Monday 6 June 2022, 8pm

Challenger / Hawkins / Sanders / Downes / Taylor / Edwards

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

An evening presenting two improvising groups, separately and together. The Night also features the release of “Strite’s Balnae” by the latter group.

Ensemble 1

Tom Challenger (Saxophone) / Alexander Hawkins (Piano) / Mark Sanders (Drums)

Ensemble 2

Tom Challenger / Kit Downes (Cello) / Benedict Taylor (Viola) / John Edwards (Bass)

Tom Challenger

Tom Challenger (Saxophone) joins forces in an improvising trio with Alex Hawkins (Piano) and Mark Sanders (Drums). Having released an LP ‘Imasche’ in 2021, the trio bring their collective experience to create music that veers from blistering free jazz, to sonic explorations that test the limits of their instruments. Whilst all have a strong rapport with each other in other, various groupings and formations, this special night heralds the trio’s first performance together in front of a live audience.

Alexander Hawkins

Alexander Hawkins is musician who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat).

As a pianist, he has been described as ‘remarkable...possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.’ Concerning his organ playing, critic Brian Morton recently commented that ‘[t]he most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more, [Hawkins] has already extended what can be done on the instrument.’

His writing has been said to represent ‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’ (Point of Departure), and his voice one of the ‘most vividly distinctive...in modern jazz’ (The Jazzmann).

An in-demand collaborator as well as soloist, composer, and bandleader, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Matana Roberts, and Shabaka Hutchings, amongst many others. He has also been noted for a number of years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo.

Concert appearances have taken him to major club, concert and festival stages worldwide.

“…Hawkins is a really vital link in a long historical chain, and his ability to sculpt his own language from a deeply rooted creative bedrock is compelling” - Jazzwise

“Sounds like all the future jazz you might imagine without ever being able to conceive of the details” - The Guardian

Mark Sanders

Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.

In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.

Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.

"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY

Kit Downes

Kit Downes is a composer, pianist and organist living in London. Kit has his own group 'Tricko' that he writes for and tours with, as well as working with 'Wedding Music' and many other musicians, composers, artists, organisations and instrument-builders. 

Benedict Taylor

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.

https://benedicttaylor.bandcamp.com/

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment

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