Trickster Orchestra

“MIMESIS – Nothing is alien between us ...”

The Berlin ensemble led by Iranian-German singer and composer Cymin Samawatie and Indian drummer Ketan Bhatti have engaged with shifting strains of mimicry, gamely exploiting its international make-up to blur and challenge colonialist assumptions of culture. For this year’s Jazzfest Berlin, the ensemble premieres a new audio-visual work.

Trickster Orchestra

Trickster Orchestra

Past Dates

Concerts online
Watch this concert as a recording on  ARTE Concert or in the  Berliner Festspiele Media Library.

Live concert in Berlin / ca. 60 min

Trickster Orchestra: “MIMESIS – Nothing is alien between us ...”


Iranian-German singer, composer and conductor Cymin Samawatie and Indian-German drummer and composer Ketan Bhatti have been Berlin fixtures for two decades, forging an arresting blend of jazz and Persian balladry and lyrics in their nimble combo Cyminology. In 2013, they launched the Trickster Orchestra, a high-octane assemblage of some of the city’s most remarkable soloists to develop what the leaders call “trans-traditional music”, a seamless hybrid built from far-flung global traditions decolonized and held together through indelible writing and quicksilver improvisation. Earlier this year, the project released its gorgeous debut on ECM Records, presenting a unified contemporary music bursting with international accents, whether the cascading koto patterns of Naoko Kikuchi or the biting clarinet lines of Mona Matbou Riahi. For Jazzfest Berlin, Trickster Orchestra premieres a new audio-visual work called “MIMESIS”, played by a more compact eight-piece line-up with video projections created by Roman Hagenbrock. The music seeks to explore different manifestations of mimicry – whether the manner in which humans have imitated the natural world or how parts of the natural world mimic others, both as a trap or a protective measure.

Cymin Samawatie vocals, piano
Mona Matbou Riahi clarinet
Milian Vogel bass clarinet, electronics
Susanne Fröhlich Paetzold recorders
Mohamad Fityan nay & kawala
Naoko Kikuchi koto
Taiko Saito vibraphone
Anil Eraslan violoncello
Ralf Schwarz double bass
Ketan Bhatti drums
Safy Sniper visuals