Middle Eastern Roots of Afro Latin Jazz is a musical exploration of the Arabic and North African roots of Afro Latin Jazz and Afro Cuban music. The project is led by pianist, composer and band leader Arturo O'Farrill (founder and Artistic Director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance) in collaboration with French Moroccan vocalist and composer, Malika Zarra and will trace the Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean roots of what has come to be known as "jazz".
The project, Antichamber Music, will employ the creative process of improvisation to musically reinterpret Chamber Music, collection of poems by the influential Irish poet and writer, James Joyce. Antichamber Music is a collaboration between French-vocalist, Claudia Solal and American musician, Katherine Young who pairs her classical mastery of the bassoon with the use of electronics to manipulate and magnify the unique sound of the instrument.
US-based jazz trumpeter Etienne Charles and French cellist, Vincent Segal will bring together an eclectic group of musicians for this unique project to tell the story of the migrations between the Caribbean and South America and the resulting musical influences.
This project, In Between #2, is a collaboration between French harpist, Isabelle Olivier and Rez Abbasi, an award-winning American guitarist and composer originally born in Pakistan. The paring of harp and guitar will provide unique compositional and improvisational opportunities in melody, harmony, rhythm, and sound.
French saxophonist and clarinetist, Sylvain Rifflet and New York-based saxophonist, Jon Irabagon will continue their collaboration through a new project inspired by France and the United States' shared value for civil rights and activism. Based on this common foundation, Rebellion(s) will explore the everlasting link between music and politics. Rifflet and Irabagon will research and examine songs within their musical cultures that have inspired revolution or have been written during or about protests.
Laika Fatien Thomas
French vocalist, Laika Fatien Thomas seeks to explore the theme of "resilience" through an experimental songwriting and performance process with American drummer, Brian Blade and ensemble members Christopher Thomas and Geoffrey More. The project will take a creative approach and incorporate unqiue combinations of instrumentation, and song structures not normally found within jazz.
2016 / 2017
Trumpet-player Antoine Berjeaut will work with "beat scientist" Makaya McCraven and three other musicians from Paris and Chicago to bridge the modern jazz, post-rock, and hip hop scenes. They will compose, collectively improvise, perform, and record live and in the studio in both cities. The material developed from this unique collaboration will then be used as a resource to be decontextualized and remixed into a creative mashup, or sonic collage, using modern post production techniques. The final product will be tracks that stand alone as complete works but that also lend themselves to further collaborations for poetry, rap, and additional remixes.
French trio FOX will work with saxophonist Chris Cheek to develop a musical investigation about French roots in Louisiana and mixing African-American grooves and rhythms with French influences. The instrumentation features accordion and banjo along with guitar, bass, drum and saxophone.
Saxophonist Gaël Horellou and drummer Ari Hoening make up the duo Nasty Factorz, a group with little name recognition in France.This FAJE project will allow the duo to work in residency in Paris while composing and releasing a new album on the DTC Records label. The duo will also perform several concerts in France.
This project will result in a repertoire of music composed by pianist Karim Maurice and harmonicist William Galison. The work will include music for a chromatic harmonica accompanied by a jazz quartet and a classical string orchestra with harp. A jazz quartet and 17 string instruments will be highlighted by the nostalgic rushes of the melody played by harmonica, one of the most traditional instruments in the United States.
Bassist Keith Witty and saxophonist Christophe Panzani are undertaking a continuation of prior musical endeavors with the ensemble THIEFS, incorporating two new musicians and three vocalists. The body of work, entitled Up-Rooted/Re-Rooted, explores the migratory element of the human experience in both a broad, abstract sense and in a way that is quite literal, pertaining to the immigrant struggle and notions of belonging.
Trumpeter Yohan Giaume and clarinetist Evan Christopher will collaborate on a recording inspired by the musical universe of Louis Moreau Gottschalk. Gottschalk played a key role in the development of American music and significantly influenced the art music of his day by integrating ethnic elements especially African-American and Caribbean traditions. Building upon Gottschalk's interest in subjects of death, love, and the celebration of life, the work will utilize many of the same imprints that inspired Gottschalk such as Afro-Creole folk melodies, syncopated rhythms from the Americas and Caribbean, folk songs from New Orleans & France, works by Chopin & Berlioz and even poetry.
2015 / 2016
French-Tunisian saxophonist Yacine Boulares and French cellist Vincent Segal will compose and record original music, for their new trio with American drummer Nasheet Waits, re-appropriating the forgotten Stambeli repertoire. Stambeli is a healing trance music created by the descendants of Sub-Saharan slaves brought to Tunisia. Boulares and Segal's original compositions will form a series of variations on the legend of the hunter Abu Sadiya. In his wandering search for his enslaved daughter, Abu Sadiya danced and sang his sorrow in the streets of Tunis thus becoming the first musician of Stambeli and personifying the memory of Sub-Saharan slaves in Tunisia.
Pianist Aaron Goldberg and percussionist Leon Parker expand the sonic, communicative, and expressive possibilities of the piano trio setting, emphasizing a primary role for Body Percussion and Body Rhythm techniques-both in place of and in addition to the traditional drum set. With bassist Joe Sanders and special guest Jacques Schwartz-Bart, Goldberg and Parker will take their new trio approach into the recording studio and on tours of the US and Europe.
Trombonist Ryan Keberle and pianist Frank Woeste create a musical homage to the seminal French composer Maurice Ravel, whose music has had an important influence on the history of jazz. Inspired by the techniques employed in Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin-itself an homage to the tradition of the French Baroque keyboard suite-Keberle and Woeste's exploration, accompanied by cellist Vincent Courtois and drummer Jeff Ballard, will result in the composition, performance, and recording of original jazz works.
The collaboration between David Krakauer and the Anakronic Electro Orkestra aims to further the development of contemporary jazz by bringing together unexpected musical influences and genres into an accessible improvisational context. Krakauer's jazz and Klezmer roots collide with the electronic and groove worlds of the AEO creating a musical 'laboratory' involving deep research into timbre, sound, and energy. Recording sessions, a new album, and extensive touring are planned.
"Dialogue of Languages" explores the common territories between jazz, classical, and contemporary musics. The simultaneous development of jazz in the US and 'classical' music in France and Europe in the first decades of the 20th century inspires French guitarist Samuel Strouk and American clarinetist Mariam Adam to create a suite of miniatures for a sextet setting. Their compositional concept co-habits the modal, tonal, and atonal musical languages and rhythmic conceptions inherited from the interactions of these art forms.
French pianist Frank Woeste will collaborate with American trumpeter Dave Douglas to create a new repertoire for a jazz quartet comprised of trumpet, bass, piano, and drums based on the work of Man Ray, the influential American modern artist who was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements of the 20th Century. Influenced by Ray's works known as "readymades," which were pieces created out of ordinary, everyday objects, the project, entitled, "The Art of Reinvention," will include time for composition and rehearsals followed by a recording session in New York.
American composer and flutist Nicole Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble (violinist Renee Baker, saxophonist David Boykin, and pianist Aruan Ortiz) will collaborate with the French clarinetist Sylvain Kassap and his contemporary chamber L'ensemble Laborintus (harpist Helene Breschand, flutist Franck Masquelier, cellist Anaïs Moreau, percussionist César Carcopino) to produce a suite of vignettes, entitled "Moments of Fatherhood," inspired by portrayals of French and American male parenting. The collaboration will include research and composition, a performance at the prestigious Sons d'hiver Festival in France, and a lecture and workshop at Columbia University's Paris campus.
"Dreaming Zenzile: A Sonic Continuum of Miriam Makeba" is a collaboration between American vocalist Somi and French guitarist Hervé Samb. The pair will work on new compositions based on and inspired by the late South African musical icon Miriam Makeba. The music created through the collaboration will be used as part of a larger multi-disciplinary performance piece of the same title. The pair will be joined by Otis Brown III on drums, Toru Dodo on piano, Michael Olatuja on bass and the legendary Hugh Masakela on trumpet. Masakela, who was formerly married to Makeba, will also serve as a special advisor to the project.
American saxophonist Steve Lehman and French soprano saxophone player Maciek Lasserre will create a new set of compositions investigating the relationship between modern jazz, experimental hip-hop, and live electronics. The collaboration will also include hip-hop vocalists HPrism and Gaston Baye Sen from New York and Paris, respectively. The project will include a recording and tours in France and the United States. For the American tour, the four artists will be joined by pianist Craig Tabor, bassist Drew Gress and drummer Damon Reid. For the French tour, they will be joined by flutist Magic Malik, percussionist Stephane Edouard and drummer Maxime Zampieri.
Cuban-American saxophonist Yosvany Terry will work with French pianist Baptiste Trotignon to create a new body of material inspired by the rich and diverse musical traditions that developed out of the African Diaspora in the United States and former French colonies in the Americas. The project includes individual and collaborative composition, rehearsals, performances in Paris and northeast United States, and a workshop at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.
The recently created band, JASS refers to an early spelling of the word “jazz” and combines the first letter of each musician’s first name.
The quartet features American drummer John Hollenbeck, French saxophonist Alban Darche, French double bassist Sébastien Boisseau, and Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser.
A new body of work incorporating polyrhythmic textures and processes borrowed from groove and minimalist music and composed equally by Alban Darche and John Hollenbeck, will be produced by JASS.
"City of Poets: A Musical Homage to Dan Simmons utilizing the concepts of Messiaen's Modes"
Dan Simmon’s novel “Hyperion” tells the story of a civilization struggling to coexist with the highly evolved and intelligent machines it has created and details the quest of 7 pilgrims as they journey to Hyperion.
The project will transfer Simmon’s emotional science fiction stories into original and improvisational music based on the famed "7 modes of limited transportation" of Oliver Messiaen.
The ensemble will include Cedric Hanriot (piano, laptop, composition), Jason Palmer (trumpet, composition), Jonathan Pinson (drums), Jeff Miles (guitar), and Michael Janisch (double bass).
African-American saxophonist-composer, Darius Jones, and French vocalist-composer, Emilie Lesbros, will be collaborating on new vocal works in homage to the French avant-garde vocalist Brigitte Fontaine whose eclectic musical taste and cross-cultural collaborations served as their inspiration. The group includes German-French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper, American drummer Ches Smith and pianist Matt Mitchell. The group will create musical works driven by French lyrics and poetry dealing with the relationship between African-American and French cultures.
Jozef Dumoulin: Fender Rhodes & composition, Ellery Eskelin: saxophone, Dan Weiss: drums
Jozef Dumoulin will create new repertoire for this trio and expand his work of the past few years: open compositional forms combining written material, established parameters and improvisation. The specific background of Ellery Eskelin and Dan Weiss will be integrated in the new work, which will move on from traditional jazz into more innovative territory.
Laurent Coq, exploring the early life and achievements of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, will create a suite of music with tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III.
La Fayette, celebrated as a hero in both the United States and France by the time he was 25, played a crucial role in the history of both countries and became the natural subject of collaboration between these French and American artists.
The quartet will feature Laurent Coq (piano), Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone), Damion Reid (drums), and Joe Sanders (acoustic bass).
Saxophonist and clarinetist Sylvain Rifflet and his French ensemble members Joce Menniel (flute, electronics), Phil Gordiani (guitar), and Benjamin Flament (percussion, electronics) will work with American saxophonist Jon Irabagon on a project that celebrates the work of the eccentric, yet influential, American blind composer and street performer Moondog (Louis Hardin 1916-1999). The project will include the composing of new music, a premier of the work at the prestigious Banlieues Bleues Festival outside of Paris, and the recording of a studio album.
Iraqi-American trumpeter, dulcimer player and vocalist Amir ElSaffar and his New York-based colleagues Emmanuel During (violin, guitar, lute) and Mavrothi Kontanis (uod) will collaborate with Sylvain Barou (wooden flute) of Brittany and the Paris-based French-Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani to compose new works that combine elements of jazz, Middle Eastern music and Celtic folk tunes. The project will include a five-day residency in New York, a three-day Paris residency, recorded live performances in both cities, and a studio recording.
American saxophonist Jeremy Udden and French bassist Nicolas Moreaux will collaboratively compose new jazz pieces influenced by the folk traditions of their respective countries. The composers will be joined by Americans Robert Stillmann (saxophone and Fender Rhodes) and R.J. Miller (drums) as well as the French banjo and guitar player Pierre Perchaud. The new work will be rehearsed and recorded in Paris and performed at venues in New York City and Boston. The composers and full band will also conduct a number of workshops for secondary school students during their tour of the northeastern United States
The East West Collective is a collaboration of Americans Larry Ochs (saxophone) and Miya Masaoka (Japanese koto), Frenchmen Didier Petit (cello, voice) and Sylvain Kassap (clarinet), and the Chinese guzheng player and vocalist Xu Fengxia that combines the compositional structure and sounds of free jazz with traditional Eastern music forms. The project will support three concert engagements at prestigious venues in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle; and five engagements at important jazz festivals around France in Brest, Nantes, Paris, Strasbourg, and Tours. The ensemble is also planning a studio recording session while in France.
The cultural threads that connect France with New Orleans and New York will be explored by the French American Peace Ensemble, which is comprised of Americans William Parker (bass), Hamid Drake (drums), and Kidd Jordon (saxophone); and French musicians François Tusques (piano) and Louis Sclavis (bass clarinet, saxophone). Parker will compose a new musical suite for the ensemble which will be performed at venues in New Orleans, New York and Seattle. The performance at the Vision Festival in New York will be filmed and recorded. Discussions are underway for performances at the Sons d’Hiver and Banlieues Bleues festivals in France as well as for a studio recording.
2011 / 2012
Drummer Nasheet Waits working with his Tarbaby quartet band mates (pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Eric Revis, and saxophonist Oliver Lake) will collaborate with the French jazz guitarist Marc Ducret on a musical homage to the French philosopher and psychologist Frantz Fanon. The project will take place in France and the United States and include the creation, rehearsal and professional recording of new work influenced by the writings of Fanon on decolonization and the struggle for liberation. The collaboration will perform the work in New York and Paris as well as conduct a workshop at the Girard Academic Music Program in Philadelphia.
Double bassist John Hérbert will work with percussionist Gerald Cleaver and French pianist and keyboardist Benoit Delbecq to create, record and perform a three-movement jazz suite based on his experiences as a Cajun raised in southern Louisiana. The project will include time in Paris (rehearsal and performances), New York (performances and recording), and New Orleans (performances, television and radio appearances, and a workshop at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts).
Bassist Keith Witty and Guillermo Brown on drums, electronics and vocals will collaborate with French saxophonist Christophe Panzani to further develop their jazz trio Thiefs through rehearsal, the production of a studio recording, hiring a publicist, and touring engagements in France and the United States to promote the release of their CD. In addition to their performances, the artists will conduct master classes at conservatories in both countries.
Vocalist Somi working with her American colleagues guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Michael Olatuja, drummer Obed Calvaire, and pianist Toru Dodo will partner with French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf on a project investigating the role of women and girls in the recent protests sweeping across the Arab world. Activities will take place in France and the United States, including composing, recording, post-production, and performances in Paris, New York and other French and American cities.
Brooklyn-based alto saxophonist Tim Berne and collaborator Marc Ducret (electric, acoustic, fretless, and steel guitars and oud; Paris) will compose music to be performed and recorded in the United States by Ducret and Berne’s ensemble, Los Totopos (Berne, saxophone; Matt Mitchell, piano; Oscar Noriega, woodwinds; Chess Smith, percussion).
Denis Colin, bass clarinetist of Montreuil, France, and U.S. saxophonist Tony Malaby will create new material that they will tour and record this February in France with Colin’s octet, La Société des Arpenteurs. Project cancelled
Pianists Benoît Delbecq, of Clichy La Garenne, France, and Fred Hersch, of New York, will partner as composers on a double-bass trio project. Then Delbecq and drummer/producer Steve Argüelles will apply digital processing devices and real-time sound treatment to allow the ensemble to become a “virtual sextet,” mirroring and absorbing its own sound. The project will take place in May, with concerts at Europa Jazz Festival in Le Mans and La Dynamo de Banlieues Bleues in Pantin, plus educational activity and a recording session.
Two trumpeters—Dave Douglas of Croton-on-Hudson, NY, and France’s Ibrahim Maalouf, will compose music for an octet including both French and American musicians. The Douglas-Maalouf Project will perform in the 2011 Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York and in outreach activities for multicultural elementary schools in the city.
Brooklyn guitarist David Gilmore and Paris-based pianist Andy Elmer share a common fascination with the cyclical structures observable in nature. The duo will collaboratively compose a ten-part work via Internet that reflects on the astrological chart of each of the four ensemble members. The project ensemble also features François Moutin, bass, and Marque Gilmore, drums and percussion. The work premieres in June at Club Triton in Paris and will be followed by a recording session; the musicians then bring the work to The Jazz Gallery in New York.
Todd Neufeld / Thomas Morgan / Marcus Gilmore
French saxophonist Alexandra Grimal invites New York musicians Todd Neufeld (guitar), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Marcus Gilmore (drums) to perform a new work characterized by complex harmony and polyrhythms, structured improvisations, and open forms. The project includes a U.S./French tour that begins at Miles Café on March 17, 2011, in New York, followed by masterclasses next January in France; a recording session at Avatar Studio in New York; and mixing and mastering at La Buissonée in Pernes-les-Fontaines, France.
In a residency in Paris in the fall, drummer Christophe Marguet will team with upstate New York bassist Steve Swallow to co-compose a work for a sextet in which they will be joined by French artists Régis Huby, violin, and Benjamin Moussay, piano, and saxophonist Chris Cheek and trumpeter Cuong Vu, of the U.S. The group plans to tour to New York, Miami, Minneapolis and Los Angeles in the U.S. and to Paris, Coutances, Boissey le Cuté, Argenteuil, and other locales in France.
Paris-based drummer Edward Perraud will collaborate with compatriot Didier Petit (cello) and New Yorkers Andrea Parkins (accordion/electronics) and Hans Tammen (guitar/electronics) to create a work with both compositional and improvisational structures. Each artist will produce at least one piece for the group’s total instrumentation—percussion, accordion, keyboards, laptop electronics, cello, guitar and prepared guitar. The finished work will be rehearsed, premiered, and toured in France this fall, and performed and recorded in New York in January 2012.
Saxophonist Jerôme Sabbagh, a New Yorker since 1995, will join pianist Jozef Dumoulin, of Paris, on a project in which each will write a minimum of five songs for quartet (for themselves with Patrice Blanchard, electric bass, and Rudy Royston, drums). Though electric and electronic, the music will have live and organic qualities. Rehearsals this fall in New York will be followed by tours in the U.S. and in France, a concert/clinic at P.S. 154 in Brooklyn, and a recording session at Sear Sound in New York.
Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, a Philadelphia native, has invited French pianist Vincent Bourgeyx to collaborate on a five-part suite for quartet in a mutual challenge—to compose one piece about his hometown and another about his New York experience and then collaborate on a work representing the similarities. Communicating via Skype and email in the early stages, the pair will then rehearse, perform, and record in New York, where they will be joined by Ben Williams, bass, and Johnathan Blake, drums.
Sachal Vasandani will collaborate with French-Moroccan vocalist Malika Zarra and Argentinian singer Sofia Rei Koutsovitis to create a body of new songs for voice and percussion to be performed by the quintet Sefira (Vasandani, Zarra, and Koutsovitis, with percussionists Nacho Arimany and Mathias Kunzli). The work will showcase each vocalist’s range, timbre, musical heritage, and improvisational ability, while exploring new common ground with the support and drive of master percussionists. The quintet will premiere the work in New York next summer and produce high-quality audio and video recordings of live performances.
Guitarist Nelson Veras will form a trio with Thomas Morgan, bass, and drummer Stephane Galland to perform new music that he will write especially for this project. The ensemble will rehearse and record the work in Limoges, France; premiere it at Café de la Dance in Paris; and tour Europe April through August. The project album will be released by Bee Jazz Records this April.
U.S. jazz-rock guitarist, David Fiuicynski, joins French trombone collaborators Daniel Zimmerman and Julien Chirol to create new music for a septet that will also include U.S. trombonists Robin Eubanks and Douglas Purviance and France’s Jean-Philippe Morel (electric bass) and Vincent Taeger (drums). A three-movement piece, Schizophonic Suite will explore extremes and contrasts in today’s music, followed by a tribute to jazz, pop, and rock icons. The first concert is planned for Paris this April, followed by a summer European tour and recording and mastering in New York and Montreuil, France.