Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Carol Jarvis

       Once again I’ve found myself overtaken by sloth. I started this post a few weeks ago while in the States, laying around my mother-in-law’s, waiting for the UPS truck while she and Cynthia shopped.  I thought it’d be a good time for a Trombone Hero so it’s about time I finished it. 
Back in July, 2015, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the International Trombone Festival in Valencia, Spain. Even luckier, I got to sit next to Abbie Conant during a performance by British trombonists Mark Nightingale and Carol Jarvis, this post’s Hero. The ITF is one of the few opportunities trombone hacks like me get to rub elbow more or less on a even footing with the masters.

This concert was a particular pleasure because I got to hear live two of the world’s finest trombonists on one stage and by the end of the show all I could say was, “This is why we play the trombone.” Listen to Carol Jarvis and you’ll hear what a I think a trombone is supposed to sound like. She’s also the closest a trombone player gets to being a rock star,  fronting her own band SoulTubes and she’s toured and recorded with Sting, Queen, Rod Stewart, Seal (whom I’m apparently too old to have heard of) Amy Winehouse, Bon Jovi and Michael Bolton, the last two of whom I’m not holding against her. After all a gig is a gig, especially for a trombone player. I am, however, gratified she doesn’t seem to have had anything to do with James Blunt. She was also one of the original members of  Bones Apart, an all-women trombone quartet made up of four, the requisite number, of Britain’s finest players.

Carol Jarvis is also a hero to a lot of people outside the music world for a more serious reason. In 2004 she was diagnosed with Stage 2a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Her ordeal is fully described here and here and also in a wonderful article by Eliese Besemer in the April 2015 ITA Journal that unfortunately can’t be read online unless you’re a member. The short of it is that for seven years she went through a variety of hellish, unsuccessful treatments until a bone marrow transplant in 2011finally gave her life back to her. 
Carol with her mum -during her treatment

Carol now gives a part of her time to cancer support and awareness including donating proceeds from her album, Smile, to MacMillan Cancer Support in the UK. So if you want to hear a fabulous trombonist plus feel good about yourself, buy this album

This cut made me cry. (In trying to link this, I discovered it doesn't seem to be playable in France so, if it doesn't work, check Youtube, Carol's website or, better yet, buy it.)

This one is playable in France for sure.


  1. Isn't it, though? Thanks for reading Paula.

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