Life as a Jazz Flautist in Devon: Chapter One

Chernobyl Childrens' Life Line Concert (April 2013)

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 🙂

Should I work for free…

Art by freeimageslive / creator is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Art by freeimageslive / creator is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Art image by freeimageslive / creator is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

This might get me a whole lot of hate, but it’s a handy chart that I feel I should share with every musician, artist, photographer, writer or other creative who has ever been asked and even sometimes expected, by complete strangers, to work for free.

http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com/

I am not saying that you shouldn’t work for free, but stressing that it should be your choice, that you shouldn’t be pressured in to it and do not need to feel guilty if you refuse. Would you ever expect a builder or lawyer to work for you for free?

Example: I have been asked before (by people I do not know) to play 15 minute slots on the harp (not an easy instrument to transport) for absolutely nothing, for profiting festivals and offered only a 5% discount on the cost of a ticket in return. Obviously, my answer was no.

Music is a skilled job and those choosing the profession should be paid accordingly and not exploited.

http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com/

 

Feel free to share your stories and let us know how you responded!

 

Make a request! What would you like to see me play?

The many faces of Hannah Sterry: Jazz Flautist & Harpist
The many faces of Hannah Sterry: Jazz Flautist & Harpist
The many faces of Hannah Sterry: Jazz Flautist & Harpist

Hello! Hannah here!

I’m currently taking requests for harp covers and will be recording and uploading the results to youtube! I’m happy to attempt absolutely anything… well, anything possible (things like “Flight of the Bumble Bee” might be a bit of a bother). Requests for folk, heavy metal, jazz and pop are all welcome – I’ll try them all!

Feel free to request flute pieces too – If you want to hear a cool jazz version of “God Save the Queen”, or a Jethro-Tull-style rendition of Adiemus, I’ll do it – Make these suggestions as crazy and wacky as you like!

Can’t wait to hear what you come up with! Just leave a comment or send me a tweet: @Hannah Sterry

December: Special Offer Music/Maths Tuition

INTRODUCTORY RATES* for anyone wanting flute/mathematics tuition this month:

Flute Lessons:

£10 per 30 minute lesson (normally £12)

Maths Tutoring:

£10 per 30 minute lesson (normally £12)
£18 per 60 minute lesson (normally £22)

Qualifications: A-Level Maths and Further Maths (both Grade A) and 2 years of an undergraduate Mathematics degree at Warwick University.

Hire a Harpist:

£85 for two 45 minute sets with a short interval anywhere in the Kingsbridge, Salcombe area (normally £100).

Also available for gigs/session work:

Experienced live player, with a background in jazz, blues, folk, rock and classical music (see Shows).
Able to play and learn quickly from notation and by ear.
Able to arrange flute/woodwind parts for your music.
Rates on request.

If you’re interested, or know anyone who might be, send me a message or contact me on: o7548 775 o14

*Offer ends on December 31st 2012 (teaching rates will then return to the normal price of £12 per 30 minutes). Any lessons purchased and paid for in advance will still be charged at the lower rate. Flute students will need their own instrument (it is also possible to hire instruments from Devon Music Service: http://www.devon.gov.uk/musicservice ).

Thanks,

Hannah x

Hang out on Sterry Cartoons facebook group!

Musical Compliments - Cartoon by Hannah Sterry


    There is now a Sterry Cartoons Group over on facebook.

    So feel free to hang out over there and share in the friendly banter!

    I’ll post the occasional cartoon and we can all have a bit of a laugh.

Live Music

There are a few gigs coming up in December, where I’ll be performing as guest jazz flautist with Hamer & Isaacs gypsy swing band. They’re a brilliant group of musicians playing lively Django-style jazz and really good fun to watch, so if you get a chance to see them – Don’t miss it!

The dates I’ll be joining Hamer & Isaacs are:

8th December    – East Portlemouth Village Hall, 8pm

18th December – White Horse Inn, Launceston, 8pm

They’re playing a lot of dates in Devon and Cornwall in December, so it’s well worth having a look on their shows page to see if they’re playing anywhere near you.

Also remade the header photo for the website (below). What do you think?

Musical Compliments - Cartoon by Hannah Sterry

 

 

Just a quick post today – Hope you’re all well!

Hannah x

 

Harpist for Hire!

Hannah Sterry - Harpist based in Salcombe, South Hams, Devon.

Juggling a lot of hobbies at once isn’t easy.

Currently I’m juggling a full time Open University course with a part-time job, music lessons, gigs, learning to drive and somehow still find time to see the boyfriend. Add Sterry Cartoons to that as well, and it seems like my mind is trying to run off in about ten directions at once.

You might think that I’d be trying to cut back, but no…

I have decided to become a wedding harpist.

And, instead of hiding the pricing, I’ve decided to be transparent about it. If you’re really lucky I might even include my pricing equation!

Harpist Hire for Private Events

Currently, for private events in Kingsbridge, Salcombe and the surrounding area, my basic rate is £125*, based on two 45 minute sets (£225 at peak times such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve).

For events outside this area, my travel cost and any other expenses will be included in the price.

Private Event Hire = £125 (+ £100 at peak times) + Travel Cost

I’d be more than happy to tailor the set to meet your requirements and welcome any particular song requests that you may have!

If there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact form here. It doesn’t matter how small the request/question is! I’ll be happy to hear from you!

Hannah x

*All prices correct at time of writing, but may be subject to change in the future.

Sterry Cartoons: Crotchety!

Crotchety Crotchet - A music joke cartoon by Sterry Cartoons.

It’s been a productive cartooning day… sorry to end it on such an angry note! 😛

On the subject of notes, I’d really appreciate it if I could have a few more likes on the Sterry Cartoons facebook page. Sorry to ask – I’m hoping to get enough people involved so that we can have some really good competitions and giveaways!

Hope the cartoons keep you smiling!

All the best,

Hannah Sterry x

The Sterrys: Tuesday night is music night

Hannah and John Sterry from "The Sterrys" jazz trio.

The 25th of September marks the last Tuesday Night is Music Night of this year and I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at The Cottage Hotel, on behalf of The Sterrys, because we’ve had an amazing time.

It’s been great fun playing at The Cottage Hotel every week this summer and we’ve met some wonderful people, tasted some absolutely amazing food and really enjoyed playing to such a nice group of people.

Here are a few photos to sum up the wonderful time we’ve had here:

Having fun with the folk harp (sometimes accompanied by Joe on flute).

Harpist Hannah Sterry at The Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove.

Fundraising for Hope Cove Lifeboat out on the terrace.

I’m not sure how much we raised, but have been told it was a success!

Hannah and John from "The Sterrys" playing at The Cottage Hotel.

We even had time for a quick photo opportunity as the sun was setting!

Image

In summary, we’ve had an absolutely amazing time with everyone who’s visited or worked at the hotel.

This is probably the best way to illustrate it:

Image

Thank you to everyone who’s come and supported us,

I really hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have!

Best wishes,

Hannah Sterry

The Sterrys

“How far do these music jokes go?”

Pause Paws - Music Cartoon by Hannah Sterry

Bass Clef is Feeling Low - Vector - Music Cartoon By Hannah Sterry

Answer: Too far!

Yes, I have some more music cartoons for you and they’ll be available in my shop shortly (when I get round to it). There are more over on Sterry Cartoons facebook page.

In the meantime, it’s been an exciting few weeks and I haven’t blogged much, so here’s what’s been happening recently:

The Sterrys live music for Tuesday Night is Music Night at The Cottage Hotel have been a great success and we’ve been asked to continue through September! Earlier in August we (Hannah and John Sterry) also played there to raise money for Hope Cove Lifeboat and someone was kind enough to to take this photo:

The Sterrys (flute and piano jazz duo) playing for Hope Cove Lifeboat Fundraiser at The Cottage Hotel.

It was a wonderful place to play, partly because the weather was so amazing and I managed to get a picture of the view from the terrace. It’s really lovely on sunny evenings on the Tuesday nights, because as we’re playing we can watch the sun setting over the sea – it’s beautiful.

Exciting news:

I’m finally learning to drive after years of putting it off because of university and moving!

The Boyfriend Song now has a much better delivery and set of chords and I need to practice it to perfection!

My SketchBook is filling up really quickly and I’ve been talking to a local animator about possibly animating some of my cartoons!

Anyway… that’ll do for today, but I’ll keep you updated as this all progresses (when I find time to blog, that is).

Feel free to ask me any questions or just have a nice chat in the comments! 🙂