Wigan church to host special Remembrance concert of jazz music and poetry

Some of Britain’s top jazz musicians are coming to Wigan for a very special Remembrance concert combining swing with spoken word.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 10:31 am
Alan Barnes

The Alan Barnes Octet and poet Josie Moon are bringing their unique show A Requiem to a Swinley church in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

Other news: Shock and sadness as Wigan plant-based cafe and restaurant The Coven shuts downThe concert, which is on a national tour and has been well received in venues so far, uses jazz music and verses to reflect on the end of World War One and the conflicts there have been in the subsequent century.

The concert is coming to Wigan thanks to Dr Ian Darrington MBE, co-founder and director of the Wigan International Jazz Festival, and the company The Music Continuum.

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Dr Ian Darrington MBE

He said he had wanted to do an event paying tribute to those killed in war for some time and A Requiem, which features Wigan saxophonist Dean Masser and renowned jazz figures such as Gilad Atzmon in the line-up, provided the perfect opportunity.

Dr Darrington said: “We’ve been planning this for a couple of years since we first started, so when this became available it fit perfectly with the Remembrance weekend.

“It brings a slightly different slant to the commemorations. There has been a lot of poetry written about war, especially World War One, and Josie Moss also has an international reputation as a poet.

“There are also some very high-calibre musicians, international names, working with her on this.

“It will probably be quite different to what the musicians normally play. I would expect fewer extended solos and more reflections on the poems.

“I’ve been a lot of poetry and music events and I find the two complement each other, particularly with improvisation because the musicians can respond to the mood of a poem very quickly.

“This fits particularly strongly with what we are trying to do as a company and we are looking forward to it.”

A Requiem will be performed in the beautiful surroundings of St Michael and All Angels Church, which should provide a suitably evocative backdrop for a sombre, thought-provoking evening.

Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and bandleader Alan, who is a familiar face in Wigan thanks to his appearances at the town’s successful jazz festival, is also keenly anticipating his visit to the borough.

He said: “I’m very much looking forward to it. This show has been going very well so far and it should be good.

“It’s slightly unusual having a poet with a jazz group. The poetry links to the war theme and then the music is very much within that scope.”

A Requiem, by the Alan Barnes Octet performing with Josie Moss, is at St Michael and All Angels Church in Swinley on Thursday November 7 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10, available now at www.justaddtickets.co.uk