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Jessica Duchen
Wednesday 29th September 2010
Gazza, Brach and the Late Geoffrey...

I think the music industry needs a holiday. It may be about to get one, of course, but that's the wrong kind. No, the sort I'm thinking of involves azure skies, emerald seas, bathing in sun or salt water or both, and all that jazz. Because this week there's been a spate of gremlins which suggest that half our PRs are in meltdown, the poor darlings.

First my pal Sebastian Scotney, proprietor of the excellent London Jazz blog, was perturbed to find himself reading about a special "Jazz for Gazza" event.


Not quite what The Scala in Kings Cross wanted to advertise. It's really Jazz for Gaza, a charity festival to raise awareness (the aim is humanitarian, not political, before you ask), featuring the brilliant Gilad Atzmon, among others in a very impressive line-up. It's on 12 and 13 October and Sebastian has all the details here.

Next I found myself being invited to cover a Brach Day. It involved all the Brandenburg Concertos, so by process of elimination it seemed that this was most likely a JSB cable with its wires crossed, as opposed to Sergei Brachmaninov, though it could be interesting to mingle the two. It's actually a recording for Radio 3 to be undertaken at the Turner Sims Hall in Southampton by the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr on 24 October.

Here's what happens if you do mingle Rachmaninov and Bach, and very wonderful it is.

Best, Charlotte Higgins reports in The Guardian that Geoffrey Norris, that doyen of music critics, is still alive - despite having received a press release stating the contrary. Good old Chester Music wrote down the wrong surname when trying to pay tribute to the late Geoffrey Burgon. Eventually, she adds, a further email arrived from Chester: "It has been a long night. Please accept my sincere apologies for mis-typing the title of this email, sent earlier this afternoon."

On a more serious note, though, Sebastian also says that the 100 Club on Oxford Street is facing closure, despite being as popular and buzzing as ever, because of a whopping 45 per cent upward hike in its rent. It needs a buyer or major sponsor PDQ. Goes to prove, maybe, that music venues are not guaranteed to escape the wrong sort of holiday in the private sector any more than in the public one. And Charlotte has an excellent piece on the topic of the delicate balance and complexity of UK arts funding, which is a must-read, especially if you still believe that Glyndebourne is wholly private and should be an exemplar for everybody else...

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Mike Sheppard
September 29th, 2010
11:09 AM
What a serendipitous typo that 'Brach' turned out to be. Thank you for that lovely 'Sarabanda'. Made my day.

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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