With a nod to 1950s Notting Hill which was famous for its after-hours drinking clubs, basement clubs and the most famous blues clubs in London, there will be a blues evening with bands, talks and food at the Tabernacle next week. The evening is organised Finding Rhythms, a new charity working to help prisoners and ex-prisoner find new patterns of crime-free behaviour through a combination of music, mentoring and a nationally recognised employability qualification. The Finding Rhythms approach is to use the latest recording technology to help prisoners learn to play or improve existing skills on a musical instrument and, together with fellow inmates in the program, creating a broadcast-quality CD.
In the 50s, next door to The Tabernacle on Powis Square the Rachman basement flat of Michael de Freitas hosted a residency of the jazz pianist Wilfred Woodley. Some say Blues clubs transformed Notting Hill from a dreary slum into the heart of multicultural London, but at the time they were despised. Many living in the area formed groups after the riots in the Rachman areas Colville and St Stephen’s Gardens, to close down blues clubs, although both groups were ‘determinedly multi-racial’. The St Stephen’s Gardens Tenants’ Association was formed primarily to close down the Gigi club at number 32. The Powis and Colville group included the blues proprietor Michael de Freitas. Hear more next Thursday, 29th May, 7.30pm for 8pm, The Tabernacle – Finding Rhythms. A night of great music for a good cause. Tickets from [email protected] and more at finding-rhythms