Monday 18 September 2017, 7.30pm
Following on from the groups Predicate, Forebrace and the Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, this new ensemble represents the latest stage in Alex Ward's ongoing work combining composition and improvisation.
Item 10 is Alex's first foray beyond the world of small group leadership into the challenge of composing for a large ensemble, and the program will consist entirely of new pieces written by him for this performance. The musicians in the ensemble range from long-term associates of Ward's to others with whom he will be working for the first time in this group, and their strong musical personalities and varied backgrounds in the worlds of free improvisation, jazz and contemporary composition will be reflected in a evening of dynamic and unclassifiable large-group music, in which the structural and material elements made possible through notation will serve to stimulate rather than trammel the performers' improvisational instincts and responses.
Alex Ward / clarinet, guitar and compositions
Andrew Lisle / drums
Benedict Taylor / viola
Cath Roberts / baritone sax
Charlotte Keeffe / trumpet and flugelhorn
Joe Smith Sands / guitar
Mandhira de Saram / violin
Otto Willberg / double bass
Sarah Gail Brand / trombone
Yoni Silver / bass clarinet and alto sax
British musician, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe’s passion for free improvisation, jazz and experimental music-making sees her performing regularly as a soloist and leading a variety of different ensembles, including her own Quartet.
(The) Charlotte Keeffe Quartet (CKQ) performed a sellout performance at Lancaster Jazz Festival in 2019 and their live recording from Jazz in the Round has been featured on radio shows around the world. Her Quartet is Ashley John Long (Paul Dunmall collaborator) on double bass, Ben Handysides on drums, Moss Freed (Let Spin) on guitar and herself on trumpet and flugelhorn; they explore merging together Charlotte’s more composed music with freely improvising.
Fresh from playing London’s Café OTO, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield and the London Jazz Festival; CKQ are delighted to be continuing their UK tour in 2022, celebrating the release of Charlotte’s debut album, Right Here, Right Now, which features a selection of her improvised works for solo, duo, quartet and (the) London Improvisers Orchestra, it’s out now on the Discus Music record label...[more]
Andrew Lisle is a drummer based in London. During a period of two years living and playing in Lisbon, Portugal he spent much of his time at the Clean Feed Records' base of operations Trem Azul. Here he was able to develop his playing and collaborate with some of the city's veteran improvisers including Rodrigo Pinheiro (Red Trio), Hernani Faustino (Red Trio) and Rodrigo Amado among others. Since moving to London in 2013 his powerfully dynamic playing has established him as a sought-after drummer on the improvised music scene, performing and recording with some of the most innovative musicians in the UK and Europe. These include John Edwards, Seymour Wright, Alex Ward, Simon Rose, Alan Wilkinson, Kier Neuringer, Matthew Bourne, Dominic Lash, Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders. On-going projects to date include Kodian trio, Colin Webster/Andrew Lisle, Lisle/Edwards/Downes trio, SAL Trio (Serries/Amado/Lisle) to name a few.
Otto Willberg is a improvisor who lives in London and plays the Double Bass and Bass Guitar. Otto currently plays with include Ashley Pauls trio (ray), Yes Indeed (with Laurie Tompkins), and the band - Historically Fucked. Otto maintains a website called www.bootlegspatialrecall.net which is an open/publicly sourced archive of public space reverbs. He also has a solo recording ‘Barbaric Mystical Bored’ which is released on Why Eye. www.ottowillberg.com
Benedict Taylor is a solo violist, violinist & composer, working in improvised and new music. As an improviser he likes to play and record with many super people, and over the years has worked with; Keith Tippett, Evan Parker, Terry Day, Lauren Kinsella, Lawrence Upton, Alex Ward, Cath Roberts, Tom Jackson, Renee Baker, Paul Dunmall, Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, Dirk Serries, Steve Beresford, Angharad Davies, Neil Luck, John Edwards, Ivor Kallin, Anton Mobin, Hannah Marshall, David Leahy, Adam de la Cour, Alison Blunt, Chris Cundy, Daniel Thompson, Kit Downes, Yves Charuest, Alexander Hawkins, Tom Challenger, Miya, Tetsu Saito, Erika Sofia Sollo, Gianni Mimmo, Stephen Crowe, Marcello Magliocchi amongst others.
Festival, venue and radio appearances include; Spontaneous Music Festival Poland, BBC Radio 3, Jazz en Nord Festival France, BBC Radio Late Junction, Cafe Oto, The Vortex, London Contemporary Music Festival, Tete a Tete Opera Festival, Ronnie Scott's, Aldeburgh Festival, Galway Jazz Festival, Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte Montepulciano, Southbank Centre, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Fête de la Musique Berlin, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Manchester International Festival, Royal Court Theatre, Trafalgar Studios, Manchester Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Festival, BBC Radio 2, Resonance FM, Radio Libertaire - Epsilonia - Paris, Rotterdam Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Berlinale, Palm Springs Film Festival, London Film Festival.
He has an annual ongoing series of solo string albums, investigating the viola and violin in all manner of ways.
Yoni Silver - Bass-clarinetist and multi-instrumentalist Yoni Silver’s activities include hyper-spectral adventures with Iancu Dumitrescu's Hyperion Ensemble; a bass clarinet and percussion duo with Steve Noble; a bass clarinet/violin and possessed vocals duo with Sharon Gal; Denis D’or with Grundik Kasyansky and Tom Wheatley; bass clarinet and drums duo with Crystabel Riley, and solo performances on amplified bass clarinet.
He has appeared on labels such as Creative Sources, Confront Recordings, Wasted Capital, Chocolate Monk and Edition Modern.
Cath Roberts’ work explores free improvisation, composition and the music at their meeting point. Her primary outlet as a composer and improviser on baritone saxophone is the band Sloth Racket, which has toured widely and released several albums. As bandmate, Cath is a member of several groups including Madwort Sax Quartet, Article XI and MoonMot. She has a long-standing duo with guitarist Anton Hunter (Ripsaw Catfish), as well as regular collaborations with Tullis Rennie, Benedict Taylor, Otto Willberg, Seth Bennett and others. Cath co-runs LUME with Dee Byrne, producing concerts, tours and festivals since 2013 and releasing music on their offshoot label Luminous. With Tom Ward and Colin Webster she organises BRÅK, an improvised music series taking place in Brockley, South East London.cathrobertsmusic.co.uk
Mandhira is a versatile violinist performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral violinist in the UK and abroad. She is a founding member and the leader of the Ligeti Quartet, a young string quartet which has established a reputation as a leading dynamic and imaginative force in contemporary and modern music. She graduated with 1st class honours from the University of Oxford achieving a high 1st in performance and winning the Worcester College Arts Prize for the highest result in an arts subject.
International solo and chamber music tours have taken her around Europe as well as the USA, India, China and her country of origin, Sri Lanka. She has performed at prestigious festivals and venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, Southbank Centre and St Johns Smith Square in London and the Carnegie Hall in New York.
Her repertoire is varied consisting of standard classical works as well as free improvisation and original projects often involving collaborations with contemporary composers, sound artists and musicians from a variety of genres outside classical music. With her quartet she has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Meilyr Jones, Shabaka Hutchings, Laura Jurd, Kerry Andrew, Sean Noonan, and, following a tour to China and Hong Kong, has collaborated with leading Hong Kong DJ Choi Sai Ho and Japanese sound artist mamoru.
Mandhira was born in London. After completing her primary education in Sri Lanka, she was awarded a music scholarship to North London Collegiate School where she completed her secondary education. She was also a Leverhulme Scholar at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where she performed both as a violinist and pianist, also taking classes in composition and conducting. Her violin teachers have included Igor Petrushevsky, Howard Davis and Levon Chilingirian.
Described by The Wire magazine as “the most exciting trombone player for years” Sarah Gail Brand has recorded and performed on the international Improvised Music and Jazz scene since the early 1990s with Mark Sanders, John Edwards, Elton Dean, Evan Parker, Phil Minton, Veryan Weston, Lol Coxhill, Maggie Nicols, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Beresford, Georg Graewe, writer and comedian Stewart Lee and countless others. Sarah fronts her own tunes quartet (Sarah Gail Brand Sextet), has a long standing duo with drummer Mark Sanders, and a trio with John Edwards and Steve Beresford and continues to work as a soloist and in ad hoc ensembles. As well as being a composer, Sarah’s trombone work ranges from playing Improvised Music and Jazz, studio session work to arranging & playing in pop and rock music. Sarah is a music therapist and a professor of Improvisation at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London and leads workshops on improvisation around the world. Recordings of Sarah Gail’s work can be found on the Emanem and regardless record labels.
Joe Smith Sands is a guitarist from London and has played improvised music since 2015. Following a period of study with guitarist John Russell he went on to be a founding member of the Mopomoso Workshop Group. More recently he has worked and performed with musicians such as Sarah Gail Brand, Veryan Weston, Charlotte Keefe and Alex Ward.