It's official, we have nearly reached the end of the online fundraising campaign for the Abram Wilson Foundation.  It's been almost two months since we launched our Kickstarter page and we have gone above and beyond what we thought was possible raising $16,283 so far!  Thank you so much. 

For those who have yet to donate, there is still time - 50 hours to be precise so please give your friends and family a wee nudge if you think they'd like to make a pledge and tell them to follow this link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/abramwilson/philippa-the-abram-wilson-foundation

This is my last update before the campaign ends on 25th August at 6:28pm (British Summer Time).  As the Paralympics are gearing up to take over from their 'warm up' act AKA the Olympics, I thought I would revisit Abram's Olympic Septet project which opened at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London on 2nd May and also performed at Bedales Arts in Petersfield and Cheltenham Jazz Festival. 

As you may remember Abram had decided to arrange folk songs from around the world in a jazz style for a septet, which included his usual rhythm section of Alex Davis on double bass, Dave Hamblett on drums and Reuben James on piano and featured Jean Toussaint on tenor and soprano sax, Peter King on alto sax and Winston Rollins/Trevor Mires on trombone.  

One of the tunes is called 'Pokarare Ana', a popular folk song from New Zealand and sometimes called the country's unofficial national anthem.  It's a love song which emanated from the North of Auckland and was popularised by Māori soldiers who were training near Auckland before being sent off to fight in Europe during World War I. The lyrics go something like this:

The waves are breaking, against the shores of Waiapu,
If you cross them girl, they will be calmed,
Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking for my love for you.

I have written you a letter, and enclosed with it my ring,
If your people should see it, they will know how troubled I am.
My poor pen is broken, my paper is spent,
But my love for you endures, and remains forever more.
Oh my beloved, come back to me, my heart is breaking for my love for you.

The sun's hot sheen, won't scorch my love,
Being kept evergreen, by the falling of my tears.
Oh girl, Come back to me, I could die of love for you.

I've included a short clip of Abram's septet performance at Bedales Arts on 4th May as well as an original version of the song.  You'll have to forgive the really cheesy images, but it gives you an idea of how Abram went about arranging the tune.  

The next time I'll be in touch the campaign will be over and the work will just be beginning, thank you for helping me keep Abram's legacy alive.

Till soon!


Jennie x