Programme – Saturday, 5 November
The diverse array of performances on Saturday night puts an emphasis on musical traditions that are strongly rooted in their respective socio-political or cultural contexts. The programme includes music touching upon questions of identity and tradition, spirituality, racism and resistance.
After an afternoon screening of “Blue for a Moment”, Antoine Prum’s filmic portrait of Sven-Åke Johansson, and various artist talks, the evening programme begins with the Berlin debut of South African drummer and composer Asher Gamedze presenting his internationally acclaimed “Dialectic Soul”. This musical reflection on the ties between South African and American jazz history, colonial violence and resistance is followed by a special Jazzfest Berlin commission bringing together European improvisers creating a sonic quilt of folk traditions from Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, filtered and transformed by the lens of jazz and improvised music. The shape-shifting American composer and reedist Matana Roberts and their agile band close out the main stage programme presenting the European premiere of Chapter Four of their unique Coin Coin project, which examines the knotty cultural richness and pernicious racism of Memphis Tennessee.
As part of the late night programme at the Festspielhaus the young Chicago saxophonist Isaiah Collier, a passionate exponent of searing spiritual jazz, performs in the Seitenbühne both with his quartet The Chosen Few and in dialogue with drummer James Russell Sims. In the Kassenhalle, Black Sea Songs, a trio featuring Turkish singer Sanem Kalfa, Belgium reedist Joachim Badenhorst and Romanian born violinist and guitarist George Dumitriu presents vivid new arrangements of traditional songs from all round the titular region.
At A-Trane, South Korean drummer and composer Sun-Mi Hong and her impressive Amsterdam-based quintet celebrate their Berlin debut with the release of their third record, while in the beautiful confines of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church pianist Lucian Ban explores the Transylvanian folk traditions conserved in Bela Bartok’s ethnomusicological field recordings in a three-way conversation with saxophonist John Surman and violist Mat Maneri.