The J-Word Second Tour

Trilok Gurtu + Paolo Fresu + Omar Sosa + Fraser Fifield + Graeme Stephen - Fri 3 May 2013 -0177

As The J-Word second tour has come to an end after an exciting week of musical adventures taking place all across Scotland and the UK, we take a look back at the international performances from some of the world’s finest musicians.

The tour featuring the trio of internationally acclaimed acts Trilok Gurtu, Omar Sosa and Paolo Fresu performing alongside the exciting homegrown talents of Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen brought in audiences from Sage Gateshead all the way up to Eden Court in Inverness and many more inbetween.

Have a look at our Storify round up of all the action below…

A huge thank you to everyone involved in the tour, all performers, venues and especially everyone who came along for the musical experience!

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UNESCO International Jazz Day (30 April)

UNESCO International Jazz Day (30 April)

The J-Word tours, taking place at leading venues all over Scotland and UK, continue the second of their musical adventures with some of the world’s most highly-regarded artistss performing at The City Halls in Glasgow.

This event takes place in Glasgow the UNESCO City of Music as part of UNESCO International Jazz Day 2013, a celebration of jazz music all over the world. The performances will feature a newly formed trio of international artists as well as two of Scotland’s most prolific musicians and composers all playing live.

The recently formed trio of legendary international musicians Trilok Gurtu, Paolo Fresu and Omar Sosa will take to the much celebrated City of Music stage.

Hailed by many as the world’s finest percussionist, Trilok Gurtu’s totally individual technique combines the Indian tradition with many other styles to stunning effect. Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu has absorbed the influences of Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong into his own uniquely passionate voice. Pianist Omar Sosa fuses a wide range of jazz, world music and electronic elements with his native Afro-Cuban roots to create a completely fresh sound.

The unique combination of two Scottish musicians and composers, Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen will also be gracing the J-Word tour venue with their brilliantly individual take on jazz music.

Guitarist Graeme Stephen, currently Scottish Jazz Award winner for Innovation, provides the perfect foil for Fraser Fifield’s pipes, sax, whistles and electronics. Together they make a truly original sound, rooted in the Scottish folk tradition but exploratory by nature.

Tickets to this unique concert are now available to buy online for £17.50 with under 18s going free and a concession price of £15.50.

To find out more on this event, you can visit – www.glasgowconcerthalls.com

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Omar Sosa

Omar Sosa

As the first date of the next set of J-Word tours fast approaches, we take a more in-depth look at the individual musicians performing, this time our attention goes to internationally acclaimed Omar Sosa. The master jazz-pianist, band leader and composer will be bringing his unique sounds to Scotland and UK this April and May 2013.

Cuban born Omar Sosa began his musical journey at the young age of 8, studying marimba then later changing over to piano and jazz studies at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Havana. In the mid-nineties Sosa moved to San Francisco in California, where he grew to be heavily involved in the latin jazz scene there, playing and recording with a variety of popular local artists.

Mixing latin rhythms with jazz sounds, Sosa has played with a huge variety of world artists throughout the years. With the inclusion of classical music influences as well as traditional African percussions and lyrics, Omar has refined his unique worldly-sound of jazz music, now recognised worldwide for his outputs.

Combining Sosa’s fusion of world music with two other legendary international acts, Paolo Fresu and Trilok Gurtu. Mixing the sounds of Sardinian master-trumpeter Fresu and Indian percussionist Gurtu with the unique talents of Omar Sosa has led to this new, critically-acclaimed and world renowned trio performing to audiences at events all over the world.

Below, see footage of the three unique musicians performing together live, a fine example of what to expect from their much anticipated tour of Scotland and UK.

The J-Word tour, featuring Omar Sosa performing with Trilok Gurtu and Paolo Fresu and alongside the critically acclaimed acts Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen, begins at The Sage in Gateshead, Sunday 28 April 2013.

Buy tickets.

 

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Trilok Gurtu solo music

Trilok Gurtu

As the beginning of the second series of J-Word tours approaches, we take a closer look at the world-famous musician and percussionist, Trilok Gurtu. Widely considered as the world’s leading percussionist, ground-breaking and unique international act, Gurtu is bringing his unique sounds to some of the UK’s leading venues alongside Omar Sosa and Paolo Fresu.

Originating from Bombay in India, Gurtu was born into a family of talented musicians, inspiring the development of his musical ability from a very young age. His mother, Shobha Gurtu, a classical singer, star and heavy influence on her son’s musical talents throughout his life. Gurtu picked up percussion from the very early age of 6, quickly developing his craft and eventually leading him to join Don Cherry in Europe as part of the widely respected jazz outfit, Oregon. Since, Trilok has played and performed all over the world with a huge variety of acts, including Pharoah Sanders, Gilberto Gil and Annie Lennox.

Gurtu’s successful and broad-spanning career has now led to the formation of his most recent trio with world-respected musicians, Fresu and Sosa. The unique internationally-acclaimed trio will be bringing their combination of worldly jazz sounds to a collection of leading venues across Scotland and the UK this spring.

Below, see footage of the three inspired musicians performing live, a great example of the brilliant performances and sounds to expect on the upcoming tours.

You can also listen to Trilok Gurtu’s solo music below, instantly accessible with a Spotify account and easy to set up, connecting to an existing Facebook account or email.

http://open.spotify.com/artist/6vN6bIVUA9rT1gCreTIcAM

The J-Word tour, featuring Trilok Gurtu performing with Omar Sosa and Paolo Fresu and alongside the critically acclaimed acts Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen, begins at The Sage in Gateshead, Sunday 28 April 2013.

Buy tickets.

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Paolo Fresu

Paolo Fresu

As the second series of The J-Word tours draws ever-closer and anticipation builds, we take a closer look at internationally acclaimed trumpeter Paolo Fresu, touring as part of a trio of legendary musicians, Omar Sosa and Trilok Gurtu this April and May 2013.

The Sardinian born master-trumpeter began his musical career from very early, picking up the trumpet from 11 years old. By the mid-eighties Fresu had graduated in trumpet studies from the Conservatory of Cagliari, subsequently playing and performing all across the world for the past 30 years. In this time, he has been involved in producing a huge variety of different projects, including working closely with sculptors, poets, painters, dancers, and writing music for film and theatre.

Aside from leading his own highly successful quintet, Paolo Fresu now works and tours with two other world-renowned experimental jazz musicians, Trilok Gurtu and Omar Sosa. The Indian, Gurtu is widely regarded as the world’s greatest percussionist and Cuban pianist Sosa’s fusion of global sounds with electronics is mesmerising.

Below, see footage of the wonderfully original trio performing live, a great example of what you can expect on their upcoming performances throughout the UK and Scotland.

See also, a playlist below of Paolo Fresu’s work, available to stream and listen free for Spotify users and easily accessed through setting up a free account if you don’t already have one.

The J-Word tour, featuring Paolo Fresu performing with Omar Sosa and Trilok Gurtu  and alongside the critically acclaimed acts Fraser Fifield and Graeme Stephen, begins at The Sage in Gateshead, Sunday 28 April 2013.

Buy tickets.

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Graeme Stephen

Graeme Stephen

As we near the beginning of the second set of J-Word tours this April, we take a closer look at critically-acclaimed composer and musician Graeme Stephen as he prepares for his series of performances. The master-guitarist is widely known for his range of collaborative projects and leading his own Sextet, this time joining Fraser Fifield to tour Scotland and the UK’s leading venues this April/May 2013.

Originating from Aberdeen and now based in Edinburgh, Graeme Stephen has built up his profile in the scottish music scene over years of innovative releases and musical collaborations. Graeme has led several outfits, including the Graeme Stephen Trio which had it’s first release in 2006 and the award-winning Graeme Stephen Sextet, formed in 2005 and comprising violin, guitar, double bass, drums and two forms of saxophone.

Graeme has also recorded and performed with Edinburgh’s unique Newt group, who recently played a successful residency in Unst, as part of the Shetland Jazz Festival 2012. With much critical acclaim under his musical belt, the composer and guitarist now teams up with renowned musician Fraser Fifield for our upcoming series of live tours.

Below, see recent footage of Graeme and Fraser performing live, giving a nice example of the experimental and enchanting sounds you can expect in the upcoming series of performances.

Also, see the track below taken from Graeme Stephen’s bandcamp page, part of the album  ’Vantage Point’ released in 2010 by his Sextet.

[bandcamp track=93044816 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

The J-Word tour, featuring Grame Stephen performing with Fraser Fifield and alongside the internationally acclaimed acts Fresu / Gurtu / Sosa, begins at The Sage in Gateshead, Sunday 28 April 2013.

Buy tickets.

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Fraser Fifield

Fraser Fifield

As we approach the second in the series of J-Word tours, starting up again at the end of April, we take a look at unique Scottish musician and composer, Fraser Fifield. The master piper will be playing with guitarist and composer Graeme Stephen, as part of our next tour featuring the two influential artists playing alongside the legendary international trio of Paolo Fresu, Trilok Gurtu and Omar Sosa.

Known widely for being one of Scotland’s most creative and ground breaking modern musicians, Fraser Fifield blends the sounds of jazz saxophone, highland bagpipes, low whistle and many other instruments to create his uniquely individual sound. Setting up the critically acclaimed Tanar Records label after having worked with folk legends such as Wolfstone from a very early age, Fraser now has a catalogue of successful releases.

Fraser has also built up his name as being widely recognised for his original and ground breaking collaborations with popular artists such as Old Blind Dogs, Salsa Celtica and many more. This tour will see his recent collaborations with guitarist and composer Graeme Stephen brought to life in a unique live performance blending genres and musical instruments like never before.

Below, see a performance from the two inspired musicians performing their track, Strathspey A93 at the legendary venue, The Byre in St.Andrews, captured at their gig which took place in late 2011.

Also, see the audio below taken from (and linking to) Fraser Fifield’s Soundcloud profile, which contains this recent track, ‘Alone at Last’ and many other of his brilliant works. We suggest you follow him to keep up with the regular flow of new music he provides on the page.

The J-Word tour, featuring Fraser Fifield performing with Grame Stephen and alongside the internationally acclaimed acts Fresu / Gurtu / Sosa, begins at The Sage in Gateshead, Sunday 28 April 2013. Buy tickets.

 

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Raymond Scott Project Live – Bunessan Hall

Raymond Scott Project Live – Bunessan Hall

The Stu Brown Sextet celebrates the eyeball-popping, hyper-animated ‘cartoon jazz’ of Raymond Scott. The original outfit will be bringing the unique sounds of their Raymond Scott Project live to Bunessan Hall in Mull this May.

Though his name is largely unknown, Raymond Scott‘s remarkable music will be familiar from its use in the Looney Tunes cartoons from the 1940s onwards and, more recently, in Ren & Stimpy and The Simpsons. Performed with zest and spontaniety by drummer Stu Brown’s brilliantly orchestrated sextet – as showcased on its recently released album ‘Twisted Toons: The Music of Raymond Scott‘ – the combination of slapstick alertness and nursery rhyme cheeriness produces music to make you smile.

Raymond Scott’s classic 1937 tune, “Powerhouse,” features in this vintage Looney Tunes animation.

Glasgow based drummer, Stu Brown, formed his sextet in 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Raymond Scott’s birth. Since it’s formation, the group has performed to sell out crowds across the country, including performances at Glasgow and Edinburgh International Jazz Festivals, at London’s Kings Place, and just having competed a successful tour of The Scottish Highlands at the end of 2012.

Below, Listen to the Stu Brown Sextet perform a snippet from their ‘Twisted Toons of Raymond Scott’ release, playing the classic “Twilight in Turkey”…

The Stu Brown Sextet will be performing a short tour of the highlands with dates across the north of Scotland taking place this coming May 2013. The jazz group are bringing their unique cartoon-jazz sound to Bunessan Hall, Tuesday 28 May. Tickets will become available very shortly, stay tuned to The J-Word website for further details.

To find out more about Stu Brown and his Raymond Scott Project, you can visit - www.raymondscottproject.com

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First Ever J-Word Tour – Highlights

First Ever J-Word Tour – Highlights

We bring you the highlights from the first ever J-Word tour which took place March 2013, featuring the Grammy Award winning Californian outfit, Yellowjackets and Tom Bancroft’s critically acclaimed Trio Red.

Before the tour kicked off there was coverage across the media, particularly for the Californian-based Yellowjackets group on their long awaited performances throughout Scotland. The Scotsman newspaper talked to drummer Will Kennedy of Yellowjackets and The Herald newspaper spoke with composer and musician Russel Ferrante of the group ahead of the tour.

Trio Red, having been met with healthy praise from critics following their first release, also received some pre-tour coverage, seen notably in the popular London Jazz News coverage of the tour.

After much anticipation, the tour kicked off in fine style on Sunday 10 March at Eden Court in Inverness, met with an enthusiastic crowd on a snowy winter’s night up north. We wrote a review of the gig which we posted the following day, which included this great on-stage shot (below) from Tom Cawley, renowned pianist and member of the Trio Red outfit.

The second performance at Perth Concert Hall went down a storm (despite the stormy weather!) with the busiest night of the entire tour, as seen in this great coverage from popular music website, Instrumentali.com.

The following evening saw the J-Word artists taking to the grand stage of the Aberdeen Music Hallto great success, seen here in this great photo (below) tweeted by Tom Cawley of Trio Red on the night.

The next night of this musical adventure saw the two jazz outfits performing at the legendary Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh. This was a great gig with some excellent post-coverage too, featuring once more in the Scotsman newspaper the following day. Also in this fantastic coverage by the venue themselves, including this fantastic footage of the Yellowjackets performing “Claire’s Song” (below).

The final evening of colourful musical entertainment took place at Rothes Hall in Glenrothes, to a smaller crowd but with a massive appreciation for the wonderfully unique performances. A great round-off to a fantastically successful tour of Scotland’s leading venues from some of the world’s finest musicians.

Yellowjackets + Trio Red - Wed 13 March 2013 -0015

Roll on the next round of J-Word tours, scheduled to begin April 28 at The Sage, Gateshead featuring Trilok Gurtu / Paolo Fresu / Omar Sosa and Fraser Fifield / Graeme Stephen.

See the full Storify round-up of coverage, footage, tweets, images and more from the first tour (below) for more…

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Raymond Scott Project Live – Mull Theatre

Raymond Scott Project Live – Mull Theatre

The Stu Brown Sextet celebrates the eyeball-popping, hyper-animated ‘cartoon jazz’ of Raymond Scott.

Though his name is largely unknown, Raymond Scott‘s remarkable music will be familiar from its use in the Looney Tunes cartoons from the 1940s onwards and, more recently, in Ren & Stimpy and The Simpsons. Performed with zest and spontaniety by drummer Stu Brown’s brilliantly orchestrated sextet – as showcased on its recently released album ‘Twisted Toons: The Music of Raymond Scott‘ – the combination of slapstick alertness and nursery rhyme cheeriness produces music to make you smile.

Raymond Scott’s classic tune – ‘The Penguin’ features here in this Daffy Duck cartoon – ‘Yankee Doodle Daffy’ from 1943…

Glasgow based drummer, Stu Brown, formed his sextet in 2008 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Raymond Scott’s birth. Since it’s formation, the group has performed to sell out crowds across the country, including performances at Glasgow and Edinburgh International Jazz Festivals, at London’s Kings Place, and just having competed a successful tour of The Scottish Highlands at the end of 2012.

Below, The Stu Brown Sextet perform a snippet of the classic ‘Toy Trumpet’, taken from their ‘Twisted Toons’ release…

The Stu Brown Sextet will be performing a short tour of the highlands with dates across the north of Scotland taking place this coming May 2013. The outfit are bringing their unique sound to Mull Theatre on Monday 27 May, more details to follow.

To find out more about Stu Brown and his Raymond Scott Project, you can visit - www.raymondscottproject.com

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