Wednesday 19 June 2019, 7.30pm

Rachel Musson – ‘I Went This Way’

I Went This Way is a piece written by Rachel that focuses heavily on free improvisation. It features a spoken word text onto which is hung a framework of melodies, text and gesture around which the musicians weave a skein of exploration in sound, melody and time.

It was commissioned by TDE Productions for its premier at the Surge in Spring Festival at the MAC in Birmingham, April 2018. Alongside Rachel, the band features two young new stars on the jazz and improvised music scene on saxophone - Lee Griffiths and Xhosa Cole (BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year), the fine improvising string trio of Sarah Farmer, Richard Scott and Hannah Marshall, the rhythm-section powerhouse of Mark Sanders and Chris Mapp, and the text is spoken by vocalist and storyteller Debbie Sanders

Debbie Sanders / voice
Sarah Farmer / violin
Richard Scott / viola
Hannah Marshall / cello
Lee Griffiths / alto saxophone
Xhosa Cole / tenor saxophone
Rachel Musson / tenor saxophone
Chris Mapp / double bass
Mark Sanders / percussion

Rachel Musson

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 bassist Olie Brice, and a trio with Mark Sanders and John Edwards who have released a recent album Bibimbap (Two Rivers Records). Rachel also features on a trio album due to be released this summer 2019 with Pat Thomas and Mark Sanders (577 Records), and a quartet album later in 2019 with William Parker, Daniel Carter and Federico Ughi (577 Records). She plays regularly on the London and International improvised music and free jazz scene.

Debbie Sanders

Debbie Sanders as a singer has toured and recorded with a various bands such as Chapter & Verse and Skylab, as well as doing vocal work for ads and tv. She moved into storytelling, writing and performing songs for children, and has had the good fortune of working some great musicians such as Matty Skylab, Mark Sanders, Paul Rogers, Neil Metcalfe, Dean Broderick and Oren Marshall.

Sarah Farmer

Birmingham based artist and musician mostly working with sound,violins and improvisation. A poor woman's scientist and crafts person, taking an interest in questions of science and and technology

and exploring them through hands on endeavours of making and sharing through a medium of sound, D.I.Y, found materials, wood and strings and the odd bit of electronics. Interested in site specific work, relational work, work that involves a lot of learning and researching - both receiving and sharing information, working in a way that facilitates learning about this stuff of life, our environments, our histories and possible futures, our materials and how we've gone about navigating these constant questions.

Richard Scott

Richard Scott is a viola player and visual artist based in Birmingham with interests in pattern, liminality and varying modes of perception and control. His musical activities are split between improvising, contemporary scored music and playing traditional Scandinavian music on the fiddle.

Hannah Marshall

Hannah Marshall is a cellist who is continuing to extract, invent, and exorcize as many sounds and emotional qualities from her instrument as she can. She has been a regular member of Alexander Hawkins’ Ensembles and has toured in Europe and South America with Luc Ex and Veryan Weston’s ensembles – SOL 6 & 12. She plays with ‘String Terrorists’ - Barrel (a trio with Violinist Alison Blunt & Violist/poet Ivor kallin). And has been invited by Fred Frith and Suichi Chino in their residencies at café Oto. She also plays with Terry Day, Tim Hodgkinson, Roger Turner, Paul May, Kay Grant, and the London Improvisers Orchestra. 

Xhosa Cole

Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year, Xhosa Cole is an embodiment of the success of numerous community arts programmes in Birmingham. Having grown up in Handsworth and first played the Tenor at Andy Hamilton's Ladywood Community Music School, he's now among a long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists.

Xhosa's earliest memories of the arts are with ACE Youth Dance group. However, since playing in Holyhead School's Jazz band with Ray Prince and Sid Peacock he decided to pursue music and joined the Jazzlines Ensemble, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra, Midland youth Jazz Orchestra among others. While studying at Bishop Vesey's Sixth Form Xhosa attended courses with the National Youth Jazz Collective and National Youth Wind Orchestra.

Xhosa continually pushes his playing while studying with teachers and mentors including Mike Williams, Jim Bashford and Percy Pursglove; Performing regularly around Birmingham; Writing for commissions by the Ideas of Noise Festival and Bobbie-Jane Gardener's 'For-Wards' and teaching Birmingham's next generation of talent alongside his former teacher Toni Grehann.

Lee Griffiths

Lee Griffiths is a Birmingham based saxophonist and composer. Since graduating from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2016 Lee has played with a number of groups from the UK and Europe including the ‘Rachel Musson/Mark Sanders Ensemble’ and Norwegian duo ‘Not On The Guestlist’. Lee is also currently studying for a Masters at the BCU School of Media.

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

Chris Mapp

Chris is a bass player, improviser and composer living and working in Birmingham. His work falls somewhere between composition and improvisation, using sound, music and electronics to satisfy his own sonic curiosity. As a bandleader he has worked with Arve Henriksen, Maja Ratkje, Mark Sanders, Leafcutter John and Dan Nicholls as well as being a key member of the healthy Birmingham improvised music scene.