstrong. As well as being a phenomenal trumpet player, Mark is the musical director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Professor at the Royal College of Music. 

Suitable for students aged 10-18, Grade 4 and above.

Sunday 26th November 2017 at 2.30pm

Blackheath Conservatoire

£10 per student. Friends and Family come for free

Read our blog about the Workshop here

Come and enjoy this wonderful display of talent - and if you'd like to be involved as an intrumentalist, please email henryb@conservatoire.org.uk and we'll try to fit you in!

Friends and family can watch for free - no booking required!



16-year old Harrison Dolphin came all the way from Rayleigh in Essex where he is one of only three students studying music A Level at his local secondary, The Fitzwimarc School, searching for an opportunity to play collaboratively, learn and nurture his love of jazz having seen Family Jazz featured on Eventbrite., It was hard to believe Harrison was self-taught and had only picked up the double bass six months previously. As his first instrument is guitar and not an orchestral instrument, Harrison has always played by ear and is only now learning to read music, but instinctively picked up the music and was soon jamming with the pros! As a result of the Masterclass, Mark asked Harrison to join the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy. Harrison said:

"Playing in the masterclass has helped immensely, I've been introduced to many other musicians and inspirations through NYJO academy, and it has inspired me to study jazz and follow it as a career path. I wouldn't have the same attitude about music that I do today without the opportunities and experience that this workshop gave me.”

Here’s a brief excerpt:




11-year pianist and Conservatoire student Molly Morgan came armed with Debussy’s Clair de Lune, but also brought along a short self-composed piece. Whilst clearly an amazing musician, Molly didn’t seem to realise how good her own piece was. Joe helped Molly develop it and encouraged her to sing it herself, along with singer Sophia Sczcegolski-Jacobs. The piece worked extremely well as a duet and led Joe to comment that she should refer to herself as a “singer-songwriter’. Molly said 

"I was a little nervous at first, but I soon realised it was a great way to experiment and learn. Joe was really kind and encouraging."

Students then had the opportunity to stay and perform as part of the Family Jazz concert which followed. For trumpeter Hattie Asker this was her second time performing here, which she described in her blog - https://mytrumpetandme.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/a-bit-of-samba/.


The audience loved it! Family Jazz is extremely popular with the under 10s but we would really like those a bit older to feel a more of a part of it as well. Our Masterclasses are a fantastic way to learn and explore in a relaxed and inspiring way. So much of music is about just trying things out. You never know what the outcome will be!


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