There was an audience of nearly 200 people for the Nunney Sun Dance, which we were very pleased with, especially as there were so many other events going on at the same time for BBC Music Live.
The original press release is given below to describe what went on that day, and some music clips are online in streaming audio: the 3 movements of the music last over 2 hours in total, but here are the start of Sun Beat, a section from Sun Trance, and the start of Sun Dance. As well as there being several films of the event in existence, the recording came out well, so we are considering a limited release of the music on CD at some stage. If you would be interested in purchasing one, let us know!
Original Press Release
Nunney Jazz Café has been invited by the BBC to take part in their national Millennium celebration, BBC Music Live: 5 days of live music and street festival from all over the country, culminating in The Perfect Day - 24 hours of continuous music events on Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2000. For The Perfect Day, we are mounting an event called the Nunney Sun Dance.
The BBC will be broadcasting excerpts from the event on television and/or radio.
As per the regular cafe events, the music plays, and the bar/kitchen is open, from 2-5pm. Entrance is £3 for adults and free for accompanied children.
We are using this opportunity to develop further the experimental trend of certain cafe events, and to create a genuinely new music arising out of the interaction between the diverse people involved with the café.
The founders of the café event are Keith Harrison-Broninski (a classical composer and jazz pianist) and Ann Harrison-Broninski (a poet). Ann is writing rap-style poetry for use in a set of 3 pieces based on the native american Sun Dance, a ritual of purification and spiritual renewal. Keith is collaborating with Pee Wee Ellis to create large-scale works based on the poems, scored for rap and gospel vocals, classical performers, african drummers, and jazz musicians. Each piece will have short written sections for different sections of the band, linked by group improvisation. The music will be exciting both to play and to hear - the first will be based on a hip hop groove, the second a slow piece with a blues feeling, and the third a hard funk blowout.
The Perfect Day will be the forum for a first performance of the Sun Dance pieces, when we will stage a one-off event as a spin-off from the normal monthly cafe.
The lead performers will be:
Pee Wee Ellis - legendary for his contribution as bandleader and saxophonist to the work of such artists as James Brown and Van Morrison, Pee Wee works regularly with a wide variety of other major performers, plays the top international venues with his own jazz-funk band, and in recent years has made a critically acclaimed return to his roots in playing straight ahead jazz.
Anthony Pike - Anthony is a professor at the Guild Hall in London, and regularly tours the world giving concerts and recitals. He is principal clarinet of the English Chamber Orchestra, and has always taken a strong interest in, and supported, new music. Anthony plays various instruments of the clarinet family including saxophone, and will be playing the bass clarinet in the Sun Dance.
Roger Huckle - Roger is a well-known and widely experienced violinist and leader. For more details about him and the work of the varied groups he leads that work under the heading of The Emerald Ensemble, see their home page.
Kizzy Morrell - Kizzy is a blues and gospel vocalist who has released several dance singles - she had chart success in the early nineties with Colour Me. Kizzy has performed alongside Motown greats including the Chi-lites, Hot Chocolate, Ben E King, and The Drifters as well as with groups such as Take That, Dri-Azabone, and Rosealla. She has also worked in session for superstars such as The Shamen, Prince, and Terence Trent D'Arby.
Ann Harrison-Broninski - Ann’s poetry has been published in illustrated book form as well as appearing in journals. In 1999 she was the subject of a special feature in an international poetry magazine. For the Sun Dance Ann has written 3 new pieces, which we are using as the basis for each section of the music. In a departure from her usual style, they could be loosely described as rap poetry. Ann and Kizzy will be respectively speaking and singing the lyrics.
The rest of the ensemble is as follows.
Matt Sibley (soprano sax)
James Morton (alto sax)
Jake McMurchie (tenor sax)
Pete Sneyd (baritone sax)
Ralf Dorrell (tenor trombone)
Andy Hague (trumpet)
Mike Peak (trumpet)
Karel Slajs (violin)
Alison Townley (violin)
Mark Davies (cello)
Keith Harrison-Broninski (piano and keyboards)
Andy Christie (guitar)
Andy Keep (bass/double bass)
Simon Gore (drums)
Paul Hammond (african percussion)
There will be a companion event to the Sun Dance, provisionally called Rain Dance. This is the title of a long poem by Ann about the people and the life in this area during Summer of 1998, when it rained almost nonstop. The poem has a visionary feeling, and achieves its effect by a cumulative description of one scene after another. We are inviting artists to create works or installations either based on one or more scenes from the poem, or on a more general theme of The Elements - which are central to both the Sun Dance lyrics and the Rain Dance poem.
These works will be set up in Nunney Village Hall (where the Nunney Jazz Café is based) on the day of the Sun Dance performance. The companion event will provide a peaceful antithesis to the more energetic celebration taking place as the main attraction.
Spraycan artist Paul Boswell will be creating a new large-scale painting during the event. He will also be running a spraycan and marker pen art workshop.
There will also be a mask-making workshop for children of all ages, and a parade at the end of the event.
The event is in aid of Action on Disability and Development (ADD), who help disabled people in under-developed countries to become self supporting. ADD have an office in Frome and will be present at the cafe to promote their work. There will be a prize draw during the event on their behalf.
For more details about the event, or if you would like to take part, contact us.