Jazz hero Snake Davis kick starts new initiative at Ropery Hall in Barton
Renowned saxophonist Snake Davis was on hand to play the opening notes of a new project which sees professional musicians working with young people in North Lincolnshire.
The initiative will take professional musicians into local schools for concerts, and workshops on weekends, to allow local young people a personal audience.
The scheme was created by Liz Bennet, Managing Director of The Ropewalk in Barton upon Humber, who is delighted that young North Lincolnshire musicians can now see big name acts from the worlds of jazz and folk in action close up.
She said "Musicians who perform at Ropery Hall often travel long distances to play for one-off concerts and we have been working to extend their stay a little longer.
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"The plan is to provide an afternoon concert in a local school, the main concert at Ropery Hall in the evening and then workshops or jam sessions on a Saturday morning."
The first act to participate was saxophonist Snake Davis, who has played with some of the world's biggest artists, including the likes of Ray Charles, Tom Jones and Tina Turner.
Davis wowed 150 pupils of Barrow upon Humber's John Harrison Primary School in September, when he played not only his family of four saxophones but also flutes, whistles and a didgeridoo.
Liz Bennet said "I was really impressed with the way the children reacted. The whole school were so engaged with Snake's playing and the information he imparted about the sounds from instruments made from different materials.
"The pupils asked some very probing questions at the end of the session and one answer which surprised the audience was the fact that although Snake started singing at school when he was their age it was only when he was 19 years old that he took up the flute and a year later started the saxophone.
"He told the audience that he didn't believe he had a gift or talent but that he just practised for many hours each day, and encouraged them to do the same at whatever they wanted to pursue."
Snake Davis played at the sold-out Ropery Hall last Saturday, September 29. He had earlier spent the morning at the North Lincolnshire Music Centre at John Leggott College, Scunthorpe, performing to a group of young musicians and then playing with them.
Sally Russell, the Acting Deputy Head of North Lincolnshire Music Support Services, explained the Centre, tutored by staff of the North Lincolnshire Music Support Service, has been in existence since 1975 and caters for student musicians, from eight to 19 years of age, in the North Lincolnshire area.