Sunday 1 April 2018, 7.30pm
Collective X is a 15-strong collective of musicians and poets exploring themes of minority experience, oppression, justice and connection in the digital age.
Four members of the Collective are joined by guests John Edwards and Rachel Musson developing the themes from Collective X's upcoming album, Love & Protest.
Mark Sanders / drums
John Edwards / bass
Rachel Musson / tenor sax
Robert Menzel / tenor sax
Alya Al-Sultani / voice
Joshua Idehen / voice
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
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
Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, including a trio with Hannah Marshall and Julie Kjaer, a duo with vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, and a trio with Mark Sanders and John Edwards. She has released two albums under her own name, one featuring Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Tatterdemalion, Babel Records), and one featuring her ensemble Skein (Flight Line, F-ire Recorded Music). She also plays with the London Improvisers Orchestra and Alex Ward’s Quintet and Sextet, as well as with a variety of other musicians on the fluid European improvising scene.
Alya Al-Sultani is a vocalist and composer based in London, UK. Her first musical experiences were Iraqi folk songs sung by her great grandmother and radio broadcasts of Um Kolthum, Abdel-Halim and Fairouz which she listened to with her family while drinking sweet black tea infused with cardamom. After leaving Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, her family settled in Tottenham, North London where she began to discover the incredible new sounds of the 80s and music from the Caribbean.
Her musical education was entirely classically-focussed, on piano and voice. She learned the importance of technique, tradition, theory, respecting fellow musicians and respecting the music. But she did not learn freedom and it is this she has sought for the last decade. The pursuit of freedom in music is driven by her aesthetic, her immigrant experience and her Eastern feminism.
Apart from working on her own projects, Alya enjoys debuting new music for contemporary composers and experimenting with opera, including the integration of improvisation techniques, microtonal ideas and Eastern influences.
Robert Menzel was born in Dresden, Germany. After the early end of a quite promising career in Basketball, he decided to pick up the tenorsaxophone at the age of 17 and soon after started his studies at the Dresden College of Music. Some years later he moved to Brussels on a scholarship granted by the german academic exchange service (DAAD) to study at the „Koninklijk Conservatorium van Brussel“ with John Ruocco, from where he holds a Master‘s degree in jazz performance.
He currently lives and works in Berlin.
Being a fellow disciple of „The School of Spontaneous Melodism“ he is working in the fields of modern jazz/improvised music.
For his wide-angled improvisational concept he was awarded the „Carl Maria von Weber Grant“ by the city of Dresden. He played concerts all around Europe with both his own groups (Robert Menzel Quartet, cholesterol damage, schulbus, aldimenz,) and as a sideman with a.o. Richie Beirach, Till Brönner, Joachim Kühn, Albert Vila, Günter „Baby“ Sommer, Gunter Hampel, Erik Vermeulen, Matthias Schubert.
He most recently released his debut CD „Robert Menzel - Alchemy“ with the english Label Two Rivers Records. The album received critical acclaim from both the german and international press and was a featured artist in Jazzpodium‘s february edition.
Joshua Idehen is a Poet, workshop facilitator, musician and founder of renowned poetry/music magazine Poejazzi.
As a poet, he has performed at most major festivals, appeared in anthologies alongside Linton Kwesi Johnson.
As a musician, he works in three bands: Benin City, HUGH and with electro dub outfit LV. He has gained accolades from Qmag, Artsdesk, Fact, Mojo, Clash, Mixmag, DJ and DIY.