Sunday 6 August 2017, 7.30pm

Photo by Ziga Koritnik

Sainkho Namtchylak – SainkhoKosmos

More than a generation has passed since the astounding singer Sainkho Namtchylak emerged from her homeland in Tuva, deep in Soviet Siberia, by the Mongolian border. She moved to Moscow, where her startling vocal gifts were recognized and featured internationally in the USSR's minority 'showcase' ensembles. Then on to Western Europe, where she became a phenomenon of creative improvised music and part of the genesis of the contemporary World Music scene. She put together various ensembles with young musicians, creating acclaimed productions, including the International music hits "Stepmother City" and "Time Out".

Now, with her new group, SainkhoKosmos, she has surrounded herself with musicians of long worldwide experience, each of whom has also made a personal journey to achieve a unique musical voice.  They will work together to project ancient pulsing sounds into a modern framework, creating a freely floating musical landscape, both rooted and spontaneous. The group includes reed virtuoso Ned Rothenberg, Sainkho's partner in duo for over 25 years, and his 2 longtime collaborators in the group RUB, drummer/vocalist Samm Bennett, guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi, who also plays the incredible daxophone, along with bassist Peter Scherr.  All have wide experience both in creating songs and improvising spontaneously. Cafe Oto will host the first assembly of this ensemble of infinite possibility.

Ned Rothenberg

Composer/Performer Ned Rothenberg has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music, presented for the past 35 years on 5 continents. He performs primarily on alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and the shakuhachi - an endblown Japanese bamboo flute. His solo work utilizes an expanded palette of sonic language, creating a kind of personal idiom all its own. He's worked with John Zorn, Sting, Elvis Costello, Liu Sola and Marc Ribot, among many others. Sainkho Namtchylak and Rothenberg have performed over 50 duo concerts together, a collaboration documented in their cd Amulet. Jochen Metzner writes in the Berlin daily Tagespiegel, "Ned Rothenberg is absolutely phenomenal.. (He has) opened up new and unheard expressive possibilities for wind instruments." About the duo with Sainkho the Eesti Express wrote: “Their technical virtuosity (I’m tempted to say ‘perfection’), mutual understanding and emotional vibrancy without a hint of contrivance, was extraordinary.” www.nedrothenberg.com

Kazuhisa Uchihashi

A pioneering Japanese guitarist, Uchihashi is involved in a wide variety of musics, but still retains a commitment to free improvisation. Born in 1959 in Osaka, Uchihashi began to play the guitar at age 12, playing in various rock bands, though he later studied jazz music. In 1988 he joined the band the First Edition, and in 1990 formed the band Altered States. He was also a member of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground Zero from 1994 to 1997. Uchihashi also plays daxophone, and in addition to his role as a free improviser, Uchihashi has been the musical director for Osaka theatre group Ishinha, has held improvisation workshops (a project known as New Music Action) in various cities in Japan, as well as London, Oslo, and currently in Vienna also. Uchihashi has set up his own record label, Innocent Records a.k.a. Zenbei Records, had held a music festival annually since 1996 Festival BEYOND INNOCENCE. 

Samm Bennett

Samm Bennett was born in 1957 in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up imbued with the blues, Southern rock and country songs that shaped the musical milieu of the American Deep South. As a young child, he determined he would follow in the footsteps of Ringo Starr, banging on the kitchen pots and pans, and starting on a proper drum set at age 13. Later as a young man Bennett lived in Nigeria for several months to study percussion with a Benin drum master, then travelled through various cities in Europe, busking and playing concerts before returning to the U.S.,
Depending on where you first heard him, he may be a singer/songwriter, a drummer or percussionist in a band, an avant-garde free improviser, or all of the above. He is an incongruity in the genre- and brand-driven culture of our times, moved purely by the core human impulse to sing, the allure of sound, and the universal principle of rhythm. Unconcerned with category, style, genre, commercialism and marketability, he creates music simply as a vital part of life.
Bennett has been performing throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and elsewhere since the 1980s and now lives in Tokyo. http://www.polarityrecords.com

Peter Scherr

Peter Scherr is an American bassist/composer/producer living in Connecticut.
In a richly varied career spanning more than twenty five years, Mr. Scherr has held positions with symphony orchestras, written music for film and documentaries, and performed widely in jazz and experimental music settings with distinguished artists. Mr. Scherr has appeared on many recordings, and was the founder of the 1 Hour Music label, which produced creative music recordings. During the 2000’s Mr. Scherr’s series Creative Music in China brought innovative programming to cities throughout the mainland and South East Asia. He is very proud to have had the chance to perform with and realize projects by modern masters of the music. Mr. Scherr continues to be active as a composer, performer and producer of recorded music. www.peterscherr.com