Thursday 26 April 2018, 7.30pm


No Longer Available


‘Hawkins improvises with the strength and conviction that come from combining an advanced technique with a teeming imagination…[i]t isn't always cosy, but this is state-of-the-art contemporary piano’ - The Guardian

‘Hawkins draws favorable comparisons to some of the great innovative pianists of our time’ - All About Jazz

Alexander Hawkins’ solo performances have been described as ‘intensely intricate…powerful, technically brilliant and melodically inventive.’ First documented on his 2014 album ‘Song Singular’, they often range across whole swathes of his musical obsessions, all the while forging these into something coherent and personal

‘a revelation…[t]he rapidity of Hawkins' thought processes and co-ordination are staggering’ - London Jazz News


'two fearless originals’ - The Guardian

'as stunning as it was fresh’ -

'The brilliance and urgency, the openness and the irresistible inner swing of the movement captivated the audience...a stunning many-sided sonic tour...the musical action went beyond known limits' - All About Jazz

‘direct currents of energy that are irresistible…by turns full of sharp irony, deep pathos and stark, confrontational resolve’ - Jazzwise

This quartet represents the first major collaboration of two of the most distinctive voices of their generation, and stakes out a remarkable common ground from the pair’s vast range of influences and experience. The repertoire fuses Mitchener’s unique way with both melody and abstraction, with Hawkins’ idiosyncratic compositional and pianistic world; as well as spotlighting reimaginings of a small number of non-original songs which reveal the influence of precursors such as Jeanne Lee and Linda Sharrock. Structurally, the group function as complete equals, veering radically from the traditional norm of ‘singer plus rhythm section’, instead treating this as only one possible dynamic amongst many. 'UpRoot', the group's debut album, is released on the Swiss Intakt label.

'An interplay of velvet glove and iron shackles' - Bad Alchemy

Neil Charles / double bass
Stephen Davis / drums
Alexander Hawkins / piano
Elaine Mitchener / voice

Alexander Hawkins

Alexander Hawkins’ work ranges from his acclaimed solo performances (‘intensely intricate…powerful, technically brilliant and melodically inventive’) through to works on a much larger canvas, such as his Togetherness Music ('[a] masterpiece that can stand next to the best works of Mitchell, Braxton or Parker’). He collaborates regularly with all generations of creative musicians, including the likes of Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Hamid Drake, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Sofia Jernberg, Shabaka Hutchings, and many others. Further creative associations, with two very different icons of African music, Louis Moholo-Moholo and Mulatu Astatke, stretch back for well over a decade. He has been widely commissioned as a composer, including by the likes of the BBC, Berlin’s Pierre Boulez Saal, and numerous festivals. His performance schedule takes him to club, concert hall, and festival stages worldwide.

"Sounds like all the future jazz you might imagine without ever being able to conceive of the details" – The Guardian

Elaine Mitchener

Elaine Mitchener is a British Afro-Caribbean vocalist, movement artist and composer working between contemporary / experimental new music, free improvisation and visual art. She is currently a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist; was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow (2022) and was an exhibiting artist in the British Art Show 9 (2021-22). In February 2022 Mitchener was awarded an MBE for Services to Music. Elaine is founder of the collective electroacoustic unit The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles). Her regular collaborators include: composers George E Lewis, Jennifer Walshe, and Tansy Davies; visual artists Sonia Boyce, Christian Marclay and The Otolith Group; chamber ensembles Apartment House, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble MAM, Ensemble Klang, and Klangforum Wien; choreographer Dam van Huynh’s company; and experimental musicians such as Moor Mother, Loré Lixenberg, Saul Williams, Pat Thomas and David Toop. While developing her own projects, Elaine continues to work as a collaborative and interpretive singer.