RAF News

RAF Music Services – Black History Month

RAF Music Services marks Black History Month through performances inspired by legendary black composers.

The music of Thelonious Monk has inspired a Jazz Quintet from RAF Music Services to create a stunning video tribute for Black History Month.  The group, based at RAF Northolt, comprises of: bass, drums, guitar, alto saxophone and trumpet.  Led by Senior Aircraftman Jerelle Jacob the ensemble spent several sessions improvising together, creating new music heavily rooted in the style and mood of some of the most influential black composers of our time.

Delayed by a year, due to the deployment of musicians in support to the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group finally got into the studio in August to record eight tracks, each inspired by one of the following composers; Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock.

Following the success of these recordings, the Quintet were delighted to work with Flight Lieutenant Paul Gale and Corporal Cathy Sharples from 7644 Royal Auxiliary Air Force Public Relations Squadron to create a video of their improvisation inspired by jazz pianist Thelonious Monk.

"Music is a universal language that brings us together as a community, and tells the stories of our cultural histories.  Music is a vital part of Black History Month, and the Royal Air Force is proud to celebrate it by bringing you the best of our musical talent."

Air Commodore Jo Lincoln

The video is available to watch on the RAF Music Facebook page.  Audio recordings of the other seven improvisations will be released throughout October on Instagram @royalairforcemusic throughout October.

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