Jazzfest Berlin – Cairo – Johannesburg – São Paulo
Terrible Sounds // Dave Douglas // Metá Metá // Nduduzo Makhathini
In the entrance area of the Betonhalle, Philip Rizk presents the video installation “Terrible Sounds”, an audiovisual meditation on Egypt’s troubled (neo-)colonial history. The esteemed New York trumpeter Dave Douglas gives the German premiere of his new chamber jazz ensemble, drawing inspiration from the painting of Jan van Eyck, while Metá Metá from São Paulo merges post-punk energy with a wild mix of regional influences. South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini closes the festival with a rare solo performance.
Video installation in the entrance area of the Betonhalle
Terrible Sounds – A Triptych
The German percussionist, journalist, composer, and filmmaker Hartmut Geerken – who over the years worked with Sun Ra, John Tchicai, and Art Ensemble of Chicago – had already become enamoured with the sounds of Sun Ra when he took a job in Cairo in 1967, where he met and befriended Salah Ragab, an army general who played drums and led the country’s military band. They formed Egypt’s first jazz band, the Cairo Jazz Band, as well as the Cairo Free Jazz Ensemble. Among their collaborative efforts was a 1971 improvised recording with several other musicians, which went unissued until four decades later, when it was released as “Muharram 1392” – the Islamic date of the original recording. Filmmaker Philip Rizk, collaborating with musician Nadah El Shazly, assembled a group of experimental musicians from the region – including Egyptian multi-instrumentalist Maurice Louca, who will present his Elephantine project at this year’s festival – to reflect on and celebrate the recording with new improvisations. The project, a special Jazzfest Berlin commission, took on a life of its own, with Rizk creating a multi-layered meditation on colonialism’s long life in an era of neo-colonialism by looking at events around the unsealing of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the year 1922, accompanied by the new sessions along with other soundscapes into a kaleidoscopic audiovisual experience.
Philip Rizk concept & video
Nadah El Shazly musical direction & music editing, vocals, keyboards
Hartmut Geerken metal tongue drum, mizmar, bandura, flute, arghul and angklung
Maurice Louca keyboards
Ayman Asfour violin
Sharif Sehnaoui guitar, saz
Co-commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin and Sharjah Art Foundation with support by Mophradat
This installation is part of Jazzfest Berlin – Cairo
Livekonzert in Berlin / ca. 70 min
Dave Douglas: “Secular Psalms”
Trumpeter Dave Douglas – one of the most eloquent and versatile horn players of the last three decades – has always allowed his curiosity to push his music into new directions. Originally scheduled to make its Berlin premiere at last year’s Jazzfest Berlin but made impossible by the pandemic, this year Douglas belatedly shares this new ensemble inspired by the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck, particularly by his 1432 multi-panel masterpiece “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” (“Ghent Altarpiece”). The trumpeter embraced the work’s dark, mysterious exterior as well as its verdant, populated interior in his writing, while also looking to the music of Franco-Flemish renaissance composer Guillaume Dufay for musical ideas. The exciting chamber jazz ensemble features Chicago cellist Tomeka Reid, Polish pianist Marta Warelis, and Belgian musicians Belinde Deman (tuba), Frederik Leroux (guitar, oud, banjo), and Antoine Pierre (drums). All of them join the leader in singing texts by French court poet Christine De Pisan and his own original English language lyrics, underlining the dichotomy of the project name in balancing the sacred and the profane.
Dave Douglas trumpet, vocals, composition
Tomeka Reid violoncello, vocals
Marta Warelis piano, portable organ, vocals
Berlinde Deman tuba, serpent, vocals
Frederik Leroux guitars, oud, banjo, vocals
Antoine Pierre drums, electronics
Co-commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin, November Music, Kaap and Concertgebouw Brugge, and Handelsbeurs
Video contribution from São Paulo / ca. 10 min
Metá Metá: “Ogbe Oyeku Iwori Odi”
In the years since forming in 2008, the members of this aesthetically voracious São Paulo trio have emerged as major figures in the Brazilian musical landscape. From the very beginning, singer Juçara Marçal, guitarist Kiko Dinucci, and saxophonist Thiago França revealed deep curiosity and stylistic fluency well beyond the sound of their polyglot home turf. While the group may summon the gritty, hard-hitting energy of punk rock in its attack, Metá Metá have enfolded the gripping polyrhythms of Brazil’s northeast into its driving grooves. The band’s most recent studio album “MM3” also added beguiling flavors from North African into its entrancing fury. The band members are involved in countless other projects, many of which feed into the elusive Metá Metá sound in protracted fashion, whether the rhythmically asserting phrasing of Marçal, the experimental frevo horns França delivers on his brassy new album, or the stark sambas Dinucci featured on his breakthrough 2020 album “Rastilho”.
Juçara Marçal voice, kalimba
Thiago França saxophone, flute, fife
Kiko Dinucci guitar, eletric guitar, synthesizer, percussion, sampler, direction
Luan Cardoso photography, post production
Beatriz Dantas editing
Caê Rolfsen mixing and mastering
Commissioned by Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin in cooperation with Manoela Wright & Juliano Gentile
This concert is part of Jazzfest Berlin – São Paulo
Live concert in Berlin / ca. 50 min
Last year, South African pianist, composer and bandleader Nduduzo Makhathini reached an international audience with his Blue Note debut “Modes Of Communication: Letters From The Underworlds”, a heady mix of Randy Weston’s global jazz conception and the spirituality of John Coltrane. The prolific musician, who has worked as a member of The Ancestors with Shabaka Hutchings, makes his Jazzfest Berlin debut with a rare solo performance, tapping into a more introspective aesthetic than his ebullient band projects. His stunning 2017 solo album “Reflections” presents music of delicate patience, and while there are tunes where the pianist taps into the soulful traditions of his homeland, braiding gospel and Zulu harmony spiked with a shot of free jazz on a piece like “Igagu”, more often than not he carves out a meditative space that allows his thoughtful ruminations plentiful space to breathe. His forceful left-hand figures imbue his performances with an earthy presence that’s beautifully balanced by the poetic gestures unleashed by his right hand, with compositions that ignore stylistic boundaries in favour of genre-agnostic exploration.
Nduduzo Makhathini piano
This concert is part of Jazzfest Berlin – Johannesburg