Photo by James Banner

Photo by James Banner

Megan Jowett - Founder, Creative Director

Megan Jowett is the creative director and founder of MTPD. As an educator Megan has an extensive background in outreach work and performance. Currently she holds the position of Teaching Artist with In Harmony Opera North and is the viola tutor for the National Orchestra for all. During her undergraduate studies she was an apprentice with In Harmony Stoke and Telford and tutor with Aston Performing Arts Academy. She went onto to work for the Strings Club as strings tutor and curriculum coordinator. In these roles she taught whole class instrumental music lessons as well as designing learning resources and organising the curriculum. In 2015 she moved to Cardiff to pursue further studies in performance. Through her Masters degree she had the opportunity to work in the elite string ensemble at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and with acclaimed musicians such as the renowned conductor Carlo Rizzi, international soloist Henning Kraggerud and Principal of the Northern Sinfonia Bradley Creswick.

In 2016 she gained places on both the Welsh National Opera and BBC National Orchestra of Wales placement schemes.  She has had the privilege to play in some of the most prestigious venues in the UK including the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Megan's passion for music and music education is routed in her own musical upbringing. She took up the viola aged 8 through her local music service, her tuition was heavily subsidised and without this she would have found it very hard to continue her studies.

Megan is particularly interested in the way that linking music and art together can increase creativity in children and the impact this has on the children involved in projects. Upon graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, with a Masters Degree, Megan won the Reverend Paul Bigmore Award for Outreach for a project that forms the basis of the Masters of Colour Programme. 

Make The Paint Dance is the culmination of Megan's experience and study as a creative practitioner and at its heart is Megan's belief that every child has the right to hear great music and see great art. 

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Photo by Doville Sermokas

Photo by Doville Sermokas

James Banner - Composer in Residence, Workshop Leader

James Banner was born in Dudley, England in 1991. In 2015, after studying in Birmingham and Paris, he moved to Berlin to study with Greg Cohen and John Hollenbeck at the Jazz Institut Berlin (Univeristät der Künste/Hanns Eisler), where he graduated from the Masters program with Distinction in 2016. Now based between Berlin and the UK he performs and works around Europe as a musician, educator and composer. He is composer in residence for Make The Paint Dance, an award-winning UK social enterprise bringing music and art to new audiences in underprivileged schools and creating collaborative compositions with participants, workshop leader for Jazzlines Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham, leading jazz workshops for local musicians aged 11-19, as well as double bass tutor at Leeds College of Music junior school. As a composer he received a studio award from the Berlin Senate Department of Culture and Europe, the resulting recording being released on the Cologne-based label JazzHausMusik in October 2018, and the Elsa Neumann Stipendium 2018 from the Berlin University of the Arts, which supports the ambitious project Voices of Berlin, setting unheard stories from the people of Berlin for mixed choir and improvising ensemble. His recent compositions for strings, solo piano and chamber ensemble inspired by the folk music of Hungary received a review in the German national newspaper Der Tagesspiegel and performance at the Karneval der Kulturen. He has collaborated and performed with Andreas Schmidt, Tobias Delius, Ugo Alunni, Alessandro Lanzoni, Kit Downes, Vilde&Inga, John Hollenbeck, Greg Cohen, Elias Stemeseder, Christian Lillinger, Jim Black, Declan Forde, Rachel Sermanni, Sebastian Gille, Clara Haberkamp, Hayden Chisholm, Max Andrzejewski, Eric Vaughn, Julian Siegel, Jeff Williams, Ric Yarborough, Joe Wright, Liam Noble, Mark Sanders, John Taylor, Percy Pursglove, Andrew Bain, George Colligan, Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra and the Konzerthaus Publikumsorchestra. He also performs with the Birgitta Flick Quartet featuring Lina Nyberg, who completed a Goethe Institut funded tour of Sweden in 2016, being broadcast on Umeå Radio, and who will release a new album with the label DoubleMoon in 2018. The trio FROG with Fabiana Striffler and Declan Forde performed two sold out shows of the music of Duke Ellington’s music at the Berlin Konzerthaus and Spiegelsaal in 2017. PENGUIN with Stefan Schultze and Daniel Schröteler will release their debut album in 2018. The collaborative trio The Good Old Good Ones with Downbeat award-winning vocalist Mirna Bogdanovic received the Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now scholarship in 2016. James has also completed two UK tours with the award-winning Berlin-based pianist Mark Pringle, with his project A Moveable Feast in 2015 and with the collaborative panEuropean project Andersson/ Pringle/Banner/Pereira in 2017, funded by Arts Council England. He has performed at London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cheltenham Jazz Festivals, the BBC Proms, X- JAZZ festival, Jazzwoche Burghausen, Regensburg Jazzweekend and venues such as the Vortex, Southbank Centre, the Sage Gateshead and Royal Albert Hall. In Berlin, he currently curates a monthly residency at Donau115, voted “one of the best jazz clubs in Europe” by The Guardian, with the duo project Practically Married with pianist Declan Forde.