NYC/LDN is back, bringing a little New York swag to London nightlife. After taking a three-year hiatus from the last session in 2008 – which debuted Theophilus London on the UK scene- this daring new music club night emerges to reconnect the paces of both cities in the quest of “who’s got next”?

Dyme-A-Duzin refuses to follow anybody’s standards. This charismatic 18-year old mc is today’s 360 hip-hop artist – rapper, singer, songwriter, video producer, marketer, distributor and more. Dymez overall confidence, style and demeanor illuminate his talents where there is no dismissing his pop star potential. Loaded with online takeaways, his music videos are more like web-episodes that his fans can chronicle his rise to fame.


Nu Brand is pioneering a new London sound we’ve coined as chronic grime. Their unique approach is slowing down the bpms and releasing some 2-step tension to allow their hooks to flow and transcend. Imagine N.E.R.D making a slow jam for Bashy. It’s mary jane all night long.

Futuristic synth loving boy/girl duo Royalty round up the live while on the party spinning selections are in the hands of Ellijah & Skilliam B2B Swindle, Work It DJs, the bPM (Boiler Room) and Lixo (Get Me!). NYC/LDN feels so damn good to be back!







2000-0200 GMT

Thursday 2 JUNE 2011

@ KOKO , 1A Camden High StreetLONDON NW1 7JE

£10 Advance

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Jazz Changes…Courttia Newland

“A Book of Blues” By Courttia Newland

The blues speak of many things, most of all love.  In these contemporary, often humorous and frequently surprising stories, Courttia Newland’s collection of family, friends, lovers and strangers endeavour to navigate a world where love presents as many obstacles as opportunities.

A music journalist suffers a crisis of faith in Miami. Young London goes hip-hop crazy circa 1988, turning from Farah’s and Clarks to baggy jeans and fat-laced trainers. Old friends make a belated attempt to reconnect disparate lives, and a social recluse finds an unexpected companion in a Victorian cemetery. Threaded with the constant pulse of music, A Book of Blues explores both physical and internal landscapes via the never-ending diversity of human relationships.In advance of his Book Launch this Wednesday 6th April, jazzreloaded caught up with Courttia to ask afew questions, such as:

Where on the Web can we find out more about you? and

Your favourite photo of yourself:

My first author photo. Trying to look all hard and that.

Courttia Newland

I’m guessing this is the one.  You’re looking pretty hard in it…Speaking of hardness, you’ve been dealing with some fairly heavy life issues recently. Do you think your latest work represents the cloud, or the silver lining?

Silver lining definitely. Although some cloud is character building. If the England football team had some cloud in their game they might play better.

I don’t know.  Seems like Rooney has plenty cloud to me. What exactly has happened to Wayne?


Top 5 UK cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Ooh. Put me on the spot. Roots Manuva, Spacek, Soweto Kinch, Eska, Mathew Herbert. What, only five? Mpho Skeef (alright, alright I’ll stop…) Joe Harriot… (OK I’m done…)

Of all the albums or projects you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite , and why?

This one. Treat the last like the first, as Biggie said.

The Best Bond is obviously:

Brooke? James? Word is?

What is a Diva, anyway?

Dunno. Not me, that’s for sure. I think.

Who do you think you are, anyway?

Who knows, much less cares?

Where are we going wrong with our youth at the moment? How can music help?

The dark state of the world is reflected in their eyes. Show a better example and I believe they will follow. Music that communicates their sense of frustration with the world will ease their pain some, but without empathy and action it can’t possibly heal them.

You’ve got room for one more in your lifeboat, but no oars. There’s a fatcat record label boss and an illegal downloader, they have an oar each. How do you get home?

Paddle like a…

So you bump into Wesley Snipes, and you say to him:

“Danny John Jules told me you give great parties…”

Mmmm.  Not sure I like the dress code. But always bet on black.  What do you want to do next?


Right.  If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would it be?

Golden Eagle. Or a whale.

Where are we going right with our kids at the moment? how can music help?

We are trying to reach them. We have built some great new schools and are trying to inject hope into their lives. Music can be an outlet if we don’t censor them.

When’s the last time you treated yourself?

I cannot tell a lie… Yesterday.

The worst thing about my job is:

The two R’s – reviews and rejections.

What’s that you’re wearing?

I’m in bed so can we move on please?

What message do you want people to take from your work, and why?

A little more open-mindedness and empathy.

Top 5 US cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Flying Lotus, Jnerio Jarel, Charles Mingus, J Dilla, Chick Corea.

Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?

Hero definitely.

Do you think we’ll ever see the Boondocks on UK TV again?

When?! What channel?! Why didn’t you tell me?!

It was on Bravo for a minute.  Can Anakin Skywalker ever be redeemed?

Yeah, but that’s a few lifetimes of karma.

Anything you’d like to say to your old school teachers?

Thanks for believing in me, the ones that did. The rest – you know who you are.

Your favourite Spike Lee film:

Mo Better Blues, without question – ‘I won’t sell it D! I won’t sell it!’ Classic.

What’s going on in your world besides music / art ?

Is there anything else?

Read any good books / seen any good films lately?

Just read Talk of the Town by Jake Polley. Amazing novel, urge people to read it. Animal Kingdom’s the last film I saw, equally powerful.

How do you teach what it is that we do?

Make it fun, about the individual, and lose the arrogance of intellectualism.

3 tunes that changed your life, and why:

‘The Look of Love’ Slum Village,

‘The Show’, Dougie Fresh and Slick Rick,


and ‘Chaka Kahn’ by Chaka.


If you could force–choke someone for 30 seconds, it would be:

Blair. But I might go over.

What’s been the best superhero movie you’ve seen, and why?

Has to be Spidey – the old ones from the 70’s not the remake. Some funny ish…


A saxophone in a superhero soundtrack.  Groundbreaking….

A Book of Blues’, a collection of stories by Courttia Newland, published by Flambard Press available now via and

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Brownswood sets up C.A.M.P….

On 16th April, Brownswood’s resident visual artist, Josephine Ade Chinonye Chime, will customise The City Arts and Music Project ( CAMP ) into a traditional African street fair with her elaborate illustration cut-outs and textile prints in celebration of Record Store Day, and also in tribute to the late, great, drummer Steve Reid.

Steve Reid (January 29, 1944 – April 13, 2010)

Steve Reid was an amazing drummer with a long and illustrious history that stretched from working with Ornette Coleman, James Brown, Miles Davis Berry Gordy, Sun Ra and Fela Kuti through to his own Steve Reid Trio, and more recently working with newcomers such as Kieran Hebden (Four Tet).

Sadly Steve died from throat cancer in the US in April 2010 without money for treatment that could have saved his life.  Gilles Peterson, a close friend of Reid, has been inspired to set up The Steve Reid Foundation, working in conjunction with the Musicians Benevolent Fund, to help and support struggling musicians.

Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings is setting up a special pop up shop in conjunction with Record Store Day. An avid record collector himself, Gilles knows all too well the buzz one gets from digging in the crates. So for one day only, the East London venue C.A.M.P gets a Brownswood makeover. Here, fellow vinyl enthusiasts can browse to their hearts content through rare soul, jazz, groove, funk, and African records from his favourite UK dealers and special live auctions with generously donated finds from celebrity ‘fans’ including Thom Yorke, Erkyah Badu, Four Tet, Zane Lowe, Rob Da Bank, Jaime Cullum and more…
All record sale proceeds will go to the Steve Reid Foundation.
Record Store Day is an internationally celebrated day observed the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose is to celebrate the art of music.
Date: Saturday 16 April 2011
Event Name: Brownswood Pop Up Record Shop
Time: 12PM – 6AM
Cost: Free Entry
With Thanks to Peggy Jean Louis for source material

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Taylormade Radio Episode 2 NOW ONLINE

The more things stay the same, the more jazz changes…The theme of this month’s Taylormade Radio is The “Freedom Jazz Dance”; in the last month we’ve seen everything from the(re)birth of Esperanza Spalding to the death of Smiley Culture, to the replacement of Hosni Mubarak with Muammar Gaddafi in the popular press. We asked Egyptian jazz violinist Samy Bishai and social justice champion Caul Grant to share their views on current news, alongside our customary compliment of grooving griots, swinging scientists and melodic magicians, fresh from the heart and mind of the Unknown Quantity.   So take a moment to relax, listen, and feel the real…

click to listen

On Podomatic:

On Soundcloud:

On Mixcloud:

Episode 2 Track Listings:

1: ART BLAKEY – ‘The Egyptian’
Album: Indestructible (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (MP3)
(The Blue Note Label 2007)

2: COURTNEY PINE – ‘Darwin’s Dream Deferred’
Album: Europa (CD)
(Creative People 2011)

3: CAMERON PIERRE – ‘In Your Own Sweet Way’
Album: Pad Up (Get Ready) (MP3)
(Destin-E Records 2007)

4: OMAR PUENTE – ‘Talking Bata’
Album: From There to Here (MP3)
(Destin-E Records 2009)

5: NOVALIMA – ‘Coba Guarango’
Album: Coba Coba (CD)
(Cumbancha 2009)

Album: East To South (MP3)
(David Jean-Baptiste 2010)

7: BYRON WALLEN – ‘Sailor Of The Sands’
Album: Meeting Ground (MP3)
(Twilight Jaguar 2007)

8: ALEX WILSON – ‘Donkan’
Album: Mali Latino (MP3)
(Alex Wilson Records 2010)

9: BOBBY LYLE – ‘Mother Nile’
Album: Best of Bobby Lyle (CD)
(Blue Note Records 1979)

Album: Make Your Move (MP3)
(Raestar Ventures 2006)

11: POVO – ‘Good & Bad’ / Featuring Ed Thingpen
Album: We Are Povo (MP3)
(Raw Fusion Scandinavia 2005)

12: AKALA – ‘Yours and My Children’
Album: Doublethink (MP3)
(illa State Records 2010)

13: SOWETO KINCH – ‘Raise Your Spirit’
Album: The New Emancipation (MP3)
(Soweto Kinch Recordings 2010)

14: KHETI – ‘Warrior
(Label/Year unknown) (MP3)

15: MELLOW BAKU – ‘We’ve Been Here Before’
Album: Patchwork Prophecies (CD)
(Self Released 2009)

16: SABA TEWELDE – ‘Alemuye’
(Label/Year unknown) (MP3)

17: ROLAND SUTHERLAND – ‘Tribal Warrior’
(Label/Year unknown) (MP3)

18: OLATUJA PROJECT – ‘Soki (A Little While)’
Album: The Promise (MP3)
(World Tune Records 2011)

19: JAZZRELOADED – ‘More Than You’
Album: Get Out! Reloaded (CD)
( (Self Released 2006)

20: ORPHY ROBINSON – ‘Say Please’
(Label/Year unknown) (MP3)

21: ONAJE ALLAN GUMBS – ‘All I Hear’ (Quiet Passion)
Album: Remember Their Innocence (CD)
( 2005)

22: PHAROAH SANDERS – ‘You’ve got to have Freedom’
Album: Anthology (CD)
(Decca/UMO 2005)

Intro contains exerts of speechess, read by Danny Glover and Josh Brolin.

Esperanza Spalding tracks…

1: “Humpty Dumpty ” From the Album “Junjo” Ayva Musica Producciones (2006)

2: “The Peacocks” From the Album “Junjo” Ayva Musica Producciones (2006)

Natasha Atlas tracks…

1: Riverman  From The Album “Mounqaliba” World Village Records (2010)
2: Batkallim From The Album “Mounqaliba” World Village Records (2010)
3: Makaan From The Album “Mounqaliba” World Village Records (2010)

All music and content retains the copyright of the respective artist, unless indicated. Produced @ Merlin Studios, London.

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The death of Culture.

David Emmanuel aka Smiley Culture

David Emmanuel aka Smiley Culture

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission confirmed they were now investigating a “death following police contact” in the case of  Reggae Musician Smiley Culture.

Smiley Culture

David Victor Emmanuel (10 February 1963 – 15 March 2011)

The 47-year-old, born David Victor Emmanuel and raised in south London, rose to fame as a DJ with the Saxon Studio sound system.  He scored two chart hits in the Eighties.

He released his first single Cockney Translation in 1984 but was best known for the Top Twenty hit “Police Officer” which earned him performances on BBC music show Top of the Pops.

Following a succession of miscarriages of justice and deaths in police custody in the AfroPean community Smiley’s Brother Merlin Emmanuel was involved in convening a press conference to remind reporters and the community that Smiley Culture  was “the first to integrate lyrically the British dialect into modern secular music.  Put simply, Smiley was the first modern British rapper celebrating OUR dialect”

[ full transcript below and at ]

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This is not a jam session…


So in this year, the International Year of People of African Descent, and the 10th Anniversary of The Durban Conference against Racism and Xenophobia, and the 30th Anniversary of the New Cross Fire, and in the month of American Black History, David Cameron returns to the (former) home of the National Socialist party to echo the sentiments of its (current) German Chancellor that “Multiculture has failed”.

And unfortunately, as my Parliamentary Award attests, the British Government is quite happy to host and reward significant numbers of AfroPeans in the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion once a year to reward their contributions to popular consumer culture ( Or as the much improved APPJAG reception menu  outlines, our contribution to gastronomic diversity  ), but it has not yet prepared to accept contributions in the political or religious or economic sphere from the AfroPeans it considers its own British citizens.  Not proportional to our contribution to the common wealth over the last 500 years, anyway.
But if multiculture has failed, it’s certainly not for lack of trying on the part of Britain’s African Caribbean citizens. Indeed  we have given up families or freedom, livelihoods or languages, religions or rituals to make it work.
The return on that investment? DNA profiling, gerrymandering and gentrification, Oxbridge exclusion, glass ceilings and job discrimination, collapsed pensions and police brutality, all to the soundtrack of piped classical music at Brixton station ( and a horrendously narrow-minded playlist of that as well…).

As usual we in the jazz community will do our best to make noises, not just in tolerance, but in celebration, of the myriad cultures that have made Britain great.   But a caveat: Jazz, as AfroPean social popular culture is an antigen for the synthetic poisons of racism and intolerance; it is not an antidote.
Muticulture requires the inclusion of ALL stakeholders, proportional to their contribution and ability, into the political, legal, judicial economic and religious framework of our society – not just in popular consumer culture. And if Eton educated millionaire David Cameron doesn’t know these changes, asking Rastamouse to play them is neither a mature nor a timely response.  It’s time to get them both off the bandstand.  This is not a jam session…
The editor’s views are entirely his own, and may not reflect or represent the views of the other contributors to the magazine.  Yet.  Unfortunately.

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Taylormade Radio Returns…

Taylormade Radio Season 2

Again we begin…Celebrating jazz legends in their lifetime;  Taylormade Radio returns for it’s second season.   A monthly selection of  chilled tracks and hot topics by the people for the people called the people of  jazz.  Tune into Taylormade Radio at the following cyberspaces:

On Mixcloud:

On Soundcloud:

On Podomatic:

February’s Taylormade Radio brings you The Unknown Quantity Show.  Plus, interviews with artists Tunde Jegede and Kwadjo Amponsem, and a blessing from The Reverend Valentin Dedji

Unknown Quantity Show Part 1 Setlist:
1: COURTNEY PINE – ‘Toussaint L’ouveure’
Album: Transition in Tradition (En hommage à Sidney Bechet) (CD)
(2009 Creative People Music)
2: LENNOX “BOOGSIE” SHARPE – ‘Can’t You See Me’
Album: Phase II (Vinyl LP) (1979 Sharc Productions)
3: ANDRE TANKER – ‘River Come Down’
Album: Greatest Hits Vol 1 (CD) (2008 Andre Tanker Music Limited)
4: CHRIS JEROME – ‘Confluence’
Album: Long Distance (CD) (2006 Self Released)
5: BATTI MAMZELLE – ‘San Juan’
Album: I See The Light. (Vinyl LP) (1974 Cube Records)
6: ALEX WILSON – ‘Antonio’
Album: Salsa Con Soul (CD) (Alex Wilson Records 2008)
7: GILBERTO GIL – ‘Toda Menina Baiana’
Album: The Beat of Brazil, Vol. 2 (CD) (Warner Music 2004)
8: CECILIA STALIN – ‘Everything Must Change’ (Bernhard Inger)
Album: Straight Up (CD) (Firefly Productions 2005)
9: TIGER – ‘Gold in Africa’
Album: Calypso – Best of Trinidad (MP3) (Caribbean Music Group)
10: MULATU ASTATQE – ‘Yekatit’
Album: The Very Best Of Ethiopiques (CD) (2007 Manteca)
Unknown Quantity Show Part 2 Setlist:
11: FUTURE POSITIVE – ‘The Mission’
Album: Remedies (CD) (2006 Red Hat Label)
12: EMPIRICAL – ‘The Deep’
Album: Empirical (CD) (2007 Destin-E)
13: MATATA – ‘Mayo Mayo’Album: Wild River
(Vinyl LP) (1972 President Records)
Also available on CD: (CD 1994)
14: AZUMAH – ‘Africa Unite’
Album: Long Time Ago ) (CD) (1991 Kaz Records)
15: AZTEC PRODUCTIONS – ‘Organism’
Album: Nocturnal Flavours (CD) (1998 Funky Zen)
Also featured on: Abstractions V/A (CD) (2004 Abstract Blue Recordings)
16: BIG CAKES ft. BLEMISH – ‘Brother in Africa’
(MP3) (2010 Big Cakes)
17: TY ft. D-CROSS – ‘I Get Up’
Album: Special Kind of Fool (CD) (2010 BBE)
18: NABA NAPALM ft. VAL – ‘The Squeeze’
E.P: Willie Pete (CD) (2006 Cardio Pulmonary Records)
Album: Music.Pictures.Words (MP3) (2010 Independent Till Proven Guilty)
20: J-LIFE – ‘Afro Blue’
Album: Tomorrow’s Warriors Presents… J-Life (CD) (1998 Dune Records)
21: STEVE ROCK – The Voyager
(JW Remix) (CDR)
22: SANDBOY feat NANAR– ‘Written in the Leaves’
Album: Wanderlust (CD) (2004 Hinterland)
23: Richie Havens – ‘What About Me’
Album: Resume: Best Of Richie Havens (CD) (1993 Rhino / Wea)

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Jazz changes….David Jean-Baptiste

… a pure penetrating sound rich reverberating eloquence…
The Guardian, John Fordham

Born in London David Jean-Baptiste is a reedman; a talented composer, comfortable in both Jazz and Classical idioms.

David has enjoyed an international career having lived and worked abroad in Paris, Northern Germany, New York City and the Caribbean. Work has been varied from Solo Clarinet Recitals, The Mingus Band in New York City, David Murray, Abdullah Ibrahim and Julian Joseph. Recently David was a guest with Violinist Nigel Kennedy at the Philharmonie in Berlin.
David has led successful projects including a Tribute to Eric Dolphy, recorded by BBC Radio 3, The Righteous Reeds and LPC. Recordings include “East to South” (flamenco fire, finesse, and eastern spice), and “The Nature Suite”, which became a hit with TSF Paris Jazz Radio

Where on the Web can we find out more about you?

You’ve been dealing with some fairly heavy life issues recently. Do you think your latest work represents the cloud, or the silver lining?

The silver lining

Top 5 UK cats you’re listening to at the moment:

David Jean‐Baptiste

Julian Joseph

Steve Williamson

Sarah Watts

Omar Puente

Of all the albums or projects you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite , and why?

Clarinet Therapy, because it was 100% down to me

Clarinet Therapy

David Jean-Baptiste - Clarinet Therapy

The Best Bond is obviously:

Sean Connery

What is a Diva, anyway?

Cleo Laine

I guess you mean DAME Cleo Laine, Lady Dankworth DBE… Well, she’s no muppet.  Who do you think you are, anyway?

Om shanti

Your favourite photo of yourself:.

David Jean-Baptiste

Where are we going wrong with our youth at the moment? How can music help?

Frail family structures, Music instils belief and focus…

What exactly has happened to Wayne Rooney?


Burnout and too much paparazzi interference

You’ve got room for one more in your lifeboat, but no oars. There’s a fatcat record label boss and an illegal downloader, they have an oar each. How do you get home?

You beat up the illegal downloader and steal his oar, then invite the executive onboard.

So you bump into Tiger Woods in an elevator, and you say to him:

Well done mate


If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would it be?


What do you want to do next?

Creole Jazz CD

Where are we going right with our kids at the moment? how can music help?

By showing how to tap into their potential with the necessary effort, music triggers the dream machine.

When’s the last time you treated yourself?

Last month

The worst thing about my job is:

It puts relationships with girlfriends on the rocks


Oh.  Best not to put rocks on the girlfriends, then…. btw what’s that you’re wearing?

A limited edition Arsenal t-shirt

What message do you want people to take from your work, and why?

To be free, relax and know all things are possible…

Top  US cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Wynton Marsalis David Murray Kenny Garrett

Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?

Dont know

Do you think we’ll ever see the Boondocks on UK TV again?

Don’t know

Can Anakin Skywalker ever be redeemed?


Anything you’d like to say to your old school teachers?

Thank you

Your favourite Spike Lee film:

Jungle Fever

Well, no Jungle Fever for Mr Snipes for a while…Unless…Nah.  I won’t go there.  What’s going on in your world besides music / art ?

Business development

Man U or Man C for the title?


Mmm.  That explains a lot.  Read any good books / seen any good films lately?

Quantum Healing, Deepak Chopra

Wow.  Deep.  How do you teach what it is that we do?

By example

3 tunes that changed your life, and why:

1) India – John Coltrane

2) Last Date Eric Dolphy

3) Mozart Clarinet Concerto Gervais de Peyer (Inspirational)

If you could force–choke someone for 30 seconds, it would be:

George Bush

Mmmm.  Perhaps better left to pretzels now.  What’s been the best superhero movie you’ve seen, and why?

Dangermouse (loved the character)

Ah yes, Dangermouse.  So far, He’s done more for his country than Rooney… Thanks for your time, David.

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Jazz changes….Corey Mwamba

“music = science + magic”

Corey Mwamba

Corey Mwamba.   Photo  by Helena Dornellas

Corey Mwamba. Photo by Helena Dornellas

Corey Mwamba creates music using vibraphone, dulcimer, electronics and small instruments. His music contains elements of jazz, folk from different countries, and electronica.

Born in Derby and a former chemist and librarian, Corey is virtually self-taught in music having made the decision to take up vibraphone in his late teens after seeing a picture of Orphy Robinson in a book and taking five lessons with the orchestral percussionist Lewis Dyson.

Corey is primarily known as a highly creative improviser with a wide stylistic range: there have been appearances with Orphy Robinson, Pat Thomas, and Lol Coxhill; Andy Hamilton, Tony Kofi, the Master Drummers of Africa; Evan Parker, the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Robert Mitchell’s Panacea; as well as his own solo performances and with his collective the Symbiosis Ensemble. He has also worked as a percussionist with Derby Concert Orchestra.

Jazzreloaded caught up with Corey in the middle of his “MOVECON 1″ status, and just before his upcoming HERALDS Tour and asked him:

Where on the Web can we find out more about you?

I’ve had a web-site for ten years now, and it doesn’t look like I’m going anywhere!
Top 5 UK cats you’re listening to at the moment:
He is creating MUSIC. And he is showing everybody how to use the tradition in new, interesting and non-slavish ways.
I’ve known him quite a while now, and so have noticed the way he’s taken the scene by storm. Where he is at the moment and where he might go is exciting.
I had the great pleasure of listening to some new work of his in October that was informed by his Moroccan and Jewish heritage – stunning work that all must hear.
-Moholo’s “an open letter to my wife Mpumi”Classic album, made last year.
I’ve also listened to [and enjoyed]  a vast collection of Paul Dunmall and Paul Rogers duos; The Beats And Pieces Big Band;  and John Surman’s stuff with “The Trio”.
I need to hear more from Zem Audu – his tone and logic really impressed me when I heard him a few years back when I was in Robert’s band; but I have not heard enough of his work since, except a nice tune on MySpace. But I would very much like to.
Of all the albums or projects you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite,  and why?
Tough question really, since I like the things I’ve done for different reasons; and although I am one to dwell on things I also like to keep myself busy with creating new things., and working with different people who I like.
I’m not one for working with people because they’re GOOD; I much prefer working with people I can go for a drink with afterwards [even if it’s a coffee!]. It’s just easier.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to know some nice people: Orphy, who has been amazingly supportive [since the time WE last played together Darren! And that’s a long time…]

Yeah.  I know.  Too long.  Anyone else?
Pat Thomas… and in fact, Orphy’s RawXtra gig and the Routes Through Roots project were both high points for me.
Mr Mitchell and Deborah Jordan have always been good mates, both when I was in Panacea and when they did my quintet, Argentum.
Orphy, Pat, Robert, Tony Kofi, Walt Shaw [who is a fantastic improvising sound artist] and Arun Ghosh are the main guys who were giving me work and encouraging me, at a point when things were very difficult in terms of people’s perceptions of “what I did”; and I do owe them a lot with regards to my still working. I think things are a bit better for me now; I get asked when people really want my voice and ideas and I feel valued in my craft and art. So the stuff with Quantic, Ty, and the Heliocentrics were all positive experiences too, no matter how long or short.
I’m doing some lovely work with the poet Lydia Towsey on the goddess Venus.
Jean “Binta” Breeze is directing, and that’s been a real honour to work with open, genuine artists from different disciplines. That’s a lot of the stuff I learned from working with Walt. Walt’s totally open.
For my own work, a lot of the things I have recorded are electro-acoustic, using live looping with vibes, mbira or dulcimer.
But there are two “essays”
I did, Popular Delusions []  and Songs for the New Folk [ ], for which I did a fair bit of reading, thinking and talking about here, the Caribbean and parts of sub-Saharan Africa; and I think the result of the process was a good one, with no need for words.

In terms of live things, everything is different because everyone is different. I am loving the music that I am able to create with Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore; it’s like they are part of my psyche and I feel joyous when listening to them play. I have a really good feeling about the new sextet [Heralds] too, as that has Dave and Josh and Arun,  AND Alex Bonney on trumpet, AND Ntshuks Bonga on sax. They’re all people I like [Josh I know from Derby – we go way back] and trust musically.
Thinking about Josh, I had a network of people here who have always come together do my things. We did a biography in music of Ignatius Sancho – Shabaka and Walt were in that, in fact – and did all sorts of things with DJs, Congolese soukous, dancers and other stuff. It was really varied and hectic, but a while ago now. I miss it sometimes.
The Best Bond is obviously:
Y’see, I quite liked George Lazenby, but he only did it once. Sean is good, of course. But I have more of a soft spot for Roger.
Where are we going wrong with our youth at the moment? How can music help?
Music helps people all the time. It’s the industry around it that’s the problem. I think musicians could help by not buying into the mechanism; by supporting high quality formats so that people could listen to their music properly; and by celebrating intelligent and human voices in life, instead of hero-worshipping, creating false expectations of life and celebrating fame instead of actual achievement with some longevity.
If we’re talking about African and Caribbean communities, then perhaps not treating us as a homogeneous mass with the same thoughts and opinions would be a start.
But I am not an expert… and it is a very involved question that requires a mass of expert opinions. And so I would where we are going wrong is that we are not listening in the right way to the right people – and that the wrong people are talking.
You’ve got room for one more in your lifeboat, but no oars. There’s a fat-cat record label boss and an illegal downloader, they have an oar each. How do you get home?
Downloader. Every time. The downloader’s legal status is a perceptual standpoint; whereas the fat-cat boss has ALWAYS been a crook.
Fat Cat
Anything you’d like to say to your old school teachers?
Red wine, please. Large. Thank you.
Do you think we’ll ever see the Boondocks on UK TV again?
I have no idea – I don’t watch TV! But who cares when you could just READ THEM, as originally intended?
The worst thing about my job is:
Lugging my gear around London. London is the worst place to lug gear around.
So you bump into Tiger Woods in an elevator, and you say to him:
Whoops! Sorry.
[manners cost nothing]
“OMG! This young artist is amazing! They are tearing it up! Everyone needs to listen to him / her NOW!” The artist is:
One modern creative music one: Alexander Hawkins.

Two from outside that:
Renell Shaw – endorsed by Warwick already!
Chantelle Nandi – a fantastic vocalist.

04 Runaway (featuring Chantelle Nendi and Orphy Robinson) by Renellshaw

What message do you want people to take from your work, and why?
I am only really ever saying the same things: “Listen. Dance. Let’s talk.” And I know it sounds a bit trite but really – get me drunk, sober me up. I’ll just say the same thing.
When Daniel Barenboim did the Reith Lectures a few years back – and everyone should listen to them – everyone], he was talking about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in one of them and he said “[…]peace requires dialogue, a dialogue which consists of sensitive talking and often painful listening.” Those lectures stayed with me.
The talking and listening aspects of “jazz” are missing in a quite a few cases – or at least I do not hear it. We listen to filtered sounds as if they are real, facsimiles of things with no real emotion or idea of their origins; and caricatures with no wit, and I have no truck with that.
I want to communicate life, and the narrative of that. Surely that is what we used to do as musicians? I want to be able to listen carefully to life – MY life, not the construct handed to me by others – and communicate it openly and honestly. And I want you to respond!
And sometimes that involves physically moving; and sometimes it requires being still and allowing your mind to do the dancing.
Top 5 US cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Unfortunately, there is only one: HENRY THREADGILL’S ZOOID. But to be honest, Henry Threadgill is quite enough. His music is very satisfying, about life itself. He is talking and listening and dancing…
I checked out vibist Jason Adasiewicz earlier in 2010 – amazing. Literally amazing. And I heard him by accident, which tells you something about the way the media works over THERE. Why aren’t they talking about him?
<hopeless attempt at satire>
I think the Western jazz press has a bit of a piano fetish at the moment. But you wait… we’ll be back to the tenor sax in a few years. Mark my words.  THEN it’s trombone time. And after that… drums. Perhaps bass. THEN they’ll realise their mistake and start giving love to the laptop. And then it’ll be the vibes’ turn. But I’ll be dead by then, and thus instantly famous. Then jazz guitar will come back.
</hopeless attempt at satire>
Yeah.  Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone.  Speaking of which – Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?

Neither. He isn’t the person doing all the work on his own… so he’s really a figurehead, surely – albeit an active one. Although of course that could turn to “martyr” quite quickly. A better question might have been “Julian Assange: bullet or ricin?”.
But that’s not likely to happen. Um.
Time will tell. Speaking of time, and killing,  read any good books / seen any good films lately?
I am currently reading Jackie Kay’s Red Dust Road – she’s one of my favourite authors ever [along with Ben Okri]. Her work always touches me… and Robin D. G. Kelley’s biography of Thelonious Monk, which is an extremely well-written book.
I’m not really a big fan of the visual medium – no TV; I watch old comedies through a monitor hooked up to a PS2 and a video. I DID however watch Black Dynamite, which I found hilarious.

3 tunes that changed your life, and why:
1) Mood Indigo, played by Jessica Williams:
Got me listening to music in the first place. I don’t think I really listened to anything on the radio before that moment when I heard her play. On French radio, mind.
2) You Go To My Head, sung by Billie Holliday:
That’s private.
3) Anti-Love Song – Betty Davis:
And so is that. :)
Who do you think you are, anyway?
Just mouthy Derby person, really. I like wine and real ale [things with flavour, note]. I take very few things seriously and laugh every day.
What’s going on in your world besides music / art ?
Absolutely everything else! And it’s great because there’s more of that than there is music. Living is good. Most of my time is spent on a computer, playing games and mucking about with bits of code: and I do a few hours a week in a bookshop to keep me sane.—-
18th Jan. 6.30pm – Deda, Derby
20th Jan 9pm – The Spin Off, Leeds
25th Jan 8.30pm – The Cluny, Newcastle
And we can find out about those at:

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Jazz changes….HKB FiNN


HKB FiNN is a spoken word artist with a difference. His work explores the connections between cultures and his music combines elements of Jazz, Hip Hop & Reggae into a unique blend. With Poetry and occasional Raps that covers a wide range of topics from Love to Spirituality, he creates incredible soundscapes that examines our collective roots.

Born in Malta, educated in Jamaica and began performing poetry at aged 7, he embraced many aspects of Jamaican culture including it’s rich folk traditions into his art. Arriving in the UK in the early 1980’s, he was at first drawn to the underground Reggae movement and later to Hip Hop.

His first group Katch 22, where one of the leading lights in the early 1990’s European Hip Hop movement with 3 ground breaking albums (Diary of a Blackman Living in the land of the lost, Non-Conformist Rituals and Dark Tales from Two Cities).

Finn is currently preparing for a gig at Tokyo’s Super Deluxe club, a date which is sandwiched between appearances at Ronnie Scotts, Rich Mix and the Effra.  But he took time out top answer some life changing questions, such as:

Where in the WWW can we find out more about you? or or (some people still use myspace…what? Don’t hate, participate..

Can Anakin Skywalker ever be redeemed?

Anakin is like most men. He means well, but it all went pear shaped with the whole: “Get unlimited power – keep unlimited power paradigm” sort of didn’t work out as he hoped. But later when the child he didn’t know about but suspected existed, kind of saved him, he was sort of redeemed? That is despite the fact that his sponsor and general head of the Lion’s Den aka‘The Emperor’ tortured Anakins son with electric shocks while trying to convince him son to join his estranged Dad on the payroll of an evil empire…so…in a nutshell, Anakin is like most men…there’s always hope but not without the drama…and electric shocks..

Top 5 UK cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Ellie Lawson


Deborah Jordan

The Soothsayers

Robert Mitchell

Of all the albums or projects you’ve worked on, what’s your favourite , and why?

My most recent album is possibly my favourite project.  This is because unlike other records I’ve done or been involved in,it was the musicians and the songs (rather than the production) that leads this record.  I’ve never done a project like this before…a kind of Old/New/Retro/Futuristic Acoustic recording I called: Natural Eloquence.

The Best Bond is obviously:

Daniel Craig…because he brings out Bond’s inherent sociopathic tendencies and makes him believable. Daniel Craig will kill for Queen and Country…you better believe it.

What is a Diva, anyway?

A Diva is a queen trapped in a peasant’s life.

Your favourite photo of yourself:

HKB FiNN. Photo by Ikuo Oguma

This picture was taken at a Temple in East London.  It was a terrible winters day and I wanted to stay home, but went out and was pleasantly surprised. I love this picture because it’s a reminder that you never know what good can come out of a bad day.

Where are we going wrong with our youth at the moment? How can music help?

Our youth have access to more technology that any generation before. They have been born in a post racist, post sexist, Post religious society so it’s hard to get them to conform to what WE think is right.  I think music can help us all…if only by teaching us that we’re at our best when working together.

You’ve got room for one more in your lifeboat, but no oars. There’s a fatcat record label boss and an illegal downloader, they have an oar each. How do you get home?

I’d sing them a nice song.  Something like Radiohead song: Just. The chorus goes…”you did it to yourself, and that’s why it really hurts…” sing along with me…lalalalalaaaa. As they nod their heads, I’d slowly paddle away with my hands and pray they’re rescued soon. In short: I’d leave them both behind.

Anything you’d like to say to your old school teachers?

Thank you for believing in me.

Do you think we’ll ever see the Boondocks on UK TV again?

Sure, why not.

Where are we going right with our kids at the moment? how can music help?

I think we can always do more for our young people.  Our kids are our tomorrow…so I hope we’re leaving them more than ‘Canned Pop’ as music…

When’s the last time you’re treated yourself?

Everytime I do a gig or teach a young musician the art of survival, that’s my treat…

The worst thing about my job is:

Flying on EasyJet.


If you could be an animal for a day, what animal would it be?

I’d like to be a house cat…

Sounds like you and Catwoman would get along.  What do you want to do next?

Make a movie about Jazz.

“OMG! This young artist is amazing! They are tearing it up! Everyone needs to listen to him / her NOW!” The artist is:­­

Ayanna Witter-Johnson…

What message do you want people to take from your work, and why?

My message is simple: Love is the beginning of everything.  The reason for this is simple: Love is the beginning of everything and the rest is patience, hard work and grooving.

What’s that you’re wearing?

A wry smile and a careless look of indifference…

Top 5 US cats you’re listening to at the moment:

Robert Glasper

Taalam Acey


Leela James

The Roots

Julian Assange: Hero or Villain?


Your favourite Spike Lee film:

Mo’Betta Blues (the story is the same no matter the genre)

Let’s hope not, for Wesley Snipe’s sake.  Who do you think you are, anyway?

HKB FiNN, Spoken Word Artist, Hip Hop Poet, Jazz Thug…

What’s going on in your world besides music / art ?

…My iPhone…

Man U or Man C for the title?

The real question is will they hire a band for the pre-match warm up or play old songs from a computer? Because if they’re playing old songs…I’m going to have to say Accrington Stanley for the Title…

Read any good books / seen any good films lately?

I’m re-reading ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Echebe…and I loved ‘Scott Pilgrim VS The World’…that’s a good film…

How do you teach what it is that we do?


3 tunes that changed your life, and why:

1) Cold Gettin’ Dumb – Just Ice

2)-Manteca – Dizzy Gillespie

3) So Jah Seh – Bob Marley

The ‘Just Ice’ tune was the first song that made me want to make Hip Hop, Dizzy’s song was the first number that made me realise that Jazz is whatever we want it to be and Bob Marley’s ode inspired so a lot of Poems and lyrics.

If you could force-choke someone for 30 seconds, it would be:

The director of ‘Catwoman’

What’s been the best superhero movie you’ve seen, and why?

Scott Pilgrim Vs The world…its just so cool.

What’s been the worst ( clue: the answer is still “Catwoman” )

Catwoman dude…that movie is awesome…who directed it?

Catwoman, and her director, Pitof

How long do you think it took me to think of these dumbass questions?

I think this took…uh…ages? Maybe hours and hours?  Did you direct Catwoman?

The New album out now: Natural Eloquence – HKB Finn


“Totally refreshing…” Debbie Golt Resonance FM

“Tre Cool. I love Natural Eloquence enormously.” DJ Christophe Nice Radio

“A fantastic blend of sounds” iTunes UK

“An amazing piece of work, a must buy.”

“Fantastic organic soulful music”

“Musique magnifique” Strada Magazine

(Spoken Word, AfroBeat, Nu-Jazz & Reggae)

Spoken word artist HKB FiNN will be performing a series of shows this season. Working with a varied line up from Solo sets to Trio to Quartet or as a special guest, plus his Septet Roots Music band, he promises to bring his fresh sounds and positive outlook to many venues this Winter.

January 14: Hootananny, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, London SW2 1DF (Entry Free)
Band Onstage: 9:45pm
Details: The HKB FiNN Ensemble is a Roots Band Septet that draws its influence from the heart of Nubian Rhythms (Africa to Afro-Cuban beats and Latin Infused Nu-Jazz to Reggae). The result is an uplifting selection of sounds from this uniquely soulful band. Come dancing and shake off the Winter Blues.

January 15: Park Plaza, 200 Westminster Bridge, London SE1 7UT (Entry Free)
Band Onstage: 9:30pm & 10:30pm
Details: The HKB FiNN Ensemble performs once again with their usual flair and varied musical flavours. Tonights extended set will be Themed around Afro-Latin Grooves and Sensual Poetry.

January 22: (Trio Set) The Ritzy, Coldharbour Lane, London SW2 1JG (Entry Free)
Band Onstage: 10pm
Details: The Trio of HKB FiNN (Vocals&Djembe), Lisa Lore (Vocals and Effects Pedals) and Gary Stewart (MPC and Brittle Sonics) plus a host of special guests are set to ignite the Ritzy with some provocative sounds.

February 1: (HKB FiNN guest of Nojazz) Super Deluxe Club, B1F 3.1.25 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031, Japan. (entry 2800 Yen)
Band Onstage: 9pm
Details: Nojazz is an Electro-Jazz band from France. Playing a vibrant mixture of Drum N Bass infused Futuristic beats with Samples, live Drums, Horns and Spoken Word, they’re in Japan for a week of concerts in Tokyo, Sapporo and Hirafu. (February 1-8).

February 26: Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA (Entry £8)
Onstage: 10:30
Details: HKB FiNN returns to his Hip Hop Roots with an edgier set featuring Live Drums, Double Bass, Electric Guitar and Mr FiNN on Vocals.

March 13: (Solo Set) Ronnie Scotts, 47 Frith Street, London W1D 4HT (Entry £7)
Onstage: 8:45pm
Details: His Solo work is strictly Vocals&Drums, touching on story telling, sung verses, and fabulous Poetry whilst simultaneously playing Djembe (West African Hand Drum).

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Maverik Showroom Presents: Pete Williamson – The Chaser Years

THE CHASER YEARS: The Photographic Art Of Pete Williams is the first event in the build up to a major exhibition, in the summer of 2011, that will unleash the Interplanetary: Ancient to Future vision of Straight No Chaser magazine. This show is synchronized with the London International Jazz Festival and is devoted to the photographer’s deeply resonant, powerful and spiritually infused portraits which are grounded in today’s global club culture but stem from a musical diaspora which reflects the profound impact of this thing called “Jazz!”

Pete Williams is an artist. He has produced impressive bodies of work for Far Out records and MELT/B&W but he is internationally renowned for the iconic photographic images he produced for Straight No Chaser magazine. For over two decades he has worked closely with the driving force behind Chaser, editor and publisher, Paul Bradshaw and he took on commissions that mirrored Straight No Chaser’s uncompromising, outernational, cross generational musical vision.

Working predominently in black & white his work is part of a lineage which gave us seminal jazz photographers like Herman Leonard and William Claxton. Back in 1988, after studying photography at the Royal College of Art, Williams met up with the Chaser crew. They had just launched a “designer fanzine” dedicated to hip, wayward genius, Thelonious Monk and committed to what they called “The Freedom Principle”. He is an integral member of Straight No Chaser’ worldwide family and maintains a unique and long-standing working relationship with Paul Bradshaw and art director – Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift. The results of this relationship are manifested in this powerful collection of images which features influential nugeneration dons like DJ Shadow, Reprazent, Sizzla, Soweto Kinch, The Roots, Courtney Pine and Cassandra Wilson alongside spiritual jazz legends like Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders,McCoy Tyner, Yusef Lateef, Steve Reid and Nina Simone. On the global front there are outstanding portraits of Brasilian songbird Flora Purim, Mali’s majestic Oumou Sangare, the late great Maskanda queen Busi Mhlongo and that former Brazilian Minister for Culture – Gilberto Gil.

The Chaser Years is, without doubt, one of the highlights of this year’s London International Jazz Festival and to accompany The Chaser Years we are also presenting LIVE Sessions! On Sunday Nov. 14th Nov. 12 -3PM Chasin’ The Vision: An open discussion with the photographer, Pete Williams & Straight No Chaser’s Paul Bradshaw facilitated by Jason Jules (Garmsville) + Live music: Freestyle & Beyond. On Friday 19th Nov. 6 – 9pm: Live: The Funky End Of Things – An Open Rehearsal. (The MD for the live sessions is Jazz Warrior & Vibes master, Orphy Robinson. He is fresh from a world tour with wayward virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy.)

VENUE: Maverik Showroom




For all press enquiries, image requests & sales please contact

Angelo Carnielo at Maverik Showroom – Tel: 0207 739 6002 / Fax: 0207 739 3686

or Paul Bradshaw & Jason Jules on 0208 800 8982 /

Pete Williams:

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Interview with Pete Edwards

Original Article by Nkechi

In my previous post, on the Population extravaganza I described how I was totally captivated by the event. I decided to catch up with Pianist, Peter Edwards.  I was drawn to do this, as by coincidence a friend had sent me a link for a documentary that Peter has been involved in a month or so before the literature festival began.

Photo by Louise Paolini

Pete Edwards (L) with Lemn Sissay and Gary Crosby. Photo by Louise Paolini

What’s your role in Tomorrow’ Warriors?

I’m the musical director of the Tomorrow’s Warrior’s Jazz Orchestra. I was also  on the Tomorrow’s Warriors artistic development programme from 2005-8 under the mentorship of founder of Tomorrow’s Warriors – Gary Crosby OBE.

I was thoroughly mesmerised by Population at the Southbank. During your introduction at the event you mentioned that Population began as a jamming session, How did you all take that leap from jamming to creating pieces?

Gary had wanted to do a project with Lemn Sissay for some time and in December 2008 they managed to find time in their very busy schedules to discuss a potential project. After pitching the idea of a music and poetry
project, Gary called me in to participate in a series of sessions with himself and Lemn. Lemn brought in some of his poems, Gary brought his bass and I had a piano and a recording device to capture some sketches. It was a very organic process. Lemn would read a poem and I would improvise something that complimented the words. It was a lot of grooves, repeated vamps and I spent time listening back to recordings and tried to refine what we had. I think the leap came when Lemn brought ‘What if?’ (the last part of Population). Lemn liked the sketch that I had put together to accompany his poem. He asked us to play with him the following day in a tv recording that was later broadcast on Channel 4 The project just grew from what we had achieved with What if ? For me that poem was the prototype all the music in population.

How did you arrive at the themes (which include the cosmos and Darwinism) for Population?

We had been given a performance at the Science and Arts festival which was commissioned by The Royal Society. The remit for the project was that the themes should be scientific. I did some research on the history of The Royal Society and I came up topic areas like the cosmos, time, knowledge,  electricity and wrote some sketches for each theme. Lemn sent me themes that he was writing on (Darwinism, seeing near and far etc, the first meeting of the royal society etc) and then when the 3 of us got together again we  matched the appropriate poem to go with the music and developed a rough structure for each piece.

How did Dennis Bovell get involved in the project?

Lemn was very keen to have some sort of intervention from an outside source. Gary suggested that Dennis would be a good person to manipulate sounds created by the band. It turned out to be an inspired choice.

How did you navigate the relationship between the poetry and music in Population?

I tried to make it was simple as possible at first. The sketches of the pieces only had piano and bass so I decided to restrict passages where Lemn was going to read to a rhythm section (piano bass drums) accompaniment.
The ensemble music was written around that so that so there was a dialogue between Lemn and the band. I tried to think of Lemn like a solo instrument and was very conscious not to write to much music underneath his words. It’s very similar to writing band accompaniment for an instrumental solo.

What future plans, if any do you all have of working together?

Population was very well received so fingers crossed we’ll be doing it again in the near future.

There is also a fascinating documentary “The Queens Suite”about your journey of discovery with the work of Duke Ellington, How did this journey begin?

It was another project that Gary Crosby had offered to me while I was doing my masters at Trinity College of Music. I was searching for a good dissertation topic and Gary had given me a CD of the Queen’s Suite. I did a research project on the story behind The Suite and Gary suggested that we put together a jazz orchestra to play the music. Fast forward to September 2008 and the band had its first open rehearsal in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank. After the rehearsal I was approached by documentary film maker Corine Dondhee who was fascinated by the music and the story of how Duke Ellington met and wrote music for Queen Elizabeth II. To find out more about the journey go to

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Empirical’s Nathaniel Facey Wins!

Nathaniel Facey, the incredible alto saxophonist with award-winning jazz sensation, Empirical won this year’s Jazz Medal for Young Musicians, hosted by The Worshipful Company of Musicians. The annual competition was held on 26 September at Albany Cafe-Bar, Deptford, with Facey beating off stiff competition from five other amazing musicians. This year’s competitors included master double bassist and fellow Empirical band member, Tom Farmer; trumpeter, George Hogg; drummer, Daoud Merchant; guitarist, Alex Munk; and stunning pianist, Ross Stanley.

The win comes just a few weeks after Empirical’s nomination for a MOBO Award in this year’s Best Jazz category for their critically-acclaimed album, Out ‘n’ In. Produced by Jason Yarde, and featuring special guest Julian Siegel, Out ‘n’ In was released on Naim Jazz in September 2009 and pays tribute to Eric Dolphy’s musical legacy through nine Dolphy-inspired original compositions and two new arrangements of his work: Hat and Beard and Gazzelloni.  The album featured prominently in Mojo magazine’s top ten jazz albums of 2009, as well as appearing in several other top ten lists – not to mention, garnering rave reviews in the US.

The Jazz Medal for Young Musician Award is presented to an exceptional instrumentalist under the age of 30, who is selected by an elite panel to participate (with up to five other contenders) in a live competition gig.  The competition is very unique in that the chosen musicians must agree their repertoire informally just hours prior to going on stage. The audience – comprising of jazz journalists, jazz educators, and general jazz enthusiasts – then cast their votes.  The winner is selected by majority vote of all the listeners present.

Nathaniel Facey receives prizes of £1,000 in value and will perform at a special victory gig during Spring 2011 at a London venue, with a band of his choice.

Last year’s winner was Empirical’s seasoned drummer, Shaney Forbes – making it clear to see why this young jazz band is destined for even bigger things to come.

press enquiries to: Laura Hamlet


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Album review: Julie Dexter – New Again

Julie Dexter's new album, New Again

Julie Dexter's new album, New Again

One thing that isn’t new about Julie’s latest offering is that she still has wisdom beyond her years.  That’s not something that comes overnight; In light of previous prophesies as far back as her eponymous debut EP “Peace of Mind” and the fact that over 15,000 myspace followers are still tuning in 10 years an 5 releases later, you can safely assume that the US based UK songstress has learned some tricks for survival and reinvention, and on this latest offering, her 3rd Studio album, she shares some of those hard won talents.

Julie Dexter performing live in the US

Julie Dexter performing live in the US

As such, this CD is more like sitting by the feet of the aunty you wished you had at 15, while she dispenses tales of love, life and loss, without being didactic, and without distracting herself from the every duties which make a house a home.  If you drop in and out of this one, you don’t connect to the overall mood, and will miss pearls of wisdom and some good food!  I was asked to suggest a single from the album, which is something that I found difficult, because the whole project blends together in a way that makes it difficult to single a track out.

01 Sunrise by jazzreloaded

But Track 01 Sunrise, is a great introductory track, and has the classic Julie Dexter song ingredients:  Pounding block piano chords, smooth BV’s with a tinge of the Lover’s Rock about them, and a darker harmonic chorus.  This track has Julie singing a delightful falsetto throughout, carrying a message of optimism, reminding the listener that, if you can feel the heat of sunlight, then congratulations are in order, because you’ve survived another day!

06 New Again by jazzreloaded

On Track 06 New Again: The synth dub bass works to good effect on the title track.  This track has more of the spirit of Julie’s earliest ventures with Aztec productions, and there’s a good switch between Quincyesque horn brass arrangements and Julies Dub roots and Lover’s Rock sensibilities.  For me it would be a shoe-in for an A-side single except, in my opinion, an artist of Julies calibre really needs more of a performance from the instrumentalist(s) she really pours her heart out on New Again, And here I’m not convinced that Producer Steve Miggedy Maestro makes the most of it.

08 Broke Up About It by jazzreloaded

Track 8 Broke Up About it would be another example of this – the digital piano can’t match the emotional intensity of Julie’s voice or the angst of her lyrics.  It’s a real shame, because otherwise, this track has classic written over it, and I can sense a remix in the making.   [Just as this review was getting drafted. a killing SoulbyDezyne remix of Choices – the title track from her previous album – began doing its rounds on the social networks. Hopefully this will sneak its way on to a special edition release…new again again, perhaps?]

04 Love 2 Love by jazzreloaded

On Track 04 Love to Love in particular, the drums are excellently mixed and balanced in a style reminiscent of the 70’s Decca label, but the bass lines, intricate and interesting though they are, overshadow the subtle vocal in places, a cardinal sin for a rare groove tune, and a vocal of this calibre.  Relief comes in the form of delightfully soothing layered male and female backing vocals, and some strong ad libbing from Julie which, if you listen to the beyond the breakdown at 4’14” ,makes the tune well worth the wait.

I’m missing the gravitas of tunes like “The Race” which, in the space of 5 minutes and 17 seconds delivered and informative, impassioned politically astute and relentlessly funky message for all mankind.   But Julie has gone more introspective on this offering, specifically writing from a soul sista’s personal point of view.

09 Make You Dance by jazzreloaded

But if you’re not interested in that polemic Track 09  Make You dance  makes a nice contrast from the overall mood of the album – it’s up tempo lively and all about letting your hair down.  Funky do-wop BV’s and a soulful house beat draw Dexter into a genre where she sings new anthems effortlessly and smoothly. So I guess I’m going to go with Track 09 as a B side remix that’s going to make waves next year and I look forward to seeing this one live!  Another tune for Julie to add to her catalog of crowd pleasers.  But that’s another thing that isn’t new for the fantastic transatlantic Julie Dexter – she’s always had the skills to captivate the crowd.

YOULL LIKE THIS ALBUM IF YOU LIKE:  Early Mary J Blige, Omar, Don E, India Arie, Smokey Robinson, Girl Power ( REAL Girl Power…), Guitar Bossa, Dexterity, Conscious, Lover’s Rock, Remixing classic tunes, People jumping across the pond and landing on their feet.

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Jazz Changes…Theo Davis

Date: 30/09/10

I’m an entrepreneur.  My business services are focused on entertainment and the music industry.  I wish to develop a career as an audio recorder & sound engineer. Thanks to HTCIC I have gained knowledge and an understanding of the industry I am about to step foot in. Working on the jazz reloaded  project has helped me gain knowledge within my field and also, gave me opportunities to make great connections that will prove useful when necessary.

During my time at work, I was able to complete short courses with them that furthered my qualifications. I wasn’t a great fan of jazz music, although I knew of one or two jazz names like Courtney Pine and Blake Aaron. But as a music lover, I quickly embraced it and became to realise that a lot of the popular media is influenced by this genre. From the placement with jazz reloaded my knowledge of the industry expanded. For example realising you need to be able to market & advertise your services the best way possible to gain clients, as this would more than likely make you and your business more become successful in the music industry.

I have worked in a great team with Taylor, Danielle, Elliot, Margret and Patrick, who all together have helped broaden my knowledge on an area that I would need in my career to take it to the next level.

For this opportunity, I would like to give a big thank you to Keith Gilles at Collage Arts . I am very thankful for your time and effort you and your team have put in to helping to teach me new skills and abilities for my career and work.

BY Theo Davis

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The London City Reggae Choir

When: Mondays 7-9PM
Where: The Brixton  Recreation Centre, Social Room 1, 5th Floor 27 Brixton Station Road, London SW9 8QQ.

Join our community! Celebrate Jamaica’s contribution to London’s culture as part of the London City Reggae Choir.

Many of us have grown up enjoying jamaican music and realise the privilege it is to know and love this music. Bring your own experience of this music and meet like minded people. Your experience of singing can be extensive or limited. Your background, origin, age and community is immaterial . Jamaican music has been developing for nearly half a century. Be part of London‘s foremost Jamaican music choir.

The London City Reggae Choir:

– A platform for beginning and experienced singers to train and work towards paid performances.

– A supportive and professionally led learning environment for all who love Jamaican music

– Sing, create and adapting classics in new ways, just like the pioneers of Jamaican music.

– An exploration of the Jamaican musical heritage and its influences including  Africa, Jamaican folk, work, church and ceremonial songs, Mento,
Merengue, Calypso, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Latin, Country, Carnival.

– An urban community of singers, conductors, arrangers and songwriters to develop a shared musical expression.

– Opportunities for volunteers in PR, promotion, events organisation, dance, fundraising.


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Jazz Changes…Elliot Mason

My career ambitions are to progress in the entertainment industry in the career of a ‘sound engineer’ preferably working for an organisation like the BBC or ITV. HTCIC helped me gain a further step into this career as they introduced me to jazzreloaded which helped me learn a lot more about the music industry, and make connections which will prove useful in the future.  HTCIC also helped me by allowing me to complete short courses which furthered my skillset.

Before the placement, I did not know much about jazz as it wasn’t my preferred genre in music; I only knew a few big names such as ‘Louis Armstrong’ and ‘Miles Davis’. From the placement with jazzreloaded my knowledge of the genre and industry expanded a lot with things such as knowing a lot more artists, realizing also that there were many young talented artists in the jazz industry which I would never have expected; when you first think the word jazz you automatically think of the old school legends!  I also learnt the importance of advertising and marketing in the music industry;  I’ve learned that, unless you’re advertised and marketed correctly, you’re unlikely to be successful in the music industry.

I enjoyed the work because it expanded my knowledge on a sector that I would like to take my career through and also because I worked with a great team such as Taylor, Patrick, Theo and Margret.

I would like to say a big thank you to Keith Gilles of Collage Arts for allowing me to take up this opportunity, I am very grateful for your kindness and I hope to stay in touch as I believe you should always keep in touch with the people who helped you get over that first hurdle.

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We can be more…

A year after winning the Parliamentary Award for Jazz Publication of the year.  I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that jazzreloaded is the best there is. Or at least was the best there was. Because the jazz sensibility is to focus upon being the best that WE can be – A small but significant difference.  And we can always be more; A jazz musician knows that his next solo is the only one that counts. That drive to continue to push boundaries, ask questions, and reinvent self is what has kept me interested in jazz for the last decade. remains the only 100% digital publication to have achieved this, but I’m hoping that this will change. deserved award for Best International Blog 2010 shows the blogosphere is serious business. I am glad to see the likes of The Jazz Breakfast and Seb Scotney’s London Jazz contending for digital publication awards, and I think it won’t be long before they receive their due acclaim. I believe that the service we provide as digital scribes is both a necessary alternative and a healthy compliment  to hard copy magazines, such as Jazzwise and Jazz UK.  there will always be stories they can’t get to in time, and there will always be stories we can’t cover in great depth.  Of course digital proliferation has diluted readership of hard copy, but then, so did the Gutenberg press… 😉

So, above and beyond getting the customary pat on the back, or patronising pat on the head ( or pat on the cheek, which is what I actually got on the day! ) I wanted to do more than join the polemic on how, by learning how to read and write and turn up at Westminster with a suit and a smile I was automatically a “model black yoof” and not one that Cherie Blair would have to lock her kids away from…  

In fact when I first (last) entered the Terrace Pavillion at the House of Commons I met eyes with Cleveland Watkiss, and  – in a way I do not yet fully understand –  instantly reminded that the aim in establishing the magazine has always been to effect people’s minds, their thoughts, their way of life, and represent AfroPean improvised Music in all its manifestations. And to (constantly!) steer common opinion of AfroPean music culture towards a more accurate representation of itself;  this sometimes means taking a hard(er) line; It’s more Joe Harriott than Ainsley Harriot, less X Factor and more Malcolm X.

I remember how exciting it was for me at the turn of the millennium, when I started to get into computers ( and computers started to get interesting, and useful – I can still remember the ooooooohs! at the first wireless printer in the office) , and I wanted to instill that sense of excitement and optimism in young people, and combine it with my own culture and background.

But inspiration is nothing without information; Motivation is nothing without empowerment.  With the help of Collage Arts, and HTCIC, I’ve been able to do exactly that over the last six months. I’ve been able to add value to people in my local community by empowering them as well as inspiring.   As well as being inspired by the music, and the lifestyle, the vibrations of modern day jazz history,   the trainees now have the tools ( free laptop and training courses, and some words of advice and experience from yours truly) to help develop themselves into powerful competitors in an ever more competitive marketplace.

I’d like to thank  Patrick, Theo, Elliott, Margaret, Talisa, and Pedro for making the last six months a truly enlightening experience, and one which will definitely have a positive impact on the direction of the jazzreloaded project.  Thanks also to Keith Gilles, Natalie Dee, Janet Miller, Ray Ankarah , and Ohaji Kamara for their various and innumerable contributions.

It’s been great fun having employees.  It’s given me a lot of food for thought.  I’m plan to do it again.  But I’ve got a lot of preparation to do before hand…

And so this is me signing off for now.  The Jazzreloaded project will be under reconstruction for the next year or so, while I work out how to have it empower more AfroPeans, as well as inspire the wider public.    But rest assured I will continuing working in the background, and new faces will crop up to take the mantle.  Many thanks to all regular, new, and occasional readers for your continued support, which I will be drawing on in months to come I’m sure.  And keep it alive online – Jazz changes.  Or as Sun Ra might have said, Cyberspace is the place.

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African Heritage Month: Taking “Black” back

So, after The Mayor’s Office decided to cut funding for the multicultural festival Rise, this Black History month has seen the GLA  deliver its masterstroke; an 80% reduction in its funding for “Black History Month”. Helene, Mulholland, wrote in the Guardian that a ‘spokesman’ for the Mayor has insisted that the GLA “is not and cannot be a cash cow, nor a financial lifeline”.

Now, I do happen to agree that “Events must have local and community support” .  But, when the GLA takes the position that “The GLA does not own Black History Month” it shows that whoever in the GLA made this statement is ignorant the history of the GLA.

“Black History Month” in its current manifestation in London is entirely a construct on the GLA, which, for me, accounts for the lower level of engagement from the AfroPeans – Descendants of African extraction , existing in Europe or its constructs – which the GLA presumes to be intrinsically linked to the concept of a Black History Month.  As presented by the GLA,  “Black History Month” becomes an opportunity to project and reinforce a false history produced managed, manufactured and directed by organisations like the GLA.

Meanwhile, in the same period the London Development Agency, the Mayor’s economic arm, allocated £75,000 to USA Day and topped this up with a further £25,000 from the GLA purse making a total of £100,000 ( which, by my calculations is equal to the amount allocated to St Georges Day in the same period, but less than the £110,000 or more cut from the Black Jewish and Irish memorial budgets ).

Which brings us back to “Black History Month”, and behoves the questions:  How exactly do you celebrate the history of Great Britain and the United States of America without recognising “Blacks” at the root of their commercial history?   How did Great Britain secure maintain and defend its Greatness?  What was it that was United in the States of America?  How do you answer these questions without recognising the role that Africans in Diaspora  had/have in building the “Developed Nations”?  And how can you recognise Africans  / AfroPeans without recognising their culture, their philosophy, their art, their politics?

The truth does not stop being the truth just because you stop looking at it.  Jazz enthusiast Toyin Agbetu, writing for offers his views on what we’re missing:

“I’m envisioning an event exploring the history and works of Nina Simone, John Coltrane, James Brown, Bill Withers, Max Roach, Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Amiri Baraka, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Gil Scott-Heron, Pharoah Sanders…  How deep would that be?  It’s making me remember all the history deliberately moved by funders of ‘black’ history into the peripheral position of ‘entertainment’ when instead those above and more who are responsible for articulating our consciousness through the art of music often provided the soul for our liberation movements”.

Clive Powell,  Co Founder of took a moment to articulate the contribution of British citizen /subject Joe Harriot, in his analysis of “Influences of Black British Jazz on Modern British Jazz Identity and Music”. Clive writes:

“Harriott, who arrived in Britain from the former British Caribbean colony of Jamaica, in 1951, aged twenty-three. Joe Harriot soon stamped his authority and unique sound upon the British jazz scene becoming instantly recognised as a major new talent. After a successful career in London in the late 1950’s with various bands, he formed his quintet in 1958 and in 1960 released what is now considered to be his most ground-breaking album, the eponymously named, ‘Free Form’. ‘Free-Form’, was recorded in November 1960, a month before US sax player, Ornette Coleman’s historic and groundbreaking ‘Free Jazz’. According to Lock (2005) the significance of the ‘Free Jazz’ album, is that it, “marked a turning point in jazz history and gave its name to a movement that later spread around the globe” (p. 70)…. Despite this, Harriot’s ‘Free Form’ is now considered as equally pioneering and as seminal as Coleman’s ‘Free Jazz’…. In November of the preceding year[1963], Harriot and his quintet received an achievement unequalled by any other British group, by being awarded a five-star rating by ‘Down Beat’ magazine.”

I’m reminded of the quote “The truth is like lightning, with its errand done long before you hear the thunder” In this case the truth is that African Heritage Month  continues to go from strength to strength, as more AfroPeans become stakeholders in the reinterpretation and reconciliation their history.

Case in point:  Sunday 3rd October 2010 was the landmark launch of UpRise Anti-Racism Festival – “Born out of the ashes of the former Rise festival [Cancelled by Boris’ office ], UpRise is a testimony of people power! Put together by a collective of individuals and organisations that believed passionately that the message of anti-racism still needs a voice”.

So as the sparks of the bonfire of the quangos fly ever upward, and  where GLA staff so clearly fail to engage the AfroPean ( or Irish, or Jewish ) community in celebration of their identity, perhaps Boris might consider cutting wages -or positions – of staff who are paid to engage and galvanise local communities but fail to do so, and reallocating this money to organisations and individuals who can actually do the job of putting the AfroPean experience in its proper context for 31 days out of 365. The GLA cannot be a cash cow or a financial lifeline for people who lack the courage to make the history of British AfroPeans their personal responsibility.

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Move on Up…

Move on Up TV and Film – deadline 18 October

Andy Akinwolere, Blue Peter presenter, features on the promotional flyer for Move On Up TV and Film 2010

Andy Akinwolere, Blue Peter presenter, used the opportunities provided by Move on Up to pursue his career in television.

Only hours to go before the deadline – Monday 18 October – for applications to December’s Move on Up TV and Film.

Applications can be submitted by post or online. The event is free to attend and is open to all BME professionals.

Download the flyer for full programme details and use the form attached to apply by post; alternatively use this form and return by email.

The event, organised by BECTU with BBC backing and support from across the industry, offers BME professionals the opportunity to meet with more than 100 executives working in TV and film.

The TUC will host the day on Monday 13 December at Congress House in London.

Applicants apply for 1-to-1s with their chosen professionals and use the opportunity to seek career advice, to pitch an idea or to learn more about a given organisation.

“Lack of access is the single biggest problem for BME professionals; Move on Up provides opportunities to network which are unmatched elsewhere,” said Janice Turner, BECTU’s project manager.

The BBC’s team, led by head of vision, Pat Younge, is more than 60 strong. Senior personnel from ITV, Channel 4, BSkyB, Endemol, RDF, Shine, Million Media, Outline Productions, UK Film Council, Film London and Skillset will join their BBC counterparts to provide the best line-up ever.

Speaking last month, Pat Younge said:

“With more than 60 BBC senior programme makers and commissioners taking part, Move on Up is a key event in our calendar for networking and talent spotting. We are absolutely committed to improving the diversity of our workforce across all areas of the business and are pleased to support BECTU with this scheme.

“I’m looking forward to meeting some of the next generation of TV talent who may not otherwise have found the BBC accessible.”

As well as 1-to-1s, the programme includes a full workshop programme. More details here.

Event venue: TUC Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road Street Map

Query? Contact Teresa Debrou or call 020 7346 0900.

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