Corey Mwamba


Entries for Oct 2013

Pretty basic at the mo, but I promise it will be filled over time!

For some years, I used to moan about awards; why they existed, who won them, &c. Then I got nominated for one...

...and of course I didn't win it. I didn't really understand why I'd been nominated either. Then it hit me...

I had been complaining about something I didn't understand.

So I stopped.

[of course, I might complain privately, but publicly—notsomuch]

Similarly, I had several prejudiced thoughts on jazz education until maybe four years ago. When I was asked about it this year, I said:

Everybody has to learn somewhere. But it's what you do with it that matters.

A few weeks ago I had someone state that we shouldn't talk/think about music; that Coltrane didn't think about music, just played.

Without going into how untrue the bit about Coltrane is, I'm wondering how these people learned how to play at all.

Everyone had to learn somewhere, and somehow. Where doesn't really matter: through gigs, reading, study. Doesn't matter.

I think the idea of great musicians not learning or reading is romantic, but thoroughly delusional.

Wish Google grouped general search results by site.

Had a great time playing with Nat Birchall in Bruges: lovely space, people and conversations over beer! Hope to head there another time.

Going to Marsden Jazz Festival? Then get some BATTERIES! Me, Andy Champion, Chris Sharkey and Mark Sanders:

New gig: Andreae/Bennett/Mwamba @ Lost Voices—

A vast amount of reading [for today] has eased itself into my inbox without waving "hello" first.

So—off at 7:42a.m. in the rain to get to Marsden Jazz Festival today! Batteries ahoy!

My trolley sprinting technique has improved. Nailed the change to Huddersfield.

My shoulder is wrecked! But it was well worth it. The Marsden Jazz Festival gig with Batteries was great, just great. I was given a lift to the venue by a complete stranger [thank you Sam!]; met up with Matthew Bourne before his elegaic commission piece for synths and keyboards; was surprised by Walt Shaw, who'd come up to see the gig; and then played in a storming set with Andy Champion, Mark Sanders and Chris Sharkey to a full and listening audience! Also caught a bit of Laura Jurd's quintet set, with the singer Lauren Kinsella making an impact—fantastic voice and skill!

Wow. Packed out for Blacktop, and it's IMMENSE.

Jazz re:freshed was hot, so hot. Thanks to everyone who came along! Hear more of the trio at

And after this run of gigs, I'll think about getting my shoulder looked at. Popping ibuprofen just isn't the way...

Screwed up recording our set: but we had fun in Leeds! Hope you enjoyed it if you were there. Missed David Murray as had to head home...

Had a very encouraging meeting at ArtsmithLIVE and now a great pot of chai at the Cake Hole.

London today, with Olie Brice! And a venue near St Pancras! Hope to see you there.

Bit of a live technical test: attempting to parse shorthand for gigs, like so: Duo with Olie Brice. If it works, I may do a small dance of joy, seated.

Taken a long time to get to this point: but now it can't be avoided:

New Musical Figurations. Braxton

What a fantastic space Lumen Church is! Lovely food, welcoming. More places like this, please!

From Lumen. The cone section is hollow and houses a quiet space.

Lumen interior

I used to use Granulab ALL the time; and then forgot about it after doing so much acoustic work. Having a play now though...

Had a great time at Lumen with Olie Brice, Rachel Musson/Liam Noble/Mark Sanders, and Alex Ward. Lovely space for music.

Bit weary and with an aching shoulder still: but looking forward to a hometown gig at Deda later!

It's very easy—almost bland, in fact—to be rabble-rousing from a position of privilege.

Within this there is a deception, of course: I'm privileged enough to be able to say it...

...but I'm not privileged enough to be invited onto mass media platforms to express a zeitgeist.

And in that moment, within that opportunity, would I express what life is really like for me?

If I meant what I said, would I allow the perception of that discussion to have a competitive element?

Being the person that I am, my "having a discussion" is perceived very differently.

I have a certain amount of privilege: it would be foolish to deny this. I work in the arts in Britain and Ireland.

I have had other privileges too. I went to a private school—as poor as we were as family. I don't feel part of an elite though.

But—and here is the rub—I am not a celebrity who is constantly observed and polarised...

I am black: and the nature of how I am observed and polarised is entirely different.

Let's try to remember that parties like the BNP blame their lack of success on high voter turnout.

And—and perhaps I am being harsh—let's try to see who is doing the rousing, and where they go home to afterwards.

If we think about the word persona and its roots, we see a world constructed by illusion.

Saying the right words in the right way to make a listener feel a certain way is always great acting; but not always the truth.

Words can create a mask.

It's only when you look at the eyes and lives that you can see a truer face.

But having privilege means you don't have to look at anyone in the eyes: you have no need for such closeness.

The lack of closeness is why people can make terrible decisions that directly affects those in need; or say what they like on TV.

A lack of closeness can also come from disadvantage—from not belonging...

It's important to see the persona, and understand how it was created.

To see past the mask—to observe the person behind the persona—takes time and a love.

I'm writing in the context of going through a "low". I have had mild depression for a few years.

I have the privilege to be able to talk about it. There are many who do not.

Looking at the persona is not the same as looking at the person. We apply this to politicians, but not people.

How much more would we know about each other if we did?

New Ramble: Jazz in the North East: questions—

Spent some time yesterday re-listening to the wonderful Julian Argüelles...

Fascinating overview of the more prominient parts of Norway's scene. For reference, 10 billion Krone is £1.05bn.

As a follow-up to my questions, please support this: Jazz North East is a one in a million jazz organisation.

Reminiscence: saw this group in Birmingham the year this was recorded. Valente!

"You'll love the space," they said. "You'll hate the four flights of stairs," they omitted.

Bring on workout number three!