See future jazz stars in free concerts

AmserJazzTime is a series of free concerts held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) that lets you hear first-class talent for free. Held Friday evenings in the RWCMD’s foyer, with its dazzling architecture and spectacular views of Bute Park, these shows provide a perfect pause between the stress of work or study and weekend activity.

An AmserJazzTime concert consists of two sets, with a different band made up of students from the RWCMD’s jazz programme handling each. Frazer McIntosh, the fourth-year student in charge of AmserJazzTime, explains that some of the bands already play together regularly while students put together others specifically for the shows. Each band decides on its own set list.

RWCMD students perform in AmserJazzTime concert series

AmserJazzTime’s student bands provide top-notch performances (photo by Kirsten McTernan, supplied by RWCMD)

At last Friday’s concert, the Peter Schlunegger Quintet, one of the ad hoc groups, opened and played smooth renditions of big band hits such as On the Sunny Side of the Street and The Way You Look Tonight. The Filippo Deorsola Trio, a pre-existing band, took the second half and chose a harder-edged, Miles-Davis influenced set which included versions of Solar and On Green Dolphin Street.

Audience members Ruth, Mary, and Gillian have been regulars at AmserJazzTime for over a year. They said that what keeps them coming back is the combination of quality musicianship, a beautiful venue and exciting tunes.

Some RWCMD alumni are currently making their mark in the jazz world, such as harpist Amanda Whiting and drummer Ollie Howell, so you might be the first to hear some of tomorrow’s stars play. Also, as established musicians sometimes sit in, there’s a chance you could see a contemporary jazz star for free. Previous guests have included vocalist Tina May and Swansea pianist and composer Huw Warren.