Friday 17 November 2017, 7.30pm
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances, Joe Gallivan will unfortunately no longer be appearing at this event. We will instead be hosting the first performance from this new sextet...
Pat Thomas / piano
John Edwards / bass
Alya Al-Sultani / voice
Rachel Musson / saxophone
Charlotte Keefe / trumpet
Corey Mwamba / vibraphone
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.
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
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
After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree specialising in jazz performance on the trumpet from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Charlotte Keeffe continued her musical journey and recently graduated with a Masters from The Guildhall School of Music & Drama as a scholarship recipient and Help Musicians UK Award Winner. Charlotte was lucky enough to study with her heroes - trombonist Sarah Gail Brand and trumpeters Noel Langley, Percy Pursglove and Byron Wallen.
Realising her deep fascination for Improvised Music, Charlotte got in touch with guitarist John Russell and helped established the Mopomoso Workshop Group. She plays regularly in the London Improvisers Orchestra and has shared concert bills with the likes of John Edwards, Steve Noble, John Butcher, Steve Beresford and Mark Sanders.
Charlotte performs as a trumpet/flugelhorn soloist, in a duo with Kim Macari Stone-Lonergan, and as part of her Space Painters Trio with two guitarists (Joe Smith Sands and Diego Sampieri). She is also a member of Martin Archer's Corps Radical quintet.
Derby based vibraphonist Corey Mwamba has been steadily gaining appreciative recognition in jazz and contemporary music for a number of year now. His main group is the trio Yana with Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore. He also performs with Martin Archer, Rachael Musson, Ntshuks Bonga, Robert Mitchell, Jason Yarde, Nick Malcolm, Orphy Robinson and is a member of the Nat Birchall Quintet.
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.