I knew i would be impressed with the approaching sight of the RWCMD. The last time i came here there were scaffolds , and a real sense that there would be a great deal to put up with, while a huge amount of construction went on. It looks like it has been way more than worth it.  I also recognised a few viewpoints from the extensive tv coverage this building has been getting for the last few years.  A wonderful Steinway upright in the changing room. A ‘D’ onstage , and then the engineer recounting the day 65 pianos arrived at the newly complete facility! (My jaw still hasn’t recovered…).  I enjoyed being able to share the music in such a precisely balanced acoustic – and am loving the fact that every show has such a differing set of components. The engineers were then showing off – as a recording of my set (made from the studio next door) – was in my inbox around 36mins after i had finished! The workshop was in the adjacent building , in the very same room i had given one before (with the Panacea+strings project). Thank you all for putting up with the technical hitches (!). The College was having a lot of Jazz – with Babelfish that evening , and an ensemble led by ( the brilliant  Head Of Jazz)  Paula Gardiner a bit earlier.. a busy day all round. Thanks for all who came (to both performance, and workshop), and for the feedback on the album artwork too! Lucky students – use your time well!!

Thanks to Andrew Fawcett (from Torfaen Jazz) – who attended some of the workshop, and driving us straight to their amazing place for some food – before the show in Pontypool later that evening. Would know soon enough if i had rested properly- with a further 90min two set solo performance to do.  After many warnings – i was at last able to meet the piano – and knew it would be fun. ( I have played – or at least tried to – on much worse!!). The venue Panteg House has a very varied history , and i knew the session through Ceri Williams (and all his hard work), and a good online presence. It is thus a huge shame to hear about the cutbacks in the local school level music education. We need that to be really protected – together with  invaluable sessions like Torfaen Jazz to continue. Its all deeply interconnected. With a good bunch of great talents emerging from the RWCMD every year – i would say that it was vital. Was great to have more time to include another audience sequenced improv – and a pleasure to play for you! Thanks again to Andrew and his wife for making a complex day flow so well!

Derby and Newcastle and some playing with the great Corey Mwamba next !