University of Leicester eBulletin

Jazz Musicians Playing in the Groove!

November 2002
No 251

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Thursday 5 December 2002 at 7.00pm at the University of Leicester’s Richard Attenborough Centre

A project that has given students from four schools in Leicestershire a rare opportunity to learn how to use melody, harmony and rhythm to improvise and play Jazz is reaching its climax in a public Showcase at the University of Leicester Richard Attenborough Centre on 5 December 2002. 

There are very few accredited pathways for young people to enjoy structured learning in this musical field and this project is unique in having offered a sustained approach to Jazz education, filling this gap in the market. Very often there are few music specialists available in schools to teach this fascinating area of the music curriculum.

The Richard Attenborough Centre received funding from the National Foundation for Youth Music and East Midlands Arts Board to the tune of £31,320 to run this year-long, innovative Jazz Education Project in four Leicestershire schools.

The initiative has been led by Leicester born, International Steinway Artist, Jazz Pianist/Composer, Richard Fairhurst. An outstanding musician, he has achieved an amazing profile at a young age. He leads his own Quartet, The Hungry Ants, and has been commissioned to compose music in a variety of contexts, including new music that will be performed by all the participating musicians in the Time for Jazz Showcase.

Richard Fairhurst has appeared at many festivals including Copenhagen, Cologne, Belfast, Wiesen (Austria), London, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Canterbury, and Senegal to name a few. He has achieved critical acclaim for his 1996 debut CD ‘The Hungry Ants’ (Babel BDV 9504), and won the ‘Perrier Jazz Awards’ in February 1998. His second Album ‘Formic’ (Babel BDV 9824) was released to ecstatic reviews from all major publications, including John Fordham of Guardian (4 Stars) and John Lewis of Time Out. His next album ‘Myrmidons’, recorded with his band The Hungry Ants, has been released on the Babel label in May 2002.

You can hear young jazz musicians from Guthlaxton College, John Cleveland College, Burleigh Communty College and Leicester Grammar School perform on December 5th at 7.00pm in the final Time for Jazz Showcase, to be held at The Richard Attenborough Centre, University of Leicester, Lancaster Road, Leicester.

Commenting on Time for Jazz, world famous jazz musician John Dankworth  said “The initiatives taken by University of Leicester in the field of Jazz Education are welcome news to British Musicians anxious to further their skills in the Jazz World.”

Jazz pianist Nikki Yeoh added: “the opportunity for young people in Leicester to gain access to Jazz Education at The Richard Attenborough Centre is an exciting opening…”

Richard Fairhurst said “The final showcase will provide an opportunity for me to explain to students, teachers and parents and Jazz enthusiasts, important principles which are essential to understanding Jazz when it is performed”.

Full information about the Time for Jazz Showcase is available from the general office at The Richard Attenborough Centre, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2455, facsimile 0116 252 5165, email

NOTE TO EDITORS:   For further details please contact Philip Herbert, Organising Tutor for Music, on Tel: 0116 223 1526 or email  Or call the general office at The Richard Attenborough Centre, University of Leicester for further information on telephone 0116 252 2455, facsimile 0116 252 5165, email

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