Wednesday 8 May 2024, 7.30pm

Photo by D Djric

Elaine Mitchener – with Neil Charles + Roy Claire Potter + Mark Sanders + Xhosa Cole + Pat Thomas + Dam Van Huynh + Jay Bernard (w/ Femi Oriogun-Williams)

No Longer Available

Please note performances will begin at 8:15pm.

Thrilled to host a two-day residency with experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer, Elaine Mitchener, to mark the release of her first ever solo LP, Solo Throat, released on Otoroku.

Elaine Mitchener is a veteran of vocal expression in the global Black Avant Garde, traversing free improvisation, cross-disciplinary music theatre and contemporary composition with clarity and joy. Drawing on the work of African-American and African-Caribbean poets Edward Kamau Brathwaite, Aimé Césaire, Una Marson and N. H. Pritchard, the twelve new vocal compositions on Solo Throat disrupt semantic sense, play with the margins of lyrical translation and give rise to new voicings. 

This special two-day residency centres on the spirit of sonic and physical experimentation / improvisatory encounters in response to - or away from - some texts by Afro-diasporic poets that have inspired Elaine's work, as well as an opportunity for people to play together who wouldn’t normally do so from the world of dance, poetry, music, visual art. Not to be missed!

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.

Neil Charles

Neil Charles is one of the most in-demand musicians on the scene, with a huge array of credits to his name, including Jack DeJohnette, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Mingus Big Band, Jose James, Jerry Dammers, Courtney Pine, and Terence Blanchard. His own projects have included Zed U, with Shabaka Hutchings and Tom Skinner, and the more recent ensemble Dark Days, dealing with the work of James Baldwin. Most recently, he has been heard across the international scene with Gabriels. As well as being known as a bass player with a huge sound and immaculate sense of time, he is equally renowned as a producer, going by the alias Ben Marc.

"Bassist Neil Charles went flying, from the first moment filling the space with the sound of his mighty wings Henning Bolte," – Europe Jazz Media Chart

Roy Claire Potter

Roy Claire Potter has released duo and solo audio works with labels like Cafe OTO’s Otoroku and Takuroku, Sub Rosa, Chocolate Monk, and Fort Evil Fruit, and has worked with a broad range of musicians and sound artists including Park Jiha, Ziúr, Kieron Piercy and Bridget Hayden. With a visual art background in experimental art writing and drawing, Roy tells stories built from fragmented, intense images that depict moving bodies or domestic scenes and architectural settings, often focusing on group dynamics or the aftermath of violent events with a dark, sometimes wilful humour. They publish writing and make exhibitions internationally, and recent collaborations for stage and broadcast have been made possible by BEK, Counterflows, Reduced Listening for BBC Radio 3, and Wysing Art Centre’s Polyphonic music festival with Somerset House. 

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

Xhosa Cole

Xhosa Cole (tenor sax) is one of the new rising stars of British Jazz. BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year 2018, Xhosa went on to win numerous awards and to appear onstage alongside jazz legends. He has performed twice at the BBC Proms, composed music for the Flatpack Film Festival, recorded saxophone for Mahalia’s debut album, and with his own quartet has toured the UK far and wide. Following his celebrated debut album K(no)w Them, K(no)w Us (2021), Cole’s new project and album release Ibeji features a series of saxophone and percussion duets, alongside pieces of conversation and interview between Cole and his seven collaborators, all eminent percussionists of African descent, all woven into the narrative of the album. Xhosa’s exposure to players from a range of different traditions, combined with his strong connection to his inner-city community in Birmingham (UK), has helped to develop a fiercely unique and independent voice.

“The 26-year-old tenor saxophonist/composer is a British sensation and proves that he’s here for blood with this release … He’s got technique, talent, artistry and a burning desire that shows throughout the set.” - Downbeat

Pat Thomas

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 

Dam Van Huynh

Originally from Southern Vietnam, Dam Van Huynh is a UK based dancer / choreographer / director. As a child refugee, his family and he fled Vietnam after the war and settled in the USA where Dam was raised. Dam founded his own company in 2008, Van Huynh Company – a vibrant, cutting edge contemporary dance company with a growing national and international reputation. 
His work is an implicit and ongoing attempt to synthesise the most dynamic and revolutionary facets of the dual aspects of his Vietnamese heritage and Western influences harmoniously informing a personal and creative expression.

Jay Bernard

Jay Bernard is an artist from London whose work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archives. They were named Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2020 and winner of the 2017 Ted Hughes Award for Surge, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981.

As well as being a film programmer at BFI Flare, Bernard’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival, where it won best experimental and best queer short, respectively, as well as Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica.

Recent work includes Joint, an ongoing text related to the legal principle of joint enterprise, showing at the London Literature Festival 2022; Crystals of this Social Substance, a sound installation at the 2021 Serpentine Pavillion; and My Name is My Own, a physical performance piece in response to June Jordan, which premiered at Southbank Centre’s Poetry International 2019.