Welcome to the home page of BEJE, the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble. As the UK teeters on the brink of crashing out from the EU, BEJE sends a vital musical message of strength in diversity from the outward-looking city of Bristol. It draws in talented players from around the world, many of whom come together in World Jazz outfit BEJE.
‘Ear-twisting incisive soloing atop the dynamic group playing of David’s exceptional tunes’ Keith Ames MU Magazine
‘The energy of the collective, the fluency of the players are all immediately evident and it’s hard not to grin at the irrepressible optimism of Dave Mowat’s writing and playing.’ Mike Collins review of ‘Live At The Fringe’ cd.
‘…flawless precision and absolute passion.’ Prema Arts Centre
‘tunes were…funky, yet featured melodic turns and harmonic twists that were redolent of both the late, great figures of pianist John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler.’ Richard Leigh Harris, Birmingham Conservatoire tutor
‘A vibrant contemporary jazz argument for international cultural exchange’ Tony Benjamin
‘BEJE tap a rich vein of global sources and infuse it with an inspired freshness’ Philip Clouts Bridport Arts Centre
‘…this exhilarating evening of playing, which was both sensitively lyrical and full of zest.’ Bristol Music Club
‘The blend with Mowat’s clear-toned trumpet gave the whole thing something of the air of the great Azimuth, with Norma Winstone and Kenny Wheeler’ Jon Turney
‘…eclectic, experimental and sophisticated, influenced by the jazz greats. The music is original, creating a fascinating combination of melody, harmony and rhythm.’ Vanessa Garside President WAG UK at Taunton CIC
‘Bristol’s very own Liberation Orchestra’ audience member Bridport Arts Centre
BEJE members, from which a quintet is formed for particular projects tours and gigs, are David Mowat trumpet/flugel/spoken word, compositions, from UK and Switzerland, Len Aruliah alto sax/soprano, spoken word, compositions, from Canada, Sri Lanka and UK, Anders Olinder piano, from Sweden and Syria, Pasquale Votino double bass, from Italy, Paolo Adamo drums, from Italy, Julien Alenda tenor sax, from France, Knud Stuwe oud/guitar, from Germany, Federico Leonori double bass, from Italy, Mattia Collu drums from Italy, Ana Gomez piano, from Spain, Guillaume Ottaviani bass, from France.
International guests have been Anne Chris vocals and compositions from The Netherlands, Moussa Kouyaye kora and compositions, from Senegal, Yunmi Kang vocals/piano and compositions from South Korea and Sangyeon Park guitar and compositions, from South Korea, and Zaid Hilal vocals and baglama from Palestine.
Formed in 2013 BEJE has played gigs across the UK in clubs, festivals, conventions, pubs and arts centres.
The band, which has twice been represented at JazzAhead in Germany seeks further gigs at jazz clubs and festivals in the UK and across Europe. If you are a promoter or venue organiser please complete the form below.