This article is from 2007.

Lively introduction to jazz

While jazz improv may not immediately spring to mind as ideal kids entertainment, Tom Bancroft, drummer and innovator behind the hugely successful children’s jazz orchestra, Kidsamonium, begs to differ.

‘Improvisation is very like play,’ he says. ‘It’s just playing around with sounds, so it’s perfect for kids. Our show works on a lot of levels, because the audience is involved in making musical choices throughout.’

The colourful, lively show, aimed at ages 6–14, features trombone-playing mystic chickens, a mass ‘percussion discussion’ and a hilarious dance-off for mums and dads. ‘It was always my ambition to do something for kids that wouldn’t have them thinking, “Oh, this isn’t for me, it’s for grown-ups”,’ says Bancroft. Recently, Bancroft brought a flavour of the kids’ show to a whole new audience when he won the BBC Jazz Award for innovation. ‘I ended up in front of 600 people dressed as Elvis in a purple costume. It wasn’t quite how I’d imagined picking up an award, but the audience were well up for it.’

Assembly@St George’s West, 623 3030, 3–11 Aug (not 5), 10am, £8.50.


Fun, magical musical event aiming to introduce youngsters aged 6-14, to the exciting power and freedom of jazz. 'Part of Celtic Connections'.

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