Divan of the Continents / Louis Moholo-Moholo Quartet / Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet + Theo Bleckmann

Theo Bleckmann, Ambrose Akinmusire, Louis Moholo-Moholo

Theo Bleckmann, Ambrose Akinmusire, Louis Moholo-Moholo

© Susie Knoll, Promo, Roberto Cifarelli

Past Dates

Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Kassenhalle
Artist Talk
Cymin Samawatie, Alexander Hawkins
Moderation: Nadin Deventer

Formed by the singer Cymin Samawatie (born in Braunschweig in 1976) and the drummer Ketan Bhatti (born in New Delhi in 1981), who both studied jazz at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), Divan of the Continents brings together musicians of various musical backgrounds and traditions with the intention of creating a new sound out of the energy of difference. The instrumentation include the koto from Japan, the sheng and the hulusi from China, the ney (the famous reed flute praised by the Persian poet Rumi), the kanun (a Turkish box zither), the oud, European orchestral and jazz instruments as well as electronics. The singers will perform in Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Turkish. Unheard soundscapes are explored by conjoining global instruments, and new methods of transcultural composition bring in jazz improvisation to integrate the musicians’ diversity. This world premiere of music written for a specially expanded line-up will be performed after three days of open rehearsals at the UdK’s Jazz Institute.
 Divan of the Continents on YouTube

The drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo is the last survivor of Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes, a group of five musicians who fled South Africa’s apartheid regime in 1964 and settled in Europe, where the emotional directness of their music exerted an influence that is still felt among more recent generations of musicians. Born in Cape Town in 1940, Moholo remains capable of driving a band with the ferocity of his youth, but more detailed nuances and shadings have emerged in his later years. His London-based quartet – completed by Jason Yarde, a gifted saxophonist and an original member of the Jazz Warriors; John Edwards, a bassist of astonishing technical range and authority; and the pianist Alexander Hawkins, one of the new stars of the British jazz scene, is among the most stirring units in contemporary jazz.
 Louis Moholo-Moholo at All Music

From Louis Armstrong to Don Cherry and beyond, trumpeters have played a powerful leadership role in the evolution of jazz. For many, including those who voted him the world’s top trumpeter in the 2015 “DownBeat” critics’ poll, Ambrose Akinmusire is the latest in that distinguished line. Born in 1982 in Oakland, California, he is not just an improviser with a wonderful sound and absorbing ideas but a composer of remarkable creative range, as he demonstrated on his most recent recording, “The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint”. Among his collaborators on that album was Theo Bleckmann, the German-born singer who moved to New York in 1989, at the age of 23. Bleckmann, whose solo concerts and interpretations of Berlin cabaret songs (mostly recently with Julia Hülsmann) have been widely praised, will perform tonight with Akinmusire’s quartet.

Divan of the Continents
Sveta Kundish vocals
Defne Şahin vocals
Cymin Samawatie vocals, composition
Mari Sawada violin
Martin Stegner viola
Boram Lie cello
Demetrios Karamintzas oboe
Ralf Schwarz double bass
Lars Zander bass clarinet, electronics
Ketan Bhatti drums, electronics, composition
Joss Turnbull tombak, percussion, electronics
Christian Weidner saxophone, duduk
Hilary Jeffery trombone
Tilmann Dehnhard bass flutes, electronics
Niko Meinhold piano, guzheng
Sabrina Ma marimba, vibraphone
Naoko Kikuchi koto
Vladiswar Nadishana ney, duduk, hulusi
Wu Wei sheng
Bassem Alkhouri kanun, vocals
Matthias Kurth oud, guitar
Mohamad Fityan ney, kawala

Louis Moholo-Moholo Quartet
John Edwards double bass
Alexander Hawkins piano
Louis Moholo-Moholo drums
Jason Yarde saxophones

Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet + Theo Bleckmann
Ambrose Akinmusire trumpet
Theo Bleckmann vocals
Justin Brown drums
Sam Harris double bass
Harish Raghavan piano