Meeting Lana Hodge for the first time, I was intrigued by her focus and direction, spending half her time being an artist and the other half being a vintage style Jazz, Swing, and Blues clarinettist. I have seen in recent years more people have a career that has two separate directions and I love how many people are making this work.
Lana is a veteran of HM Armed Forces, and having served in the Royal Marines for almost 10 years she left to pursue a path of creativity in her art and music. Looking for a place to express her ideas and start new beginnings as an artist, she settled on a residence at the Corner Collective in Southsea.
Chatting about how music inspires a lot of her creativity I found out that Lana-May is an accomplished clarinettist, violinist, saxophonist, and bandleader! Influenced by her love of golden-era Jazz from the early 20th Century and all things vintage, Lana specialises in Swing, Blues, and Hot Jazz clarinet. She combines her musical expertise, soulful playing, and captivating stage presence with a vintage aesthetic for an immersive, authentic experience. Lana said that being on stage brings a huge amount of adrenaline and heightened emotions and that when a performance has finished it can leave a huge hole which has led to Lana feeling very low in the past and this is where her art steps in. Heading to the studio on Albert Road fills the gap and allows Lana to focus on something just as creative as her music. She says that she feels she is someone who needs to create all the time so whether that be doing art or music they compliment her time and concentration.
Being a very fluid person has allowed Lana to develop her skills and she says that learning and mastering her clarinet over 3 years meant that she was at a point of experimenting with what she had grasped so far. Falling in love with Jazz while in the Marines meant she gave herself time to fully understand the music. Meeting her husband and playing Jazz together allowed her to build confidence in a crowd setting playing a small venue in Old Portsmouth and soon built up to larger audiences across Hampshire, now playing regular slots with her Jazz band. They have honed their art, performing at legendary Jazz clubs, Le QuecumBar and The Pheasantry, and have developed a polished and authentic experience available for private hire.
Having an artistic nature means that, as with her music, Lana is constantly wanting to grow, adapt and move with her mood. Lana has come to a pivotal point in her creativity. Working on abstract pieces in the past and now drawn to more figurative work, Lana wants to celebrate her journey so far and then move on to a new phase of oil paintings. To celebrate this, Lana has created an evening for the public to view her work both as a musician and an artist.
Guests are invited along to the Corner Collective to spend an evening viewing Lana's past work which is going to be up for a secret auction on the evening. You can view all the pieces here. All new art will be displayed in a new exhibition style and then there is a chance to relax by listening to her Jazz band who will be playing live throughout the evening. Tickets are only £10 for this event, so grab a ticket while you can!
I am excited to see the visually striking abstract pieces, that are often named after the songs that inspired them, sell and go to homes across Portsmouth. The Corner Collective is a great place to enjoy an event and the chance to listen to some live Jazz while viewing art sounds like a perfect match!
Check out here to buy tickets for the evening on the 22nd September!
See socials below to find out more about Lana.
By Lou O'Brien