Life as a Jazz Flautist in Devon: Chapter One

Hello!

I am now “Plymouth’s top jazz flautist” according to twitter. I know this because I am probably the only jazz flautist in the whole of South Devon (with the exception of my dad, who often prefers to play saxophone).

This post is a bit of everything – music I’ve recorded, pictures from the past year’s worth of gigs and news of gigs to come and some lovely testimonials from people I’ve played for – I hope you’ll enjoy it and feel free to ask me anything you like in the comments!

Hamer & Isaacs logo by Hannah Sterry. Hamer & Isaacs play volcanic, swinging gypsy jazz. Whilst portraying the influence of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, the unique addition of Rosie Corlett's soaring, flaming vocals is guarenteed to turn the thermostat up a notch. Rich Hamer (lead guitar) provides cut, thrust, panache and inspiration, and Mel Brindle Scullion (swing violin) utilises her impeccable classical pedigree to lend virtuosity to the flair of her improvisation. Julian Isaacs (rhythm guitar), a veteran of the gypsy jazz scene for over three decades, and the animated and vivacious lines of Howard Kahn (double bass) provide the driving force that is the rhythm section. Hamer & Isaacs Gypsy Swing Band are available as a guitar duo, an instrumental or vocal trio, or as a full quintet. Set the controls for the heart of swing and witness them for yourselves!
Logo by Hannah Sterry.

Over the past year I’ve been lucky enough to play lots of gigs with a great little gypsy swing band called Hamer & Isaacs. I met them, by chance, at a blues night at a pub where a mutual friend had invited us both along. I thought they were pretty cool and took a particular liking to one of them (that’s a different story) and since then I’ve stood in whenever one of the others can’t make it!

After playing with the band a fair bit, a few of them spotted my Sterry Cartoons creations on facebook and asked whether I’d like to design them an ‘art deco’ logo. I thought it’d be good fun to have a go (having not attempted logo design before) and this is what I came up with (see right).

All of this led to some really wonderful testimonials from people I’ve met through the band:
Becky Brine Tweet

“As a professional musician for nearly four decades, I have been very impressed by Hannah Sterry’s contribution to our gypsy swing band as a deputy flautist over the last few months. She has deputised at short notice for both our lead guitarist and swing violinist, not easy roles to fill, and I have been awed by her levels of competence and creativity. Her improvisational techniques display an intuitive flair and inspiration well beyond her years, and she exhibits the stage presence expected in a seasoned veteran. I would heartily endorse her as a flautist to any potential employers, whether in the fields of jazz, rock or classical music.” ~ Julian Isaacs of Hamer & Isaacs Gypsy Swing Band

“[Hannah] is a brilliant musician and I love working with her in the gypsy swing band. Her flute solos inspire me to up my game!” ~ Melanie Scullion B.A Hons.P.G Cert. P.G Dip.Perf. Professional violinist, violist and peripatetic music teacher.

I’ve haven’t been playing jazz and designing logos the entire time though. Whenever I’ve had a few hours free, I’ve been working on a few of my own musical side projects! Most recently I’ve been doing a bit of recording with my little sister (she’s ridiculously cool, but you can’t take her anywhere). 😛

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have heard it before, but here’s a little bit of chilled out flute music I recorded as an earlier side project (it’s not jazz, but it’s cool and floaty)!

 

P.S. If you like any of my music, you can download it for FREE on bandcamp. Just click the link above. If you really like it and want me to make more music, you can donate however much or little as you like with the “name-your-price” button and you’ll get a gigantic smile and thanks from me!

Anyway, I’ve just been told that dinner’s on the table, so I’d better go, but I hope you’re enjoying the story so far and I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the last year and adates of my upcoming gigs! Hope to meet some of you at some point and as always, if you want to ask me anything, or have any great music recommendations, I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 😀

GIGS COMING UP…

TOMORROW/FRIDAY (18th May)
Hamer & Isaacs gypsy swing band feat. Hannah Sterry will be playing in the Leaping Salmon, Horrabridge from 9pm.

BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY (27th May)
Ansa Back will be playing at Bigbury Golf Club from 4pm.

JUNE-SEPTEMBER
The Sterrys will be playing every Tuesday evening at The Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove for their Summer Music Nights. Feel free to come and join us, enjoy a cocktail on the terrace and take in one of the most Mediterranean views that the South Hams can offer!

Thanks all,

Hannah 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Life as a Jazz Flautist in Devon: Chapter One

    1. What sort of music are you interested in and are you happy to play by ear or do you prefer to read music?

      I don’t know of many local classical music groups, but if you’re happy to play jazz/blues/pop music then I’d suggest going to some of the local open mic nights and meeting other musicians there. Ben Carr has run open mic nights on Tuesdays in Kingsbridge for the past few years, but he’s currently looking for a new venue to host them, and Ian Feetenby runs one at Creeks End (I’m not sure which days).

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