Welcome to the home page of BEJE, the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble. As predicted, the UK has crashed out from the EU and vaccine wars are threatened. But BEJE still strives to help hang the world together in its music. It draws in talented players from around the world, some of whom end up in BEJE. Our main project in 2021 is an ALBUM RECORDING funded by Arts Council England of the Bristol Griot, BEJE’s collaboration with kora player Moussa Kouyate with harpist Emmy Broughton. It’s a Malian groove project with spoken word and a jazz twist. See BRISTOL GRIOT blog for full info.

Plaudit’s for BEJE’s previous work

‘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 current 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 Kouyate 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, venue, journalist patron or fan please email bigbromo at or message me on facebook, link above or call 07804363170.

Warm wishes

David Mowat

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