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  • Kat Whitehead

Summer Solstice 2022

Musicians: Alice Zawadzki (violin, vocals) Ben Hazleton (double bass) Pete Lee (piano)

It was a hot sunny afternoon and the beautiful canal-side garden of Bridgeside Lodge felt like a sanctuary away from the day’s rail strike chaos. Despite the strike, The Spitz team made it to Bridgeside Lodge in full, traveling by foot, bike, car and one lucky train ride, to be there.

The BBQ was lit and filled the garden with a delicious hazy smoke, whetting the appetites of the residents and staff alike. The band set up, as the residents gradually came outside and chose their seats dotted around the patio, then swiftly started tucking in to their lunch.

Today’s live band featured some of our in-house favourites with Alice Zawadzki on vocals & violin, Ben Hazleton on double bass and Pete Lee on piano.

The trio had prepared a brilliant set list of sun-themed tunes. Opening with a gentle lilting instrumental piece called ‘Little Sunflower’ which set the scene for this years’ Summer Solstice Garden Party perfectly.

Followed by the uplifting ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ and then Ella Fitzgerald ballad ‘Midnight Sun’, as the residents continued to spill out into the sun-drenched garden, drawn in by both the sounds and smells emerging from our outdoor haven.

One resident (Ms.GH) was particularly captivated by the Gershwin track ‘Summertime' (and the livin' is easy), singing along with Alice’s violin with great gusto and impressing us with her staggering breath control.

We were temporarily concerned by the absence of JC, only to find out he had to attend an important meeting, however we were assured he would still be joining us. Shortly after which he arrived, with a big smile on his face, ready to be immersed in the music. After being passed his trusty guitar, he got right to it, playing along enthusiastically with Ben’s bass notes.

When the band struck up ‘When Marimba Rhythms Start To Play’ we were happy to see JS join in on the shakers from his front seat, clearly enjoying the infectious Brazilian samba.

The set ended on a mellow summery note, leaving everyone feeling truly uplifted and nourished, after spending a gorgeous afternoon listening to wonderful music, the quality worthy of the Southbank.

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