kids playing with beaters

“Kidsamonium was one of the highlights of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Children of all ages had an extraordinary time, learnt about how music works but most importantly had fun. Children who thought they didn't understand music and perhaps didn't event want to try to understand it changed their minds in about an hour and a half! For both parents and teachers it was truly inspirational. “ - Alice Cooper, Development Director, Cheltenham Festivals
"A perfectly paced, beautifully structured and highly entertaining introduction to jazz improvisation" - Clare Williams, Llangollen Jazz Festival, 2007

Kidsamonium is a fun, magical musical event aimed at 6 to 14 year olds with a view to letting kids see the exciting power and freedom of jazz & improvised music up close in a format they can digest. Short contributions by a range of artists (including a join-in mass 'Percussion Discussion') combine with performances and interactive musical games by a crack(pot) troupe of musical characters  including the mysterious trombone playing 'Chicken Gang', the madcap 'Aviator' Billy Jenkins, the ‘Big Tuba Kid’ Oren Marshall, the Princess Laura MacDonald, the Dutch Tourist Joost Buis or Monsieur Parp Patrick Charbonnier, and Judge Claude Deppa. It is all led by Tom Bancroft ‘the King’. The show has also featured at different times - Phil Bancroft as Prince ‘Prince’, Buyron Wallen as the ‘Magistrate’, Brian Finnegan as ‘Cowboy Brian the BodyGuard’, and Chirs Greive as ‘the Surfer’.

Children listen to amazing feats of musicianship, as well as participate in a massed kazoo call and response session, improvise on a giant human piano, and create harmonies with the Three Circle Harmony Generator.

The show ends with the hilarious ‘Mum and Dad’s dancing” section.....

At Festivals Kidsamonium features special cameo appearances from other musicians at the festival (who generally have a ball) to date we have had cameos by:

Branford Marsalis, Ernst Rejsiger, Harry Becket, Byron Wallen, Paul Towndrow, Alyn Cosker, Karine Polwart, Inge Thomson, Pete Wareham, Huw Warren, Andy Sheppard, Brian Finnegan of Flook, Gilad Atzmon, Jason Yarde, Karen Casey, Siobhan Miller & Jeana Leslie, Eamonn Murphy of Beogas, Eric Boeren, to name a few.

As the Chicken Gang we have had students from the Birmingham Jazz Conservatoire,  National Youth Theatre of Scotland, Jambone, Kirkwall Grammar School, Brechin, and Kilmarnock High School Big Bands, and local primary and secondary pupils in various places.

Kidsamonium was originally commissioned by The Sage, Gateshead and Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Kidsamonium uses ideas that link with the ABC Creative Music range of music resources. For more information see www.applebananacarrot.com