Preview: The Rookery Jazz, Funk and Afro-Beat Showcase

Preview: The Rookery Jazz, Funk and Afro-Beat Showcase

Something funky this way comes...
The Rookery are set to deliver yet another knock out blow to our hearts, minds and most importantly our dancing shoes!

While the North East is full of dedicated promoters and creatives, the Rookery has always offered something a little different with it's interactive jamming sessions, encouraging musicians of all instruments and genres to gather together and make something new.
What's more, these sessions culminate in a fantastic set of live performances from the very best up and coming artists to round the night off nicely.

After a smashing 2018, The project has it's sights firmly set on conquering the new year and nothing will stand in their way.

I asked Rookery co-founder Joey Swindells what they were doing differently this year and if there were any lessons learned in 2018:

"We are going 11000000%. We have just gone full time with the collective and we are devoting all our time to getting people doing and enjoying music more!
We have launched our branch in Manchester and the plan is the grow our community down there to what it is like up here in sunny Newcastle".

Picnic Photography: Michael Baister

Photography: Michael Baister

“The biggest lesson we've learned is to keep trying to get new people to come and experience our events all the time. We think if people meet other musicians regularly then they share ideas, network and push themselves forward musically; and thats what we are all about!"

"The trick to getting new people down is to never stop promoting. When you’re putting events on there are always things that can go wrong or stop people who want to come from coming. That’s life, it can’t be helped. But we’re going to keep our foot on the gas and keep connecting musicians with each other".

And the evidence of this energised drive to deliver their signature blend of fun and networking is already apparent, with two sessions already under their belt in the North East and one in Manchester.
Next up though is a extra special event at Newcastle's The Cluny...

What is the theme behind the Rookery event on the 16th of February and why is this one particularly special?

"We launched The Rookery's Newcastle branch in February 2017 so that makes this event our 3rd Birthday in the city. Although we started in Bolton, Newcastle has been our home and we love this stunning little city so its a really special occasion for us from the get go.
Because of this we decided to celebrate with... an Afro-beat, Jazz, Funk Jam Day & Showcase Gig.The really mega part of this gig though is the bands!"

What are your thoughts on the line-up and what they each bring to the table?

"Opening up we have Picnic who are so well respected around the North East its unreal. Everyone we speak to about them has nothing but great things to say and we can’t wait to have them.
Next is
Ponyland, who are truly fucking mental. There is just no other way of saying it. Anyone who can splice reggae, jazz, drum & bass and afro-beat all into a live setting deserve an award, and thats the end of it.
If you haven’t seen these you literally NEED to!
Finally, we have
Agbeko headlining the night. These lot are the bee’s head, shoulders, knees and toes.
They’re an 11-piece Afro-funk band from Manchester who have supported the heavy weights in the afro-beat genre as well as gaining proper respect themselves over the past few years. These guys are one of the most exciting bands we have ever worked with…we are sooooooo excited!"

Agbeko Photography: Aron Klein

Photography: Aron Klein

"The line up is honestly absolute madness. We cannot stress enough how truly unbelievable this gig is going to be. Every single one of these bands are the crème de la crème and The Rookery is honestly honoured to be working with them".

In one sentence, what can we expect from the event on the 16th?

"Fucking madness!
A day of open Jam sessions that anyone can come to, followed by possibly the maddest gig you could possibly imagine."

Head on down to The Cluny on the 16th of February for 11 hours of stunning musical talent and a hell of a lot of fun.
From 12 noon til 5pm you can bring yourself, an instrument and your best dancing shoes for the jamming session, then from 7pm onwards you can catch three of the UKs best, brightest and funkyest!

More info can be found on the event page here:

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