Venues and promoters looking for new acts for the autumn of 2018 and beyond, note that BEJE is preparing a performance project called EuRIP. To be premiered at The Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival on March 15th this is a spoken word and jazz story based on band-members’ formative memories, in Switzerland Italy Sri Lanka and The Netherlands. It’ll be a unique look at the interwoven fabric that is today’s Europe, as the fabric is torn by Brexit. More details in the months ahead. See http://www.facebook.com/Bristol.European.Jazz.Ensemble1
“The BEJE (Bristol European Jazz Ensemble) is the brainchild of Bristol jazz trumpeter David Mowat. Their distinctive sound is a combination of David’s lyrical trumpet,
Knud Stuwe’s masterful guitar and oud fused with the sympathetic rhythmic section of bassist, Federico Leonori and drummer, Jon Clark.
Their culturally diverse repertoire comprises elements of American jazz, contemporary folk and beautifully re-harmonised classical music; an uplifting journey across musical boundaries”
Andy Christie composer on hearing BEJE at Bristol Music Club Nov 28th 2017
BEJE has had a less busy year in 2017 than in the preceding three on account of David Mowat’s focus on his Arts Council England-funded project ‘Longing Belonging and Balfour’, a music with spoken word take on The Balfour Declaration of 1917 which has traveled around the UK. There’s some crossover with BEJE as Knud Stuwe is involved as arranger composer and oud player and the jazz has seeped into the Yiddish song and Arabic maqaams.
After The Bristol Music Club gig in January came a gig at a hot pub party with Senegalese kora Master Moussa Kouyate, then a Bristol Fringe gig at the same time as the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival in March and a Colston Hall gig in May (where the video and recording were done). These last two were in stark contrast of personnel, with Julien on tenor, Paolo drums Daan keyboards and Federico bass, whilst the May gig Jon Clark was on drums, Al Swainger on bass and Len was on alto and soprano. There were more recent originals played in Colston Hall than the grooves we layed out with Moussa.
In May at The Stroud Jazz Festival BEJE went down very well and in June a large audience at The Portishead Speakeasy loved us. Hostess-singer Kate O’Loughlin wrote after “What a joyous night last night.David Mowat and BEJE played extraordinary takes on regular Jazz standards along with some very moving, contemporary own compositions, beautifully executed”
Despite a long summer gap and one one on one rehearsal with bass dep Guilaume our gig at The Bocabar in Glastonbury in September was as free-flowing as ever with bassist-promoter Adrian Smith writing “It was a great gig on Friday 8th at the Bocabar with BEJE – Beautiful compositions and some really top notch playing. The audience loved every minute of it. If you get a chance you should definitely go see the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble”
By request we were invited back to the slightly less pristine (having had us jazzers once already) classical Bristol Music Club, developing a taste for reflective jazz and story telling in
November, which takes us to 2018.
I’ve been preparing this morning for the TAUNTON CICCIC gig this Friday Jan 20th 7.30pm doors open £10 on door. £9 conc. http://www.creativeinnovationcentre.co.uk for address. Back by popular request as they say. Len Aruliah on sax, Knud Stuwe guitar and oud, Paolo Adamo drums, Federico Leonori bass. This’ll have a different feel to the gig with Anders on kb of last year as Knud is a very different player. His oud playing will bring real authenticity to the Syrian groove tune ‘Justin’ and the Somali desert blues ‘Mustapha’s Song’ and I always dig his guitar voicings.
The ‘Italian boys’ on bass and drums are in fantastic form with sparky duets expected, and Len on sax is always on fire and ever sinuous. I’ll have my warm steady cooler sounds in the mix (David Mowat on trumpet/flugel), and am looking forward to this gig! All pics from our fab gig at the same venue a year ago bar Knud’s.
April 10th 7pm Free Entry. The Old Fish Market, 59-63 Baldwin St, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 1QZ. Nice food.
April 30th International Jazz Day Black Mountain Jazz Club Abergavenny http://www.blackmountainjazz.co.uk/clubprogramme.html
May 13th Bridport Arts Centre http://www.bridport-arts.com [website to be updated soon]
June 15th 8pm Bristol Fringe Cafe-Bar, Clifton Village, BS8 4BZ http://www.fringejazz.com
We’re looking forward to our first gig of the year at ‘the south west’s new leading jazz venue’. It’s what they say about themselves and having trawled around the region I believe it! There’s only St Ive’s Jazz Club, of long repute, to compare really. (Go on, tell me I’m wrong). There’ll be some new material, including a spiritual chant for the audience, but let that not put you off! The ever-elegant Anders Olinder on piano, the increasingly wonderful and powerful Paolo Adamo on drums, the passionate and risk taking Federico Leonori on bass and searing altoist Julien Alenda, who will bring his tenor sax as well and is studying Sony Rollins especially, will be the BEJE line up this time. We look forward to seeing our friends and fans and keep solos shorter than my sentences (maybe).