Infectious Air Series 2 Coming Soon
Flautist Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career in many different fields of music. He regularly performs and guests in new music ensembles, jazz bands, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups, pop outfits and as a soloist.
Many of Rowland’s solo contemporary flute performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio. He has composed and arranged music for bands, large ensembles and the BBC. He made his BBC Proms debut as a soloist during the 2006 season performing music by Steve Reich, for his 70th birthday celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall led by percussion soloist Colin Currie.
Venues which Rowland has performed at include the Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Centre; North Sea Jazz Festival, The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; Theatre du Chatelet, Paris; Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore; and Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall.
Jazz and World Music artists Rowland has performed with include Frank Wess, David Murray, Flora Purim, Henry Threadgil, Carla Bley, Manu Dibango, Airto, Evan Parker, Nitin Sawhney, Courtney Pine, Jean Toussaint, Orphy Robinson, Issie Barratt, Mark Lockheart, Zoe Rahman, Alec Dankworth, Filomena Campus, King Sunny Ade, Olodum (Brazil) and Rebirth Brass Band (New Orleans).
He has played and recorded with various new music ensembles and dance companies. These include: Lontano, Icebreaker, Colin Currie Group, New Music Players, Uroboros, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Phoenix Dance and Rambert Dance.
As a freelance musician Rowland is also active in the orchestral field and has played with such orchestras as Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, London Philharmonic and European Community Chamber orchestras.
Rowland’s composition Enlightenment (Inspired by A Love Supreme by John Coltrane) has received much acclaim by the press, media and the general public and featured at James Lavelle’s Meltdown Festival 2014 at the QEH with sell out audiences. It was featured on Jez Nelson’s Jazz on 3, BBC Radio 3 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Coltrane’s iconic album, A Love Supreme.
As bandleader, Rowland’s Brazilian influenced jazz band Mistura, has an album out called ‘Coast to Coast’ on the FMR label.
Led by Rowland Sutherland and Jackie Walduck, Ethereal World is both a music club night and an ensemble that features a number of brilliant soloists in cross-cultural jazz, free improvisation, experimental and contemporary classical music.
Rowland Sutherland’s London Art Collective focuses on spatial, cosmic and spiritual jazz. Drawing influence from the works of Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane and Joe Henderson.
Rowland has recorded for a diverse range of pop bands and artists such as Incognito, George Benson, Joss Stone, Fightstar, Keziah Jones, Omar, William Orbit, Marc Almond and MC Solaar.
Rowland has tutored at the University of Kent and Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He lectures at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Rowland has held workshops, masterclasses and coaching sessions at
various conservatoires and universities. These include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA, the University of the Bahamas and the Cairo Conservatoire. He has also tutored at the Royal Northern College of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
photo by Richard Kaby
Charlotte Keeffe’s unique approach and passion for improvised, experimental and jazz music sees her performing regularly across the UK and internationally leading her own bands, as a soloist and/or, as part of several ensembles.
Inspired by the likes of Miles Davis and Polish artist Tomasz Stańko, Charlotte studied Jazz Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama before going on to become a scholarship recipient at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a Help Musicians UK Award Winner.
After studying music at Oxford University, and jazz at the Guildhall in London, Liam Noble started to build a reputation of note playing with Stan Sulzmann, Anita Wardell, John Stevens and Harry Beckett. His first CD, a solo entitled “Close Your Eyes” was released in 1994, and contained a mix of standards, originals and improvisations. This mixture of approaches has characterized his music ever since.
In 1997 he joined the Bobby Wellins Quartet, the rhythm section of which continues today as the Liam Noble Trio, recently documented on the 2009 CD “BRUBECK”, gaining an almost unprecedented 5 star review in The Guardian.
In 2001, “In The Meantime”, released on Basho Records, explored longer compositional forms and unorthodox improvisational structures, and April 2002 saw a commission from Birmingham Jazz resulting in a song cycle based on Japanese Death Poetry. Noble plays keyboards and samples throughout, marking a new foray into electronica inspired by artists such as Aphex Twin and Arto Lindsay.
In 2004, following a Cheltenham Festival gig the previous year, Liam recorded the acclaimed “Romance Among The Fishes” on Basho Records with guitarist Phil Robson and the New York rhythm section of Drew Gress and Tom Rainey on bass and drums respectively.
Liam’s working relationship has continued with Tom Rainey in the free improv trio, “Sleepthief” with Ingrid Laubrock, with an album released in September 2008, and a second, “The Madness Of Crowds” in 2011. Other frequent collaborators have included Christine Tobin, Paul Clarvis and Julian Siegel. His growing reputation as a free improviser has also resulted in recent performances with Mary Halverson, Marc Ducret, Mat Maneri, Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans.
In June 2011 he was featured on a recording by Zhenya Strigalev with Larry Grenadier, Tim LeFebvre and Eric Harland. His newest project is an expanded trio with Chris Batchelor and Shabaka Hutchings. As a kind of summation of the diverse areas in which he works combined with a compositional eye for structure, this new group was highly praised at its premiere performance at the Cheltenham Jazz festival in 2012.
His newest recording is a solo CD, due for release in early 2015 on Basho Records, which features an eclectic mix of improvisations, as well as versions of music by Edward Elgar, Joe Zawinul and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Liam holds posts as Lecturer in Jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music. He has published 4 volumes of transcriptions of the Bill Evans Trio, and a book of original compositions “Jazz Piano; An In Depth Look at the Styles of the Masters”, both published by Hal Leonard.
Flautist, Pianist and Vocalist
An established vocalist, Sharron McLeod is a favourite at Toronto’s prestigious annual Downtown Jazz Festival, Sharron has shared the stage with top jazz musicians such as Jane Bunnett, Rodney Kendrick, Archie Alleyne, Salome Bey, Jimmy Lovelace, Jackie Richardson, Yoron Isreals, Gord Webster, Duane Burno, Cliff Lee, Mike Gerber and Frank Falco. Along with regular club and festival appearances in Toronto, Sharron has performed in Europe and the United States.
Trained as a classical musician, Sharron’s focus naturally evolved to encompass jazz, she has also hosted/produced popular weekly jazz programs on Toronto radio stations Flow 93.5 and ckln 88.1 fm.
The multi-talented vocalist’s musical education began at age nine, including the study of recorder, flute, trombone, piano and voice. Sharron has studied with Liz Naylor, the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, Jay Clayton of the Steve Reich Ensemble (Seattle), Marilyn Crispell and the New Orchestra Workshop, Art Levine , Banff Jazz Workshop with Rufus Reid, Steve Coleman, Kevin Eubanks, and Stanley Cowell, bebop harmony with Rodney Kendrick and Abbey Lincoln; renowned counter-tenor Theodore Gentry, jazz piano with Don Naduriak; and was a voice instructor at the New School of Social Research (NY).
In the tradition of singers like Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter, Sharron believes jazz comes from the synthesis of human experience through music. An expression of the heart.
Sharron is currently developing a recording project inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo.
Ansuman Biswas has an international practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing and theatre. He is interested in hybridity and interdisciplinarity, often working between science, art and industry, for instance, or between music, dance and visual art. Improvisation and play are important elements in his practice, and at its core is the technique of vipassana meditation.
Ronnie McGrath is a Creative Writing Lecturer at Imperial College London and the University of The Arts, London College of Communication. A former musician, he was a founding member of the defunct musical group the London Afro Blok, who toured Europe, performed for the Queen and opened the 1994 Commonwealth Games in British Columbia, Canada. In 1993, he was commended for his writing by ACER, who later published and awarded 1st place for his writing in 1994. As a contemporary artist, he has exhibited his work throughout London.
As well as appearing on the BBC 4 television documentary Front Room in 2008, he has published some of his paintings in Callaloo: Journal of African American Arts and Letters (a special issue commemorating Barack Obama’s inauguration). Data Trace, Ronnie’s first full collection of poetry, was published by Salt in 2010.
Fusing her love of blues, folk, jazz and soul, Melissa’s songs take the listener on mini detours, which often open up to reveal the sometimes raw elements of her innermost thoughts. Combined with the velvety power of her delivery, it makes for a spine tingling experience. She released her critically-acclaimed debut album, Day Dawns on Slicker Sounds in June 2012 and has performed at the 2013 London Jazz Festival.
Coco Das originally studied art and photography which she later combined with graphic design which then further led to film editing and live visual projections known as VJing. She has worked with the Asian Dub Foundation since their inception and founded the live event promotion Visionary Underground which then grew into the audiovisual collective Visionary Underground which released their debut album ‘Keep The Grime On’ in 2005. She also founded the record label VU recordings and has spent over 20 years photographing and providing visual material for the Jungle DnB scene .
In 2017 Coco presented her photography exhibition ADF 20! at the Red Gallery London chronicling the visual history of the Asian Dub Foundation.
Vibraphone Player and Composer
Jackie Walduck is a composer and vibraphone player, whose work explores the meeting points between composition and improvisation, and their impact on ensemble performance. She has performed across the UK, Europe and in the Middle East, with musicians as diverse as the Philharmonia, Sinfonia Viva, Kala Ramnath, and the Royal Army Band of Oman She composes and leads The Academy of St Martin in the Fields orchestra with homeless men and women The Seymore Orchestra. Her collaborative film score for The Dress (Maggie Ford) was premiered at Cannes Film Festival (2008).
Currently, Jackie co-directs Ethereal World with flautist Rowland Sutherland. Both a band and a club night, Ethereal World presents improvised music from some of the UK’s most exciting players drawn from contemporary classical, free improvisation and cross cultural jazz.
Recent compositions include The Migration Game (2016), a game opera for Spitalfields Winter Festival, and an immersive piece in a Suffolk Woodland Sensing Nature (2017), in which a blindfold audience was led through different woodland locations to hear music created in response to the sounds of stridulating insects, birds, bats and weasels. Sensing Nature was performed by Jackie’s ensemble Tactile, which brings together blind, VI and sighted musicians, and explores tactile composition and non-visual communication in music.
Pianist and Composer
Welsh pianist and composer Huw Warren has achieved an international reputation for innovative and eclectic music making over a thirty year career. Equally at home crossing the often exclusive worlds of Jazz, World and Contemporary music; he has a distinctive and personal voice, and has collaborated with a huge variety of artists worldwide.
Huw has recorded 2 albums for ECM (as Quercus with June Tabor and Iain Ballamy) and in 2018 released a solo piano recording Nocturnes and Visions. In 2019 he will release 2 albums for CAM Jazz Everything in Between (with Dudley Phillips and Zoot Warren) and New Day (with Mark Lockheart) His previous albums and projects have included themes and source material as diverse as John Dowland, Plainchant and Hermeto Pascoal.
His writing style combines quirky rhythmic grooves with simple melodic beauty; and manages to be both complex and approachable.
His best known projects include Dialektos (duo with Italian singer Maria Pia de Vito) Hermeto+ (A reworking of the music of Hermeto Pascoal with drummer Martin France and bassist Peter Herbert) 100s of Things a Boy Can Make (with NY violinist Mark Feldman) Infinite Riches in a Little Room (a solo piano set centred around a beautiful reworking of a melody by John Dowland) Perfect Houseplants (Huw Warren, Mark Lockheart, Dudley Phillips, Martin France), A Barrel organ Far From Home (a nine piece mixed line up with strings and penny whistle) and a long standing collaboration with singer June Tabor. He has also performed and collaborated with a wide array of musicians including Mark Feldman, Peter Herbert, Joanna Macgreggor, Iain Ballamy, Kenny Wheeler, Jim Black, Theo Bleckmann , Neil Yates, Pamela Thorby, Mose Se Fan Fan, Mat Maneri and Thomas Strønen .
Awarded the BBC Jazz award for Innovation, and the ACW Creative Wales Award, he has also written for many ensembles including Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra, RSC, LPO Renga ensemble, National Youth Brass Band of Wales, The Orlando Consort, Ensmble Plus, Koch Ensemble and Tango Siempre. Recently he has further broadened his collaborative pool to work with spoken word artists, visual artists, filmmakers, choreographers and photographers.
Currently a jazz lecturer/tutor at RWCMD,Cardiff, Huw is also head of Jazz Ensembles at Cardiff University.
Percussionist,Composer, Producer and Curator
RENU started her musical journey around 2000. Playing for bands in the latter part of the Asian Underground electronic scene. Her quest for musical experiences have taken her on solo trips to INDIA for the Tabla, CUBA for Latin percussion, BRAZIL for candomble and SPAIN for Flamenco music.
RENU´s musical origin is of an unconventional manner & quest: travelling the world with a few pennies in her pocket to find masters to learn her desired instrument. Sometimes forgoing food to pay for that illusive airplane ticket.
Originally a percussionist for multiple bands & genres – Grace Jones, State of Bengal, Fun_da_mental, Kevin Davy Jazz D’semble, MIKA, Alabama 3, Tunde Jegede to name a few – she started to produce her own music in the year of 2010.
Fast forward some years, composing for theatre, film & dance, hosting her own nights in London, 1 EP and 3 albums later, she has now landed in an electronic realm
In 2017 RENU released ‘They dance in the Dark’ to critical acclaim, lionised by The Quietus, BBC Radio 6, BBC Late Junction & Art forum magazine. RENU has recently released ‘The Happening’ an experimental, orphic, soundtrack album – In light of covid 19.
Maria Chiara Argirò
Pianist, Keyboard player and Composer.
Straight after finishing a BA Jazz at Middlesex University, she started touring from June 2013 with the British artrock band These New Puritans for the “Field of Reeds” and “Spitting Stars” tour playing in Asia, USA, Mexico, Europe in festivals around the world and in venues such as the Barbican in London or The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles supporting Bjork.
During her career, Argirò has developed her own style of jazz with a twist of contemporary genres inspired by her numerous tours with bands such as These New Puritans and drawing on a wide variety of influences including Radiohead, Shai Maestro, Tigran Hamasyan,Kneebody, Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake, Bjork, Jon Hopkins, Shostakovich and Scriabin.
Hidden Seas is her critically acclaimed second album, following on from her 2016 debut The Fall Dance. She is a well-known name on the London scene – her keyboard skills much in demand – currently involved with a variety of musical projects including Liran Donin’s 1000 Boats, Kinkajous, Teotima, Moonfish, Rosie Turton andJamie Leeming.
Saxophonist, Improviser and Composer
Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, including a trio with Hannah Marshall and Julie Kjaer, a duo with vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, and a trio with Mark Sanders and John Edwards. She has released two albums under her own name, one featuring Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Tatterdemalion, Babel Records), and one featuring her ensemble Skein (Flight Line, F-ire Recorded Music).
She also plays with the London Improvisers Orchestra and Alex Ward’s Quintet and Sextet, and has performed with a diverse range of musicians on the fluid European improvising scene, including Alcyona Mick, Han Bennink, Liam Noble, Gail Brand, Eddie Prevost, Olie Brice, Federico Ughi, Mary Halvorson, John Russell, Adam Linson, Sebastian Rochford, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Pat Thomas, among many others.
Alex J Ward
Clarinettist, Guitarist and Composer
Alex J Ward was born in 1974. He is a composer, improviser, and performing musician. His primary instruments are clarinet and guitar, and he has also performed in public and on recordings on alto sax, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and as a vocalist. He was based in Oxford from 1992-2000, and since then has lived in London.
His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. On both instruments, hIs longest-standing collaborations in this field have been with the drummer Steve Noble.
From 1993 to 2001, most of his activity as a composer took place in collaboration with Benjamin Hervé, mainly in the context of the rock band Camp Blackfoot. From 2002-2005, his writing was mostly done solo, and was primarily focused on songs. Since 2006, he has been heavily involved in both solo and collaborative composition, predominantly (though not exclusively) of instrumental music. Much of his writing and performing during this time has been done with Dead Days Beyond Help, a duo with drummer Jem Doulton. He has also led a number of bands including Alex Ward & The Dead Ends, Predicate, and his current ensembles Forebrace, The Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and Items 4 & 10.
He has been a member of many other groups including ensembles led by Eugene Chadbourne, Simon H. Fell and Duck Baker, and has also done various work as a session musician and in collaboration with other media. Since 2005, he has co-run the label Copepod Records with composer/performer Luke Barlow. He does the recording, mixing and/or mastering of most of his own music, and for many of the groups he plays in.
Phil Dawson is a guitar player who has worked and schooled himself extensively in many different African, Latin and Brazilian music traditions – together with styles that more typically cross the radar of someone with a similar British background: Roots reggae, punk rock, blues, soul, R’n’B, jazz and funk. His compositions naturally reflect this blend, and he is currently focused on a studio and band project that is focused on (some mainly) Anglophone West African musical ideas, inspired by many of the artists Phil has worked with, marrying them with elements of improv and extended harmony, assisted by some fine players both from within and outside these areas of music.
Phil has collaborated with many iconic musicians from the four compass points of Africa: Khaled (North); Osibisa and Tony Allen (West); Mulatu Astatke (East) and Hugh Masekela (South) as well as a host of other artists.