Ladywood Community School of music




The Ladywood Community School of Music website started as a page on the Bearwood Jazz site. We then launched our own site on free webspace before buying our own domain in 2006. The Archive section is made up of pages from the old sites and sheds some light on the history of the Music School including performances at the Botanical Gardens, and out and about in Ladywood and Brindley Place. Click on the link to the Archive Home Page and browse.

violinviolin!! THE DRUM CLASS IS BACK !!

The Drum class at themusic School will re-open after Half Term on Thursday 6th November 2014 under the tutelage of Romarna Campbell. Romarna started playing drums for the Notebenders Big Band around a decade ago as a bit of a child prodigy and is currently enrolled on the excellent Jazz course at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Having come through the Notebenders, the appointment of Romarna continues the Andy Hamilton legacy, and we hope she will go on to be an inspiration to all our students.

She replaces Wayne Scott, whose work as a full time pro was taking him away from the school for increasingly extended periods.


The Violin class at themusic School has now reopened under the tutorship of Rochelle Belnavis, Granddaughter of the great Andy Hamilton. We are currently looking for students to build up the class.


The funeral of Andy Hamilton MBE will take place at 10.00am on Tuesday 26 June 2012 at the Birmingham Christian Centre, Birmingham, West Midlands B1 3QQ. .

The Hamilton family invite attendees to wear colourful accessories to the funeral, in honour of Andy’s love of wearing colourful ties.

Please note that there is no parking facility at the church on the day of the funeral. Attendees are advised to avoid parking in the immediate vicinity of the Birmingham Christian Centre or to use public transport where possible.

Flowers will be gratefully received and proceeds from donations at both events will be donated to The Ladywood School of Music, Moseley Hall Hospital, The Andy Hamilton Trust (The Notebenders) and The Karis Medical Centre, Ladywood.


2.30PM TUESDAY 26 JUNE 2012

A celebration of the life and work of the legendary Jamaican-British jazz musician and community figurehead Andy Hamilton is to take place at Symphony Hall on Tuesday 26 June at 2.30pm.

The afternoon event, featuring a number of performances and tributes from musicians and friends including the Notebenders Big Band, the Blue Notes, David Murray, Jean Toussaint, Gary Crosby, Nana Tsiboe, Helen McDonald and Winston Clifford, will be compered by Prof Carl Chinn. Further guests are to be announced.

Admission is free to members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis (subject to availability). Doors open at 1.45pm.

A display of photos by Smethwick-based photographer Russ Escritt will also be on show in Symphony Hall’s foyer throughout Tuesday 26 June. From the early 1990s, Russ documented Andy Hamilton’s gigs with the Blue Notes and guests at his various residencies in Bearwood in Birmingham, and the photos originally appeared in the Symphony Hall exhibition Andy Hamilton is 90 in 2008.

There will be an informal opportunity to pay tribute to Andy after the event, and a collection will be held for several organisations that he was closely involved with.

Andy Raphael Thomas Hamilton, often described as the ‘grand elder statesman of the Birmingham Jazz scene’, passed away on Sunday 3 June 2012 aged 94.

After moving to Britain from Jamaica in 1949, the popular musician and bandleader went on to become one of the most familiar faces across the Birmingham music scene for more than sixty years, starting up many new venues. Andy and his band The Blue Notes enjoyed over twenty-five years of residencies at venues in Bearwood, to which he invited many of the world’s great jazz musicians.

Andy’s remarkable commitment to making music with individuals and community groups including the Ladywood Community School of Music and The Notebenders at venues including Symphony Hall and The Drum marked him out as an inspirational and positive force in Birmingham.

AndyAndy Hamilton MBE - 1918 to 2012

It is with great sadness the the Ladywood Community School of Music announce the death of our founder and patron Andy Hamilton MBE. Andy has been a central figure on the Birmingham Jazz scene since coming to the UK from Jamaica in 1949. He released the "best selling" Jazz album Silvershine in 1990 and received the MBE to mark the occasion of his 90th Birthday. The LCSM was set up over a decade ago as a way for Andy to give something back to the Ladywood community that he has been a part of for so long and as a legacy for the great man.

When the music school was set up Andy and his long time piano player Sam Brown both taught at the school. Both are now gone, but Avtar who teaches the saxophone started playing under Andy's tuition as a student of the music school whilst Andy's granddaughter Rochelle teaches violin so the legacy lives on.

Tributes to Andy have been appearing across the media. Here are links to just a few:

The Guardian

Daily Telegraph

Jazz Breakfast

Andrew Raphael Thomas Hamilton, saxophonist, composer, bandleader and tutor, born 26 March 1918; died 3 June 2012


Wayne ScottThe m usic School drum tutor, Wayne Scott has recently gone full-time in the music business and is currently available for drumming workshops to schools and youth groups. Wayne is the kind of tutor who strikes an instant rapport with his students and we at the music school can't reccommend him too highly.

He can be contacted at waynescottdrummer@(at)



On Saturday 17h April 2010 we held a concert for the Music School which featured students and tutors from the Music School on the same billing as The Notebenders Big Band and Andy Hamilton & The Blue Notes:

The Music School in performance
The Notebenders
The Notebenders featuring Music School student Curtis (centre front row)
Andy Hamilton & The Blue Notes
Andy Hamilton & The Blue Notes with Music School Sax tutor Alvin Davis. WKD!

From the ground up, this "Ladywood Musical Showcase" featured all things Andy Hamilton starting with the Ladywood Community School of Music followed by The Notebenders Big Band and then Ladywood Jazz legend Andy Hamilton's band The Blue Notes. Andy Hamilton is the Music School's patron and the original Saxophone tutor at the School. It was a joy to be able to see our current Sax tutor Alvin Davis jamming with the Blue Notes.

The concert was in support of the Ladywood Community School Of Music and put on with the help of Birmingham City Council.

Artsfest logoLIVE @ ARTSFEST 2008

The video from Artsfest 2008 is now up on our site (Click on the image below to view it).  We had a small marquee in Oozles Square, Brindley Place, in the family section of the festival.  Once again we armed the audience with Percussion.

Artsfest 08 video


Music School Patron, Andy Hamilton (left) was awarded an MBE in the 2008 New Years Honours. Andy, who lives around the corner from the Community centre where we hold our lessons, won the award for services to music in Birmingham.

The award for services to Birmingham was timed to coincide with his 90th Birthday.