Wednesday 26 June 2024, 7.30pm
Black Top, the duo of multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson and pianist Pat Thomas, is a shape-shifting unit dedicated to exploring the intersection between live instruments and lo-fi technology. Their virtuoso, freely improvised performances combine twisted loops, samples and dub-effects, which draw on their Afro-Caribbean roots, with a spontaneity and daring rooted in experimental free-jazz.
Each in the series is moulded by the contributions of a unique guest collaborator.
Orphy Robinson is an award-winning multi- Instrumentalist, One of the few UK musicians to have been signed to the legendary USA Jazz label “Blue Note”.
Robinson has performed on over 100 recordings with numerous internationally acclaimed artists across many genres of music.
These include artists as diverse as Lawrence Butch Morris, Hugh Masekela, Don Cherry, Robert Plant, Thurston Moore, Robert Wyatt, The Jazz Warriors, Cleveland Watkiss, Wadada Leo Smith, Lionel Loueke, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Hamid Drake, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Jean Luc Ponty, Marshall Allen, Sun Ra Arkestra to name a few.
Throughout his 40-year career, he has constantly been nominated or won numerous prestigious industry awards. These include 2022 Paul Hamlyn Award, 2 Jazz Fm awards 2017 Live Experience of the Year” & 2020 Gold Award. Nominated for the 2022 ‘Best Jazz Ensemble’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
2017 – 2019 Orphy held the position of Artist in residence at the Gibraltar World music Festival.
2018 Artistic director at the Gibraltar World music Festival.
Orphy sits on various industry Boards Such as the Ivor’s Academy where he is both Deputy Chair and the Chair of the Jazz + Genre Committee.
ECSA (European Composers & Songwriters Alliance) Trustee & Chair of the ECF - Art & Contemporary music Committee.
Vice Chair for the UK Promoters organization “Jazz Promotion Network”.
Orphy has also written articles for various industry music magazines such as Wire Magazine, Jazzwise & Online platform JAZZED.
Orphy has also presented Guest radio programmes on:
BBC Radio 3, Jazz Fm, Resonance Fm, Worldwide FM, Solar Radio.
Since 2016 Robinson has presented a weekly show on internet Radio station - Delite Radio. www.deliteradio.com
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Elaine Mitchener is a vocalist, movement artist and composer working between contemporary/experimental new music, free improvisation and visual art. Elaine founded the collective electroacoustic unit The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles).
Artists she has collaborated with include experimental musicians such as Moor Mother, Loré Lixenberg, Saul Williams, Pat Thomas, and David Toop; composers George E Lewis, Jennifer Walshe, and Tansy Davies; ensembles Apartment House, London Sinfonietta, Irreversible Entanglements, Ensemble MAM, Beam Splitter, Ensemble Klang, and Klangforum Wien; Van Huynh Company; and visual artists Sonia Boyce, Christian Marclay and The Otolith Group.
While developing her projects, Elaine continues to work as a collaborative and interpretive singer.