December 19 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Roaring Twenties are the backdrop for the latest series of period drama Downton Abbey – and among the musicians bringing the sound of jazz to the Crawley family is a trumpet player from Norwich.
For when the Earl of Grantham and his family host a party at Downton, former Norwich School pupil Freddie Gavita can be seen playing the trumpet.
The 27-year-old professional jazz musician became involved with the ITV show after his friend Simon Whiteside, a film and television composer, was asked to write a jazz score for Downton and to choose a band to play the music.
Mr Gavita, from Thorpe St Andrew, who now lives in West Hampstead and is a regular performer in the big band scene playing with bands such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra, said: “We went to Angel Recording Studios to record the music.
“Then they decided it was going to be easier for us to mime our instruments in the show rather than to teach actors and so we did two days filming too – one at the house and one at Ealing Studios where they film a lot of the downstairs scenes.”
He said they filmed scenes of the band arriving at Downton as well as playing at the party.
Mr Gavita, who used to perform with Norwich Students Jazz Orchestra and the Jonathan Wyatt Big Band, said: “We had a little earpiece playing the music into our ears because we couldn’t play in the room while they were filming people talking. We had to pretend that we were playing the music.”
Mr Gavita said it was fascinating being on the Downton set.
“It was great watching people like Dame Maggie Smith act in the flesh. She is absolutely magnetic and has an incredible presence on set,” he said.
He also said he had great fun stepping back in time to the 1920s.
“It was fascinating because it is really the beginnings of jazz in that era, and it was quite fun to get inside the wild time when the music was first starting.
“It was fun to have a taste of what doing the job we do now would have been like back then,” he said. “One of my highlights was getting to wear 1920s tails. I asked if I could keep it but they said no!”
This latest series of Downton Abbey is the fourth series of the Julian Fellowes drama that has gone on to be a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
The latest Downton instalment starts on Sunday and begins six months on from the 2012 Christmas special when Downton heir Matthew Crawley was tragically killed in a car accident on the day his and Lady Mary’s baby son George was born.
Viewers will see the Crawley family reeling in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy but with new life, in the form of baby George.
Upstairs, downstairs at Downton – see Thursday’s EDP.
The fourth series of Downton Abbey starts on Sunday at 9pm.