Friday, 9 September 2016

Interview: Jo Harman

An Intimate Evening with Jo Harman - Voice and Piano Tour

Find out more about this talented, award-winning vocalist ahead of her performance on 15th September.

Growing up in rural Devon, were you exposed to a wide variety of different genres of music through your family and friends?

I was, not least the secondary school I went to (South Dartmoor) had a great arts tradition (comedian Josh Widdecombe and music artist Rosie Lowe are other alumni) but most of all I think I was influenced by my late father's record collection which was wide ranging but I particularly remember Cat Stevens, Beatles, Moody Blues and other 60s and 70s timeless artists. I also had a classical music education, playing bassoon during my teenage years. All that, together with my love of African/American music has no doubt shaped the artist I am today.

After the tragic loss of your father, you have said that you turned to music as a way of communicating your feelings. Did you have other plans before this sad event?

More than anything, his death made me determined to chase my dreams, or, perhaps it's more accurate to say to live in the reality of being true to myself. It's very possible I wouldn't have pursued a career in music otherwise. 

In what ways did your travels in India inspire you musically?

I taught myself guitar during that period but largely it helped me widen my outlook on life and explore myself; both fundamental to being a rounded artist and, more importantly, rounded person, perhaps.  

You have said that you do not consider yourself a blues singer, and perhaps we try to pigeon-hole artists too much, but is there any particular direction in which your music might develop?

I see all music as music so I set no particular bounds or parameters. As long as it's natural and sincere and not contrived it could develop any which way. My voice is my voice and there is no doubt it has a soulful and bluesy vibe, both by design and nature. The blues community adopted me which is something I'm very grateful of, of course. Happily my supporters seem to put up with my diversity which I'm very happy about. I just want to continue to make 'Jo Harman' records rather than records described by genre(s). 

You have said, ‘I want to tell my story’. Do you find connecting with your audience easier in smaller, more intimate venues?

Er, yeah I guess so but sometimes that mutual connection with large Festival audiences can be uplifting and empowering too. As long as my music reaches and connects, at some level, I'm happy, regardless of size or circumstance. 

To find out more and to book tickets, click on the link

Saturday, 30 July 2016

News: We're So Sorry To See You Go!

Sarah Hackford (Artistic Director) and Lisa Chandler (Marketing Manager) are sadly both leaving us this summer, after working with us for 10 years - virtually since the beginning of the Flavel Arts Centre.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank them both for all their hard work and dedication that has contributed enormously to the Flavel becoming the vibrant Arts Centre that it is today, and also for being such great people to work with! 
We wish them both well, and bon voyage to Sarah, who is moving to Australia!


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Feedback: The Magic of Michael Bublé

A recent visitor to the Flavel had such an enjoyable evening listening to The Magic of Michael Bublé, that she took the time to contact us to tell us just that!

"Just to say we really enjoyed our evening at the Flavel on Friday night.  We are down in Devon on holiday and found your website. You have a lovely little theatre, we hope it continues offering great entertainment and we will certainly visit you when we are next in Devon."

Angela Walker

Friday, 20 May 2016

News: The Flavel is Such a Success - Every Town Wants One!

"Let everyone know how lucky they are to have you!" was the message delivered to the Flavel community arts and education centre recently by visitors from Crediton.

Three officers from Crediton came to the Flavel for a fact-finding session last week. They represented a group hoping to create a similar facility to the Flavel Centre in Crediton, and were led by Arts Centre Director, Rosemary Stephenson; they met with David Chapman (Flavel Trust Chair) and Christine Freeman (Flavel Treasurer).

The visitors had done their homework, and had collected facts and figures from five other similar venues, but the Flavel was top of their poll and the model they wished to imitate. So, the Flavel is not only a fantastic asset to Dartmouth, but it is also model that other Devon towns aspire to and hope to emulate.

"To my certain knowledge, this is the sixth Devon town to send a group to learn from the Flavel experience," said David Chapman. "Every town in Devon seems to want a Flavel! The key factors they like are the independent charitable trust, which belongs directly to the people of Dartmouth and surrounding villages; the purpose-built centre; the financial model ---and, of course, our great volunteers! Centres like those in Honiton and Teignmouth and many more owe a good deal to information gleaned from our present general manager, Sid Davies, and from former and present staff and trustees," he said.

The Crediton group-leader, Rosemary Stephenson, said they will continue to keep in touch with the Flavel, as they develop their scheme. "It was a really useful and inspiring visit," she said. "There are so many lessons to be learnt from how you created and run your very successful centre."

Sunday, 24 April 2016

News: New May- Aug 2016 Programme!

The new-look programme has arrived!

After months of planning, organising, designing and proofing, the new look Flavel programme is here! Designed to be a fresh look, easier to read, and more accessible, we are delighted with it. The marketing team worked with a new design company, Wonder, who specialise in Arts marketing, to create something to fit in with our unique position as an Arts Centre in Dartmouth.  With a newspaper feel, the font has changed to make it easier to read, and we have put events into genres rather than date order. There is still a diary page for those that like to see a timeline of events though. The paper is the same grade as newspaper, which encourages customers to pick it up and have a look, and is bang on trend across arts centres nationwide. They are even producing it on the more expensive paper for the same price, for which we are very grateful.

Have a look and let us know what you think!  We would love to hear from you

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Interview: Bookends

Bookends - Dan Haynes and Pete Richards - talk about their music and their show 'Through the Years' ahead of their performance at the Flavel on 7th May. 

Could you tell me briefly about your musical backgrounds?
Dan:My passion for music began when I was 10 years old and my father made me a toy guitar which I religiously pretended to play until I was bought a real one a year later. Learning the songs of my favourite artists I honed my guitar playing skills which were further enhanced by the discovery of the fingerpicking style of Paul Simon. 
Pete: grew up with a musical family (his Mother a music teacher) and often harmonised with his brothers who both sang and played guitar. With his Father being a Simon & Garfunkel fan it was inevitable that Pete eventually discovered their music and captivating harmonies. 

How did you get together to form Bookends?
Pete and myself met in the first year of secondary school and we quickly became close friends. We would regularly share musical tastes and started learning the songs of our favourite artists but it was the music of Simon & Garfunkel which seemed to immediately sound natural and we discovered our voices blended together as well as the famous duo's. 

What drew you to the songs of Simon and Garfunkel?
The music of Simon & Garfunkel naturally lent itself to two voices and a guitar, just how Pete and myself were playing songs. There is no other music quite like Simon & Garfunkel's and the songs are timeless. 

This music is all about wonderful harmonies - is it difficult to sustain that throughout a show?
From the very first Simon & Garfunkel song we learnt we immediately enjoyed replicating the impeccable timing and diction of their harmonies, something which comes naturally to us. We react so quickly to each other on stage it can sometimes feel like we're reading each others minds! 

Your shows are clearly very successful - do you perform other types of music as a duo or as solo artists?
We don't perform any other music as a duo, although in the past we have performed some original music and some of other artists but nothing ever sounded quite as good as when we sang Simon & Garfunkel (often pointed out by our friends and family). I do write and occasionally perform my own songs and I also have an album of original music which I sell after our shows!

To find out more and to book tickets click here: