Menter Iaith Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Monmouthshire regularly arranges musical activities across the area. These activities include evening gigs, performers during festivals/fun days and musical workshops within schools in the area. Over the past year we have arranged sessions with Mellt, Papur Wal, I Fight Lions, HMS Morris, Bronwen Lewis, Mr Phormula, Jamie Bevan, Danielle Lewis, Rhisiart Arwel and the Hwntws. These events provide opportunities and a stage for all kinds of music, so there’s something for everyone.
In addition to gigs, the Menter arranges evenings that allow anyone to take part in the process of creating music. There are jamming sessions in Pontypool and Tredegar.
St James’ Hall, Hanbury Road, Pontypool, NP4 6JT.
The Jamz Club meets in St James’ Hall every week and it’s open to anyone over 16 years of age. At the moment, we attract members between 22-60 years old from a variety of places, including Hungary! Everyone is welcome to bring an instrument to join in with the music, sing or just to enjoy the atmosphere. We play a variety of music, and everyone is open to trying new things, original or traditional, or just jamming.
Abergavenny Arts Festival
14:00-16:00 Sunday 30th July - Tithe Barn
The Gentle Good is the stage name of Cardiff-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gareth Bonello. Known for his intricate guitar playing, haunting vocals and captivating acoustic arrangements, Gareth is one of the foremost artists writing in the Welsh language today. Gareth’s music has achieved widespread critical acclaim, winning the Welsh Music Prize in 2017 and the Welsh Language Album of the Year Award in 2014.
Casi and Lewis are a talented duo who came to prominence playing with the dynamic folk group Dim Problem. This is a rare opportunity to see them perform as a duo and one of the final opportunities to hear them in the UK this year.
The Institute and Library, Blaina NP13 3BN
There’s a monthly music workshop in Blaina library (the date changes slightly depending on other events etc). Again, it’s a welcoming environment for all, there’s no specific structure and the session is open. There’s an opportunity for people to play and practice, try new instruments or join the group singing in Welsh. Look at the Menter’s Facebook page to see details of the upcoming workshops.
Click here for more information.
The Menter offers several musical workshops within the local schools. There are Ukulele lessons where pupils can write their own Welsh songs. This session moves from one local school to the next so pupils from all schools can have a turn.
There are digeridoo, guitar and African drumming workshops too where children can give the instruments a try and learn about traditions such as the Aborigines and the Maoris. The percussion instruments and drum circle teach many lessons and children learn patience whilst listening to the tutor, new rhythms and their classmates’ rhythms too.
The Menter recognises the importance of children having musical opportunities when they’re young, which is also an opportunity for them to use their energy and focus on a task.
By working collaboratively with Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw, we offer the pupils two hours a week of jamming time. Pupils can come to the music department during lunchtime on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to take part, try new instruments and jam with friends. The aim is to establish a “Battle of the Bands” competition by the end of the year with a mixture of staff, teachers and pupils taking part.