Saturday 23 July 2016, 8pm
Hugely excited to welcome back the great American trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Wadada Leo Smith, after hosting the European premiere of his phenomenal large-scale masterwork - the complete Ten Freedom Summers suite - on his last visit here in 2013. This time around, Smith is joined by an incredible line-up of talented improvisers for distinct sets across two nights.
“In his eighth decade, the pioneering US trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith is stepping even harder on the gas... [his] tone and phrasing often reflect mid-period Miles Davis, but he blends free jazz into those resources with a unique poetic focus.” – The Guardian
Wadada Leo Smith / trumpet
John Edwards / double bass
Mark Sanders / drums
Second half: as above plus;
Luiz Moretto/ violinAlison Blunt / violinBenedict Taylor / violaPaloma Carrasco / celloMarcio Mattos / celloDavid Leahy / bassHardedge / sound design
Wadada Leo Smith has been active in the creative contemporary music world for over 30 years and in 2013 was one of the three Finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. A trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser, his original theory of jazz and world music has been significant in his musical development as an artist and educator.
Born in Leland, Miss., Smith's early musical life began in high school concert and marching bands. At the age of 13, he became immersed in the Delta Blues and improvisational music traditions. As an improvisor-composer, Smith has studied a variety of music cultures (African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American) and to fully express this music, he has developed an original theory and notation system for jazz and world music which he calls Ankhrasmation.
Some of the artists Smith has performed with are Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Richard Teitelbaum, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrill, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Carla Bley, David Murray, Don Cherry, Jeanne Lee, Milton Campbell, Henry Brant, Richard Davis, Tadao Sawai, Ed Blackwell, Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Kowald, Kazuko Shiraishi, Han Bennink, Misja Mengelberg, Marion Brown, Kazutoki Umezu, Kosei Yamamoto, Charlie Haden, Kang Tae Hwan, Kim Dae Hwan and Tom Buckner, among many others.
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
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
Alison Blunt has performed new work using improvisation throughout Europe, Scandinavia, US, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand with a wide array of artists including Avreeayl Ra Amen, Renee Baker, John Edwards, Vinny Golia, Elisabeth Harnik, Tristan Honsinger, Audrey Lauro, Hannah Marshall, Gianni Mimmo, Evan Parker, Ute Wassermann and Trevor Watts. She is a founder member of several ensemble projects including Barrel, Barcode Quartet and Hanam Quintet and occasionally performs as soloist. Amongst broader performance and research activities Alison has collaborated with writers, visual artists, dancers and film makers and leads creative music workshops with children, families, conservatoire students and professional musicians.
"Blunt herself has the same spontaneous attitude for superb control of timbre and sound, while remaining utterly free in her inventiveness". Steff Gijssels, FREE JAZZ BLOG
Benedict Taylor is a solo violist & composer. He is an active figure within the area of contemporary string performance, at the forefront of the British & European new and improvised music scene.
He performs, records & composes internationally, featuring in many venues and festivals including: Cafe Oto, Jazz en Nord France, Royal Court Theatre, The Vortex, Ronnie Scott's, BBC Arts Online, BBC Radio 3 & 2, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cantiere D'Arte di Montepulciano, Edinburgh Fringe, CRAM Festival, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, ICA London, Radio Libertaire Paris, Resonance FM London.
As an improviser, he has worked with Evan Parker, Terry Day, Keith Tippett, Wadada Leo Smith, Alex Ward, Renee Baker, Steve Beresford, Angharad Davies, Hannah Marshall, Tom Jackson, Phil Minton, Pat Thomas, Miya, Tetsu Saito, Gianni Mimmo, Daniel Thompson, Veryan Weston, Sylvia Hallett, Dirk Serries, Stephen Crowe amongst others.
He is involved with a number of higher education institutions, giving lectures in performance, improvisation & composition at the Royal College of Music, City University of London, Goldsmiths College, Royal Holloway College London.
He is the founder, and a curator of CRAM, a music collective and independent label.