New talents step into spotlight in Norwich

Norfolk's hidden talents stepped into the spotlight as part of a music event on Saturday night when 14 acts took to the stage to showcase their skills at Dragon Hall.

The event, organised by students on the MBA course at Norwich Business School, attracted more than 200 people. It was opened by the lord mayor of Norwich, Jenny Lay, who said: 'It is wonderful to have so much talent here tonight.'

Special guest Simon Wright, Norwich South Lib-Dem MP, added: 'The event highlights some of the hidden talent in the area and it raises money for good causes. Dragon Hall is a great venue.'

The organisers had to contend with the unpredictable weather – and suffered a setback as harpist Rob Davidson was too unwell to perform. Instead saxophonist April Salmon stepped in at short notice and opened and closed the evening,

Hidden Talent press officer and student on the MBA course, Julia Glenn, said: 'We had to get April to step in at the last minute because our harpist was unwell but the evening went better than expected. April has been brilliant. We have also had to move into our wet weather plan.'

April said: 'I was a bit scared about performing because I do classical music but it seemed to go all right. The event is a good idea and it is nice to be a part of it. There's a lot of different acts - there's a ska band and a rapper and people singing and there's me. It's a complete mix. There should be more events like this in the music community.'

The event not only gave an opportunity to some of Norwich's undiscovered music talent; it also made money for Dragon Hall, the 15th century medieval gem on King Street. The emerging talent included Lee Vann, Alex Sheppard and Soldjasoulz.

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Singer Kerry Davis performed covers of hits including Make You Feel My Love and Run.

She said: 'Norwich is hidden in itself. You have to want to come to Norwich. It's not on the way to anywhere. It has highlighted that we do have people with talent. I know so many talented people.'

Miss Davis, who works for the council, said it was exciting to perform alongside acts she had previously heard of.

Husband and wife duo Jools and Nigel Butcher, who perform as Ain't Misbehavin', performed a set of blues and jazz covers.

Jools said: 'What impresses me is it's about bringing the diversity of music together. It's a very multicultural event. It exposes people to music they might not have listened to before.

'There's hip hop and reggae bands – everyone is getting some of everyone else's audience.'

Are you organising a charity event? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email