Kidsamonium was 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') combined 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 was all led by Tom Bancroft ‘the King’. The show 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 listened to amazing feats of musicianship, as well as participated in a massed kazoo call and response session, improvised on a giant human piano, and created harmonies with the Three Circle Harmony Generator.
The show ended with the hilarious ‘Mum and Dad’s dancing” section.....
At Festivals Kidsamonium featured special cameo appearances from other musicians at the festival (who generally had a ball) including
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 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 won The Herald Angel in 2007.
Kidsamonium uses ideas that link with the ABC Creative Music range of music resources. For more information see www.abccreativemusic.com