On Friday 11th August The Spitz visited Bridgeside Lodge Care Home for a summer party with live music and a barbeque for the residents and staff and their friends and family, sponsored by The Derwent Community Fund
The Spitz trio of Arthur Lee (piano) Brian Edwards (saxophone) and Winston Clifford (drums) led the music and singing, ably accompanied by residents and staff of Bridgeside Lodge, many of whom got up and danced throughout the trios performances or joined with instruments that were passed around.
An event like this has an impact on the whole place; brings everyone out – different generations of one family, all the staff…I used to be a nurse. Medicine doesn’t care for you, it’s the people around you that create a sense of happiness, freedom, a sense of living.
Fatma Makala, manager of Bridgeside Lodge Care Home
A particularly heart-warming story from the day was that of a lady, in her early 50s who had suffered a severe stroke and had been refusing to come out of her room for the last six months. On hearing the music in the distance she asked staff to help her out. She put on some lipstick and stayed the whole afternoon smiling. “This is a miracle“ said the manager Fatma. “This will enable us to encourage her during future sessions.”
On Wednesday 12th July, Dalston Curve Garden hosted our Summer Party to mark the end of our Spitz Foundation project funded by The Arts Council and the launch of our film What would life be like without music?
While supporters, friends and family gathered, our musicians Ben Hazleton, Laurence Corns and Brian Edwards set the scene and enabled our older participants (all in their 90s) to feel at ease.
Thanks to all who attended and participated.
“Whatever the tempo of the music, the musicians were highly attuned to the pace, needs and personality of their older companion. There was a gentle attentiveness that continued throughout each piece, with the musicians responding easily to pauses or changes as the song unfolded. Sensitively they were able to follow or guide the tune to its natural ending, allowing the soloist to take their well-earned applause from families and guests.” – guest Sheila Christie
One of our visits in October comprised a whole day at Osborne Grove Nursing Home, visiting individuals in their rooms in the morning and coming together for a group session in the afternoon for those who were able to leave their beds.
Joanna Layla also took the time to join us at our most recent visit to Osborne Grove to illustrate the day.
Spitz Director Jane Glitre describes this pioneering day:
“When are you coming again?” It was very faintly said and hard to decipher from someone who I hadn’t realised could speak. As we were packing up after our final session at Osborne Grove Nursing Home a very frail lady managed to ask the question. She lay in her large armchair/wheelchair and had spent most of the session trying to hide one of our maracas under her jumper. It was obvious she was enjoying the music, and wonderful that she was looking to the future. The Activity Officer for Osborne Grove was amazed.
Participants ranged in age from 50 years old to 95. Many are bed bound, the rest either use wheel chairs or zimmer frames.
On arrival one client was frequently very agitated, swearing at us and saying ‘I hate you’. As soon as the music began she would relax and look deeply at us.
Almost every single room received some kind of music and conversation in the morning. There was just one man who didn’t want anything and sat, sadly with his head in his hands. We told staff about him and were delighted to see him at the afternoon session, smiling and joining in.
The afternoon group session took on the same format as our previous visits, however it was deeply enhanced by the intimacy of the morning: more people came and they greeted us in recognition, musical conversations continued with a lot of joining in. After an hour staff went round to check if anyone wanted to leave and they all wanted to stay.
One lady remarked “I shall remember this for the rest of my life. Always.”
On Friday June 24 we voyage to our roots in Spitalfields Market for a day of music and wellbeing in the heart of East London. You will find us under the canopy in Bishops Square, with a rough schedule as follows:
Photo credit: Delphine Orliange
10:00 – 17:00 – Meet & Greet + Market Stalls
12:00 – 15:00 – Live Music from Arthur Lea (Piano), Alan Weekes (Guitar), Ben Hazelton (Bass), Winston Clifford (Drums), Brian Edwards (Sax), Emine Pirhasan (Vocals), and including some of our older musicians (tbc)
Our stalls will stock unique clothing and books, featuring items from various independent designers including Marvin Browne.
Quite aptly, BBC Radio 3 Broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre, who wrote the article on the last night of the Spitz, will be compering the event.
We still require volunteers to help us during this event, if you are interested please get in touch!
On October 28th The Spitz are arriving at the Hackney Museum for the day to add our signature to the ongoing African Threads Hackney Style exhibit which opened at the start of October.
Wednesday October 28th, Hackney Museum – 11:00
The exhibition focuses on the creation and use of printed cloths and their designs as expressions of African identity.
Between 11 and 1 we will be spinning stories, leading in African call and response and cultivating interactive music, all with the support of The Spitz’s world class musicians using the exhibition as an inspirational backdrop. Best of all, the event is free! Bring the whole family; song sheets and percussion will be provided!
The Scilly Swim Challenge consists of 6 swims totalling 15km and 6 walks totalling 10km – thats a whopping 25km in one day!! And this is precisely what Jemma Goldby conquered for us on September the 5th.
The route took Jemma around 12 hours to complete, through chilling water temperatures of 12°C (think cold shower!)
This is where we need YOUR help. Jemma is donating all the money she is raising to The Spitz, and so far has raised a whopping £1530, just shy of her £2000 goal. The challenge may be over but please continue to support her and us. You can find her fundraising page here.