Jazz odyssey: music and migration

 Date:29/03/2006 - 31/03/2006
 Type:Culture, Music
 Location:England, London

Some of Norway's most creative musicians are taking part in 'A Jazz Odyssey: Music and Migration', a series of events which look at how migration has contributed to the vibrancy of jazz in Europe.

The full extent of Europe is being re-discovered, with old borders and divisions falling away and new groups of people living together. As with America at the beginning of the last century, creativity grows where difference meets and few musical languages are better placed to articulate this than jazz. 'A Jazz Odyssey: Music & Migration' explores how jazz has been shaped by the changing face of Europe and how this music can provide a positive reflection on our changing demographic. ' Produced by the UK based live music producers Serious, Millenaris Park and A38 in Budapest (an 'live music venue formerly a Ukrainian cargo ship) and the Banlieues Bleues Festival in Seine-Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris, this 'project features 'performances and collaborations, but also discussions and meetings, that bring together a broad range of people with an interest in our evolving musical cultures and their place in Europe.

South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela returns to the Barbican stage on 30 March to perform with his full South African band together with European guests, saxophonist Soweto Kinch and pianist Yaron Herman. For over 40 years Hugh Masekela has been at the heart and soul of South African music, as a musician in exile and an international jazz star. His trumpet has been an instrument of resistance performing music that brims over with a joyful warmth and optimism.

The evening also features the UK premiere of music from master oud player Dhafer Youssef's new album 'Divine Shadows'.  Born in Tunisia, then based in Vienna and now Paris, Dhafer Youssef's music mixes jazz improvisation, Arabic lyricism, dance grooves, and electronics to extraordinary effect. He is joined by some of the most creative names in Norwegian jazz, including Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Rune Arnesen and Audun Erlien.

The Spitz plays host to two more collaborations; the first, 'Miraculous Meetings', on 29 March presents a great line-up of Scottish, Hungarian and Bulgarian musicians featuring Robert Farkas (Hungary, violin), John Rae (Scotland, drums), Mario Caribe (Brazil, living in Scotland, bass), Bea Palya (Hungary, voice), Kalman Balogh (Hungary, cimbalom) Balazs Szokolay (Hungary, saxophone) and Martin Lubenov (Bulgarian accordionist, living in Vienna), revealing the musical parallels between these cultures and inspired by Bartok’s 125th anniversary. This will be an exuberant evening, building on the success of Magic Feet, a collaboration produced by Serious in 2004.

A short opening set by the established duo Andy Sheppard and Kuljit Bhamra reflects a long-standing creative dialogue between the British jazz scene and musicians from Britain’s Asian communities, harking back to Joe Harriott’s Indo-Jazz Fusions in the 1960s. 

Danish Saxophone legend John Tchicai joins UK mavericks Spring Heel Jack and South African drummer Louis Moholo for a concert at Spitz on 31 March. Born in Copenhagen to a Danish mother and Congolese father, John Tchicai was at the epicentre of the free jazz scene of the 1960s, recording with Albert Ayler, John Lennon and John Coltrane. London based Spring Heel Jack (John Coxon and Ashley Wales) have forged successful careers in both pop, dance and most recently improvised music. Spring Heel Jack first collaborated with Tchicai last year and this concert sees the line-up augmented by Orphy Robinson, John Edwards and leading drummer Louis Moholo.  Moholo left South Africa during the 60s with the influential band The Blue Notes, of which he’s now the only surviving member. Settling in London, Moholo and fellow South African exiles made a huge, and continuing, contribution to the development of British jazz, and, in turn to the emergence of wholly distinctive European improvised music .

On Friday 31st March, there will also be the opportunity to explore the social and political context of the music further through a discussion day at the GLA’s City Hall. This event will probe and debate how the development of jazz in Europe and the experience of musicians can inform practise in other areas and challenge stereotypes around migration. This is intended for anyone with an interest in issues around migration, cultural development, social cohesion and identities.

Jazz Odyssey: Music & Migration
London, 29 – 31 March

Feat. Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset, Rune Arnesen and Audun Erlien
Thursday 30 March, 7.30pm, London, Barbican, Tickets: £15 / £25, Bookings: 020 7638 8891 /
+ Pre-concert talk 6pm in the Fountain Room

Feat. Kalman Balogh, Mario Caribe, Robert Farkas, Brian Kellock Martin Lubenov, Bea Palya, John Rae and Balazs Szokolay
Wednesday 29 March, 8pm, Spitz, Commercial Street, London E1, Tickets: £15, Bookings: 020 7247 9747

Friday 31 March, 8pm, Spitz, Commercial Street, London E1, Tickets: £15 Bookings:  020 7247 9747

Friday 31 March, 9.30am – 5pm

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Arve Henriksen is part of the Hugh Masekela  and Dhafer Youssef concert at the Barbican on 29 March

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