Saturday, 6 April, 4-6pm

Jazz Improvisation Masterclass with Marshall Allen, Daevid Allen, James Harrar and Rogier Smal.  Book the free Masterclass here.

Music Masterclass for Artists and Musicians

Jazz is America’s quintessential musical expression.  This indigenous art form is an integral component of American culture and history. Jazz has its own unique language.  The aim of this Masterclass is to gain a deeper comprehension of the jazz idiom while further developing it’s expressive language. It is designed to build on participants' fundamental knowledge and appreciation of jazz improvisation on an instinctual and intellectual level.

For over 16s only.

Marshall Allen will begin the Masterclass by discussing his musical history, at the helm of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and his motivation to compose original music to create a spiritual connection. He will also touch upon:

• Examples of different styles of Jazz
• Ear training and listening skills
• The masters and solo analysis
• Keyboard and chord voicing
• V7 progression
• Altered chords


During the afternoon participants will explore improv through:

• Lecture and discussion
• Call and response
• Demonstration with group performance
• As much playing as possible

And topics covered will include:

• Articulations
• Patterns
• Rhythmic and harmonic improvisation

Please bring instruments if you can - if you are able to bring extra instruments, for a wider palate or to allow someone without to participate, that would be great.

Refreshments will be available following the Masterclass and before a live performance by Marshall Allen, Daevid Allen, James Harrar and Rogier Smal, beginning at 8pm.

The Masterclass is free but spaces are strictly limited and need to be reserved in advance. Email here


During the mid-1950's, Marshall Allen met Sun Ra and became a devoted student of his musical cosmology. After joining the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1958, Marshall Allen led Sun Ra's reed section for over 40 years. He is featured on over 200 Sun Ra releases, while appearing as special guest soloist in concert and on recordings with diverse groups such as NRBQ, Phish, Sonic Youth, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.  Allen assumed the helm of the Sun Ra Arkestra in 1995 after the ascension of Sun Ra in 1993 and John Gilmore in 1995.

Daevid Allen is avant-rock's guitar legend and one of the founders of the British progressive rock band, Soft Machine. After Soft Machine, he became the founder/leader of Gong. He continues to release numerous live sets and one-off collaborations in limited editions on various independent labels under his own and various group names. Said Daevid, "this is a time of great changes, and we will be offering some real outer-space surprises;  so happy and honored to be working with these guys-finally playing with Marshall after all these years, I mean who hasn't he and Sun Ra influenced!"

James Harrar began as a filmmaker, crafting densely lyrical film-poems since the late 1980’s exhibiting at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Andy Warhol Museum and Yamaguchi Center for Art & Media to name a few. In an intimate form, Harrar attempts to imprint thoughts, dreams and conceptual ideas onto the open-minded viewer while examining the possibilities of perception. Throughout his career, Harrar has tried to give the viewer new visual experiences while challenging fixed notions of filmic language and individual seeing.

Rogier Smal is a drummer who experiments with free percussion sounds. Besides playing in improv group Dagora he plays with different musicians including Anne la Berge, Peter Quistgard, Jaap Blonk, James Harrar, Yedo Gibson, Marshall Allen, Dagora, Ti Femme, Dylan Carlson, Eugene Chadbourne, Geoff Leigh, Peter Zincken, Frankie Vis, Peter van Bergen, Ludo Mich, City Hands, Raoul van der Weide, Sunburned hand of the man, Eric Thielemans, Mik Quantius, John Moloney, Cathy Heyden, Alfredo Genovesi, Arvind Ganga, and many more.