Jazz comes to Gibraltar from 20 - 25 October (Getty)
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Watch: Jazz comes to Gibraltar

Bebop on the Rock: performers at the upcoming Gibraltar Jazz Festival (20 – 25 October) share their favourite artists, albums and tracks of all time

George Posso, president of the Gibraltar Jazz Society

“What’s the history of the Gibraltar Jazz Society, and who’s your favourite jazz artist?”

The first Jazz Appreciation Society was formed in 1998 by Paul Riley, Dennis Mander and Liz Carr to promote jazz in Gibraltar and I was assigned to organise jazz nights. I started getting musicians together and organising a weekly jazz night. By 2000 I had formed the Gibraltar Jazz Society and started jazz nights at the O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel every Thursday. I also started hosting jazz workshops in secondary schools.

I have now been organising the Gibraltar Jazz festival in conjunction with the Gibraltar Ministry of Culture since 2012. This year’s festival it our third. The jazz workshops provided during the jazz festivals have generated a lot of interest amongst young music students, and have even resulted in one local school student going off to Berklee College of Music in Boston to further his musical education in jazz.

I have kept the weekly jazz sessions going at the O'Callaghan Eliott Hotel now for almost 15 years and with the addition of the yearly festival with expect the interest for jazz to keep growing.

My favourite artists? It's late and I'm lost for words, but I can say that amongst my many favourites Eliane Elias is definitely top of the list along with Marc Johnson, who has been a great influence on many upright bassists and formed part of the Bill Evans Trio, along with Randy Brecker's distinctive horn sounds and groove and immense background with the Brecker Brothers. What could be better than having these three greats for our third Gibraltar International Jazz Festival?


Eliane Elias, pianist, singer and songwriter

“Favourite jazz album?”

I have been asked this question dozens of times and my answer has always been the same. There are way too many for me. One of my favourite albums is “Seven Steps to Heaven” by Miles Davis, and one of my favourite tracks is “Maxine” on Bill Evans' album “New Conversations”.

Randy Brecker, trumpet and flugelhornist 

“Favourite jazz track?”

My favourite jazz track of all time is my own track “Some Skunk Funk”, recorded on The Brecker Brothers Band's first record in 1975. It's also featured on our album “Heavy Metal Bebop”, a best-selling record which recently won a JazzPoll in Japan as the best horn record of all time. There are over 4,000 versions of this song on YouTube, and it's a kick every time we play it live and watch the audience's reaction when we start playing it. Sorry, but I'm my biggest fan!


Craig Philbin, band leader of the Soulmates

“Favourite jazz album?”

My favourite jazz album of all time would have to be the GRP All-Star Big Band live in concert. Every member of the band are exceptional solo artists in their own right and together they make what has to be the greatest big band of all time. Two tracks that really stand out for me are “Cherokee” and “S'wonderful”. George and Ira Gershwin's much loved tune “S'wonderful” is performed on two pianos by Dave Grusin and Russell Ferrante. The interplay between them is simply amazing and well worth a listen. 

Ray Noble's classic composition “Cherokee” is played by the trumpet section featuring some awesome trade-offs between Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Byron Stripling and Chuck Findley - who between them deliver a master class in jazz improvisation. Sandoval utilises his trademark screaming upper register, hitting notes that trumpet players across the world can only ever dream of. Being a trumpet player myself, I never tire of listening to this track and I can't wait to meet the legend that is Randy Brecker in person when he visits Gibraltar! 

Peter Martinez, from Levanter Breeze

“Favourite jazz artist?”

John Mclaughlin. Recommended by other musicians, I first started to listen to John Mclaughlin’s work around 1978/9. What captivated me was his sound and his unique, particular style of playing. Fusing jazz with flamenco and other ethnic sounds certainly gave me ideas about how to approach jazz in a different way, which that at the time seemed impossible as it was usually presented in the traditional manner. Today, I still reinforce my work with his influences.
 
“Favourite jazz album?”

“Electric Guitarist”. This is the first album or contact with Mclaughlin’s work. Again, his capability to fuse so many influences is a true reference for any jazz guitarist who wants to perform something different.

Click here to read more about the Gibraltar Jazz Festival.

Photo: Getty
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Promoted

Cyberspace: the final frontier

With a Gibraltarian team set to enter the finals of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, Guy Clapperton looks at some of the fundamental mistakes people still make in securing their personal and business networks.

A few years ago I was stand-in news editor for a computing publication which had better remain nameless. I was asked to go and check the regular person’s database of press releases for stories. It was inaccessible unless you had the password, so I just tried p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d. I was in immediately.

It wasn’t a problem as the organisation wanted me to have the information, but what if it hadn’t? What if I’d been in HR or finance instead, and had malicious intentions? Presumably that little hole has been plugged by now but it’s indicative of the sort of managerial rather than technological issue people can face if they’re not careful. The Cyber Security Challenge UK laudably highlights the talents of young people when it comes to working out means of protection and the excellent progress of the Gsec team from Gibraltar is promising. However, two things stand out as needing to be addressed: first, the extent of the problem, and second, the basic errors people like my ex-client still make.

Extent

The extent of the problem is hard to pin down when you’re in the press. Walk into a room full of CEOs and ask who’s been hacked and regardless of the truth, nobody is going to confirm it’s happened to them because nobody wants it publicised. This is reasonable enough, and when someone like Sony a few years ago or Ashley Madison more recently suffer Cyber-attacks you can be sure these are just the ones the press has heard of. There is other data, though, to suggest the issue will continue to grow. This article is being published on Tuesday 9th February, designated Safer Internet Day, and to mark it security company Kaspersky Lab has published research that suggests 12% of 16 to 19 year olds in the UK know someone who has done something illegal on the Internet; 35% would be impressed if a friend hacked into a bank’s website and replaced the homepage with a cartoon and one in ten would be impressed if a friend hacked into an airport’s traffic control systems.

There wasn’t any data on how many teenagers would say any old thing to shock a researcher. However, the first point is the most salient – over one in ten suggest they’ve seen someone do something illegal electronically. So, if you’re a business owner or just concerned about your security it’s just as well to ensure that a number of previous clangers don’t affect you.

Managerial errors

Security is far from just electronic. A handful of things can go wrong because staff haven’t been briefed:

  • You protect all electronic copies of every sensitive document and someone prints one of them out – and leaves it on the printer for an hour before picking it up. Or leaves it in a hotel lobby, on a train…all of these things have happened and hard copy print isn’t protected or encrypted.
  • You have visitors to your company and one of your employees nips to the loo. This is fine as long as their screen saver covers anything sensitive pretty quickly, and as long as the screen saver is password protected so someone wiggling the mouse or pressing a key won’t be able to get at all the details.
  • Pet names, partner names and the word “password” have never been good passwords and it remains poor practice to keep the default PIN that came with your phone’s voicemail.

Finally, back on the technology side, if you have a small network and it’s big enough to have a network administrator, don’t forget to ensure their administrator password is changed frequently and not easy to guess. There have been instances in which this hasn’t been done, and that password controls the system that can change all the other passwords and lock you out.

A lot of it is common sense. The Gsec team will be looking to defend people from more sophisticated attacks – but never overlook the obvious.

The New Statesman will be publishing a supplement on Cybersecurity in the issue dated 26 February.

Guy Clapperton is the freelance journalist who edits the New Statesman’s Gibraltar hub. You can also find him in the Guardian, Computer Business Review and Professional Outsourcing which he edits.