Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues planned to set up a community-based big band three years ago realising there were local experienced musicians without a band.
RVJB director and trustee, Geoff Jackson, teamed up with Paul Rigby of Northern Jazz Orchestra. Within twelve months, twenty five musicians of varied levels of experience assembled at The Atrium Cafe Bar in Clitheroe for the first rehearsal. Young musicians were well represented – Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues prioritises involvement of young people in everything it does.
Since that first session, two years ago, the band has gelled into a finely tuned unit (forgive the pun!) thanks to weekly rehearsals. Band members quickly decided on Ribble Valley Jazz Collective as a name representing the shared concept and aspirations of both Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues and band members. This was quickly followed by a decision on the band logo and a dress code heavily influenced by colours orange and black. This works well for the band. Look at the photo and judge for yourself! Hopefully, the name and image will regularly attract new musicians as there are aspirations for a second band!
Within six months when the rehearsals were backed up by impressive amounts of practice at home (no evidence gathered from spouses, partners, parents though), the band held its premier performance at the Higher Trapp Hotel, Simonstone in January 2013. Invitations to this session were safely targeted at ‘friends and family’ – a wise move attracting an audience of over 100.
Since then, and with growing confidence, the band has performed twelve concerts for a variety of audiences including a street performance at the 2013 Clitheroe Food Festival. The band’s next big session will be at Ribble Valley Jazz Festival in the marquee on Castle Street on Saturday 3rd May 2014. Come along and witness the band for yourself.