from the barber shop to THE BIG STAGE

from the barber shop to the BIG STAGE

from La Voz and shared by Sidetracks And Detours

via Norman Warwick

When he was 9 years old, in his father’s barbershop where he used to hear his grandfather sing, Antonio Corujo discovered that he had a love for folklore. Now, 80 years later, that romance has placed him as one of the greatest exponents of this musical genre in Lanzarote and the Canary Islands, and today he continues to work and perform in this genre.. The long career of the folklorist has now been recognized by the Island Council, through the delivery of the title of Favourite Son (which this year, has also been awarded to the physicist Blas Cabrera).

The nomination  caught him “by surprise” but gave him “tremendous joy”, as Corujo explained to La Voz.

The artist (far left) is part of a large family of renowned singers and dancers, the Corujo, who, since always it seems,, have been linked to the traditional and folkloric manifestations of the Conejero territory. Antonio, on the other hand, was reaping all the teachings that came to him from his father, his grandfather, who used the barbershop as a safe space to develop his art when they banned Easter on the island, and from the rest of his relatives. Thus, since childhood he was acquiring the essence of folklore, and has learned everything he knows today “orally”, both lyrics and traditional music and dances, mainly from Lanzarote.

As he grew older, he continued to carve his own path and became part of the Easter Ranch of San Bartolomé. After that, using the sound of his limpets that have already become an “essential” in his performances (and also inherited from his father), he dedicated himself to spreading the coplas of Víctor Fernández Gopar in different scenarios of the archipelago and, also, of the rest of the world. Although he is aware that over the years “he has forgotten some anecdotes that he would like to tell”, he recognizes perfectly that he has been “living folklore” throughout his existence, and that his life “has been and will be” linked, forever, to this art. 

Therefore, this recognition and his own experience, leads him to trust that this musical genre “is not going to be lost”, but will continue to “evolve” as it has done so far. Of his children, “one gives music lessons, another makes timples and guitars”, and, among his grandchildren and great-grandson, the seeds are already beginning to form so that the tradition that has accompanied the Corujo for decades is not lost. And this is the same scheme that he hopes will be repeated in the rest of society and for which he works to make it so, since, at 89 years old, Antonio Corujo and his limpets continue to tour events on the islands, “and so it will be as long as they continue to invite me and I have strength,” says the singer-songwriter.

I was delighted to read the above story in La Voz (see a typical cover, right) , a news agency that often highlights the importance of art and tradition on an island that might so easily lose its unique history, ethos and tradition to the hegemony of a constant tourist crowd.

We have also heard this week of some excellent music lined up in Manchester, England over the coming months.  in the UK

It’s a new year, and that means an exciting new season of concerts from the amazing young musicians at Chetham´s School Of Music in Manchester.

On Thursday 9th February at 7.30 pm violinist Cristian Grajner De Sa and pianist John Lenehan will deliver a duet recital at The Stoller Hall after having garnered some great reviews recently.

‘A truly great violinist’— Tasmin Little on Cristian Grajner De Sa

‘John Lenehan played with great flair: New York Times

Cristian Grajner de Sa (left) is quickly establishing himself as one of the great violinists of the future. After debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, he has performed in many of the great venues of Europe and is a ‘Young Artist’ on Classic FM and Scala Radio. Cristian will be accompanied by John Lenehan, one of the world’s leading chamber musicians.

With more than 70 albums to his credit, reflecting an enormous variety of genres and styles, John Lenehan (right)  ranks as one of the most versatile pianists on the classical scene today. Together they will perform a programme which includes Brahms, Profokiev and Beach.

On Wednesday 15th February there will be a Chetham´s Vocal Concert delivered in the Carol Nash Hall.

There is also the great news that Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra (left) is back on Friday 17th February in The Stoller Hall with a jam-packed programme, including music by Munktell, Sibelius and Brahms’ magnificent Fourth Symphony, led by guest conductor Kârin Hendrickson.

Thursday 16th February brings a performance from the Chetham´s Philharmonic Orchestra.

photo 4 Saturday 5th March is Chetham´s Brass and Percussion Academy Day.

Thursday 9th March hosts a Chetham´s Baronial Baroque concert, followed by Chetham´s Big Band playing on March 31st

There will also be unmissable performances from Chetham’s Big Band and the newly christened Chetham’s Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as our wider ensembles starring some of the UK’s most remarkable young musicians.

The ever popular free Academy Days are running in February and March, with spaces still available for lower brass players. Meanwhile, places are still available for Chetham’s Summer Music Course this July where like-minded young musicians can learn from the very best and make unforgettable memories. Our free Lunchtime Concerts also continue to feature some of the UK’s brightest talents at Chetham’s.

Led by guest conductor Kârin Hendrickson, musicians from Chetham’s Symphony Orchestra explore the profound depths of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony, music full of warmth and beauty but with an undeniably tragic character.

The first part of the programme has a Nordic theme with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and Helena Munktell’s Breaking Waves, performed by Chetham’s soloist Yixuan Ren.

Also coming up is a formidable line up of similar such events including

Back for its second year, Chetham’s School of Music will open its doors again for a spectacular summer school in 2023. Suitable for singers, pianists and players of orchestral instruments at Grades 4 and above, age 11-17 (vocalists age 14-17). 

Enjoy world-class facilities, learn from some of the best music tutors in the world and play with other young musicians who may become friends-for-life! 

Sign up now to reserve your place on this week-long residential music course, within the spectacular musical surroundings of Chetham’s School of Music and The Stoller Hall, in the heart of Manchester.

Music is powerful, emotive and for many – a joyful universal language that connects people and culture. To find out more about how to order tickets for one, some or all of these fantastic events check out

Don´t forget, though, about MANCHESTER GUITAR FESTIVAL 2023

After a hugely successful first year, its exciting to know that the Manchester Guitar Festival will return in 2023.

The Second Manchester Guitar Festival will take place on 19-21 May 2023 with three days packed full of concerts, workshops and master-classes with some of the finest guitar stars.

There will be a headline performance each day in The Stoller Hall, as well as a variety of other performances in The Stoller Hall, The Carole Nash Hall and pop-up performances in The Atrium.  We will also be running a series of participatory activities for young people and adults across our site – suitable for everyone from early years upwards.

There will even be an opportunity for budding young guitarists to try out the world of Chetham’s as part of our Chetham’s Guitar Academy Day which will run alongside the 2023 Festival.

There is definitely something for everyone to watch, learn and participate in, and many more activities to be announced.  For now, you can book elements of the weekend by following the links below:

Friday Night Headliner – 7.30pm in The Stoller Hall : ERIC BIBB

This little bit of information had me heading to his official web site to remind me about a musicians I was fortunate enough to interview a couple of times at the start of his career. One chat was on a very noisy and somewhat intimidating night at Leeds Irish bar back in the eighties, if memory serves, but Eric Bibb (right) was charm personified throughout the pre-gig talk, and then went out and brought the madding crowd to fever pitch before letting them down gently with some exquisitely beautiful playing by him and his two accompanying musicians.

I have lost track of his career a little bit whilst living here on Lanzarote, but songs like Now Is The Needed Time, Shingle By Shingle, Good Stuff and Done Laid Around are still on my play lists and still define what I call the blues.

My browsing of his web site provided hours of reading and another couple of hour wandering down the sidetracks and detours of some half-remembered music, and then serendipity stepped in again.

Readers might recall how Tourmaster General Peter Pearson sent me off on a long ramble to find out more about the songs by Dylan and Emmylou Harris about the infamous death of Emmett Till. I´m sure Peter will have known this, but I have only just learned that Eric Bibb also recorded a song, Emmett´s Ghost. Of course, we will return to this in future issues.

The Manchester Guitar Festival 2023 sounds very interesting with Eric Bibb as such a star guest but there will be plenty more to enjoy throughout the event, such as

Saturday Night Headliner – 7.30pm in The Stoller Hall : 

Espiritu Flamenco

Sunday Night Headliner – 7.30pm in The Stoller Hall:

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet

You can also buy a Full Festival Ticket, which gives you access to everything including all daytime activities, workshops and headliners.

Day Only Tickets give you access to all activities and pop up performances apart from the three headliners listed above, and can be booked as an upgrade to individual concert tickets, or separately here:

Day Ticket – Saturday

Day Ticket – Sunday

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be announcing more details of all the performances, master-classes and workshops, but you might like to sign up to the mailing list for immediate information.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, please drop an email to

So there is song, guitar and classical music in Manchester but just over the horizon, in The Ribble Valley, there is a jazz and blues festival coming along.

The 2023 Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival will launch with a Triple Bill Celebration of the music made by three women, Emma Johnson, Sarah Heneghan and Trish Ferrarin, each promoting jazz in their own right.

Emma Johnson is a Leeds based saxophonist, composer and the bandleader of Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat (left). Gravy Boat performs Emma’s melodic, cinematic jazz compositions and has been described as ‘one of the most refreshingly imaginative and perfectly configured acts in contemporary jazz’. Emma says “I can’t wait to return to the Grand to perform with Gravy Boat as well as to perform some new arrangements of her music featuring the brilliant Elbow Room musicians.”

Sarah Heneghan is a Sheffield-based composer-performer and multi-instrumentalist with a specialism in drums. Sarah (right) is driven by a love of collaboration, empowering herself and others so in this gig, well as performing solos associated with her Power Out project, Sarah is lifting Elbow Room’s rhythm section to reach new levels of musicality. Sarah says “ Sometimes I stop and reflect on what I do for a living. Being asked to contribute to this event, an ethos which I deeply care about, is an absolute dream. I’m so grateful and excited to be supporting other women in music.”

Trish Ferrarin’s local profile in musical performance, education and development is second to none.  Trish has developed Elbow Room from a Women in Jazz workshop in the 2019 Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues, to a fully fledged ensemble growing all the time – the doors are always open. Elbow Room will be playing arrangements of much loved jazz classics as well as Trish’s own compositions at this triple bill put together to celebrate International Women´s Day, which will be held on 8th March..

You are advised to buy your tickets in good time to be with us on this special evening (coinciding as it does with International Women’s Day) to support Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues’ collaboration with exciting new artists, their outreach to make music making accessible and enjoyable for all, and just because it will be a great musical night out.

Tickets for RVJB member are £10, £12.50 non-members and under 18s are free. They are on sale from the Grand in Clitheroe now – click the button below.

We are extremely grateful to the good people at Ribbble Valley Jazz And Blues for allowing us to share this information with the readers of Sidetracks And Detours.

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