Praise for ‘How Monkey Found His Swing’

How Monkey Found His Swing, which I was delighted to be able to premiere at mjf 2015, is that rarest of creations and one that we’ve been waiting for: a work created especially for children and families that not only grabs and retains attention from the outset but is uncompromising in its musicality and level of artistry.

The piece successfully keeps minds and bodies totally engrossed throughout, with a charming and absorbing mixture of music, storytelling, visuals and movement, all integrated in a meaningful, natural way and appealing to a wide range of appetites and attention spans. Performance, narrative, composition and, crucially, improvisation, are all delivered to equally high standards throughout.

Rather than experiencing the work as passive onlookers, children are actively participating from the word go and adult listeners are rewarded with music of the highest calibre, played by a diverse mix of performers that appeals to listeners from all communities and backgrounds.

How Monkey Found His Swing is one of the most successful pieces of children’s work I have seen and I thoroughly recommend it for programmes of all shapes and sizes.

Steve Mead, Artistic Director, Manchester Jazz Festival


We were delighted to have HSQ performing How Monkey Found His Swing as part of our Little Bite Music programme at The Bridgewater Hall. It was fun, engaging, and interactive with fantastic story-telling from Ursula Holden Gill and high quality music from HSQ. They got the whole audience involved and it was a great introduction to jazz music for children and adults alike.

Alyss McBirney, Community Engagement Coordinator, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester


How Monkey found his Swing is an upbeat, interactive story session. The group just made me want to dance…and play. HSQ make music look like the most fun you can possibly imagine.

Alison Duddle, Director of Horse and Bamboo Theatre


We loved your performance at Just So festival! Fabulously interactive for the kids. Isabella was entertained throughout the whole performance, for a three year old who doesn’t like to sit still, you certainly captured her imagination – thank you!

Laura Sharp, audience member


Fab storytelling and musical arrangements. Monkey was great!

Sam Slater, Musical Picnic Coordinator for Birmingham Symphony Hall