Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Jazz cat in training

On a relatively quiet holiday Monday, we headed out to pursue our jazz education.

La Petite Ecole du Jazz was specifically geared toward youngsters, most of whom were likely the less than willing accompaniments to afficionado parents, out-of-towners on jazz-vacation weekends.

It was that vaguely pleasant time of morning when the kids are starting to tucker from hours of play and the parents are just beginning to reap the benefits of copious pots of coffee. The crowd was remarkably well-behaved, I'd even say mellow.

Audience members sang out nursery rhymes and other childhood favourites; the band echoed them jazz-style, swing or latin or blues. Lessons included cool vs not-cool as exemplified through syncopated hand-clapping rhythms, what is jazz vs not-jazz, counting (Take Five!). The band did some fun tricks like playing blindfolded and playing (piano) upside down. And of course, the jazz festival mascot, Ste-Cat, was a big hit.

Helena was tired, but she impressed me with spontaneous bursts of head-bopping, hip-swaying, foot-tapping. She passed with flying colours, and we have the certificate to prove it.

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