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The Jamming Station Story

HOW IT ALL STARTED
2012

Having two drummers in the family Jacqui was accustomed to noise! But it was only when her son kept bringing home a gang of friends who crammed themselves into a very small attic room to ‘rehearse’ that Jacqui Perks realised that there was nowhere in Totnes for kids to get together outside of school to chill and make some music.
So she set her mind to find somewhere that she could hire. Along with Lee Friese-Greene and later Beth Coombes they loaded up their cars every week with drum kit and amps and hired the local Youth Club. It soon became evident that they needed some decent PA and new instruments so in 2013, thanks to the Big Lottery, they went shopping and hired a bigger venue.
Five years on and Jamming Station has grown into a highly respected youth music project which is still expanding enabling young musicians to come together on weekly basis to meet, to jam, to write, to gig. Weekly sessions take place at The Civic Hall and local venues such as The Barrel House support the project with regular gigs and DJ nights.

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Meet the team

Jacqui

JACQUI PERKS

Jacqui Perks, the daughter of Italian and Irish immigrants, was born in Liverpool in the ’60’s. Her father’s love of Country music, in particular Johnny Cash, still influences her passion of close harmony work and a song that tells a story.

As young singer herself she graduated from Dartington College of Arts and spent most of her twenties writing and gigging until she moved back down to the South West to have a family. She continues to enjoy songwriting and loves both working solo and collaborating with other artists locally and across the UK.

Her most recent projects include a female a cappella band called Strange Angels and Lazy Grace with co-writer and singer/guitarist Roger Wells.

BETH COOMBES

Beth Coombes is a Music Leader, coach and musician.
She has been teaching piano and vocal skills for ten years, helping her students compose, sing in harmony and perform their favourite music.

Beth was inspired to start playing piano at the age of seven. She worked with the Suzuki Method and all the grades, and started writing basic compositions. Life would been amazing for her as a teenager had she been in a supportive musical environment with people her age.

Beth joined the Jamming Station platform soon after it had begun to continue to support young musicians as a collective and give them the opportunity to thrive.

Inspired by folk, blues, gospel, fusion and classical music. She loves campfire singing, performs regularly with a whole range of artists and has recently toured England and Scotland with a musical theatre company.
Beth also runs a local choir and she’s aiming to record some piano tracks for a film, write some songs and improve her accordian playing.

Beth
        

Jamming Station In A Nut Shell

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Stored in our present at home at Totnes Civic Hall, we have an Allen and Heath desk and full PA system set up on stage each week. For the technically minded, Andy our tech guy is always keen to guide members through setting up and using the system each session so they can practice the craft of stage management.

 

  • We have a full rock drum kit as well as a set of Cajóns and range of percussion.
  • There are a variety of guitars available for members to try, including both an electric and a bass guitar, an acoustic 12-string and a small classical guitar.
  • We even have a semi-acoustic ukulele!
  • We have a range of amplifiers, a small selection of effect and loops pedals
  • There is a five octave Yamaha keyboard.
  • We also have a drum kit available for members to try out at home, and it is always possible for other instruments and equipment to be loaned to members for half a term or so.

 

Of course we encourage members to bring their own instruments when they can and to remember to include capos, straps, plectrums etc although we do also keep a small supply of these too!

Highlights recorded throughout a typical year include new songs written and new instruments taken up.
Regular participants of Jamming Station have also greatly improved their musical ability by:

  • Playing music as part of a group
  • More inspired to make music at home, practicing and developing own ideas
  • In-session informal music tutoring
  • Regular performance dates to aim for
  • Performing to small and larger audiences
  • Peer support and mentoring
  • Initiating and leading with own ideas
  • Improved improvisation skills
  • Technical experience in stage and PA setup
  • Singing in 2, 3 and 4-part harmonies
  • Support and strength with the voice
  • Learning by ear
  • Combining jazz, classical and popular musical instruments and styles within an ensemble
The best 3 quid i've ever spent...

"That was the best 3 quid I've ever spent in the Barrel House', and 'I love how the adults are invited into a youth music night, instead of the other way round"
Lizzy, audience member from Totnes

Brilliant!!

"It was brilliant. People really enjoyed seeing the young musicians performing and then having the chance to perform on the Barrel House Ballroom stage. I hope these evenings will continue to happen" Mike, audience member, Ashburton.

Interested?

If you are between 13 and 21 and want to take part in Jamming Station we would love to hear from you.
If you're a little older and want to support Jamming Station we would love to hear from you too!