Many people might not think that an infant school is the natural home for experimental jazz music, but The Cloudmakers Trio were certainly at home with the children at St Ives Infant School last week, who welcomed their musical visitors with broad smiles and a great deal of enthusiasm. St Ives Jazz Club have been working with Will Sleath's World Classics Series and St Ives Infant school to bring the highest quality live musicians into school, through linking daytime education workshops with evening gigs. Last week, 120 children aged four to six years old had the opportunity to hear the trio, led by Cornish-born vibraphone player Jim Hart supported by his colleagues Michael Janisch on double bass and James Maddren on drums. Sixty Year One children then had the chance to learn more about the range of the instruments (seagull sounds on the double bass were a clear favourite), along with learning rhythmic skills by clapping along to the band's arrangement of Thelonius Monk's 'Epistrophy', using two different time signatures!
Joanne Dean, head teacher of St Ives Infants School, said, 'We are very excited about the school's new links with the Jazz Club, and with the World Classics Series, which are providing such inspiring musical experiences for the children. The sessions provide a wonderful opportunity for the children to watch live music and discover a wide range of instruments. The children loved seeing The Cloudmakers Trio last week and playing along with them in subsequent workshops. We are really looking forward to our next musical afternoon later this month.' Jo Mayes from St Ives Jazz Club agreed, saying, 'we are delighted that our local Infant School has reacted so positively to the idea of working together to bring jazz music into school. The enthusiastic reaction of the young children who attended the concert and workshops suggests that children are often more musically open-minded than we give them credit for! The musicians also enthused about the experience of playing to the young children and even complimented them on how attentively they listened to the music!'