• Ursula Sagar

They were enthusiastically shouting “more jazz!”

Musicians: Adam Bridges (keyboard) and Jo Rotunno (vocals)

The Spitz team arrived today to a perfect day for outdoor music-making – gloriously blue and warm but not too hot to keep the residents inside. I myself was hugely frustrated to be housebound with a sore throat today, not wanting to take any risks, so along with the BSL contingent enjoying the concert from their rooms I tuned in on Facebook Live. Thom does a great job making sure the sound and image quality of the stream’s top notch, but I can only imagine how much these sessions must mean to the residents given how sorely I'm missing my own weekly music dose. The musicians meanwhile laughed about the lighter side of Covid’s effects on the music world as they struggled to agree which day of the week it was!

Today we welcomed a fantastic pair of fresh faces to BSL – Adam Bridges on keys and Jo Rotunno on vocals – for a set ranging from toe-tapping jazz standards to classic swing and Latin tunes, fondly remembered and warmly received by today’s guests. Jo has a beautifully authentic jazz voice straight off a 78rpm record, resonant of greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, and transported us straight to the smoky salons and dance halls of 1930s-50s Manhattan with a thoughtfully selected seasonal and sunshine theme. Tunes included Sunny, Autumn Leaves, Bing Crosby classic Pennies from Heaven, Irving Berlin’s buoyant Blue Skies, and later the smouldering Summertime, all perfect for the setting. In the end we had a lovely big crowd of 15-20 residents enjoying the music outside, who left the band in no doubt of where their tastes lay, enthusiastically shouting “more jazz!” when asked if they fancied a change. As the clock hit 4p.m. the called for one more song, and the duo were happy to oblige, rounding up with a glittering rendition of Billie Holliday’s Lover Come Back To Me, a final tribute to the blue skies above. Adam and Jo received the stamp of approval from Spitz stalwart resident G, who came over afterwards to tell Thom how excellent he thought the music had been.

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The Spitz Charitable Trust 

Charity Number 1155033