Mulatu Astatke / Yuri Buenaventura / La Delio Valdez / Lefto Early Bird / Kutu / Verb
Of all the instrumental ensembles throughout the history of jazz, the piano–double bass–drums trio — whose relevance has been confirmed time and time again by innovations from every corner of the world — is hands down one of the most exciting and bountiful. This perfectly balanced configuration will allow any experiment, any blending of genres, and Verb’s three members, pianist Noam Duboille, double bass player Charles Thuillier and drummer Garcia Etoa Ottou, all winners’ of the 2023 ReZZo Jazz à Vienne Springboard, have harnessed its virtues for their own mission. A blend of the familiar and the original, but with an emphasis always on melody, without sacrificing interaction and improvisation, Verb has joined the ranks of today’s very best trios; they are accessible, laser-focussed and open-minded.
- Noam Duboille (p)
- Charles Thuillier (cb)
- Garcia Etoa Ottou (dms)
Mulatu — now that’s good music! For decades, the father of Ethio-jazz has enchanted us with music he developed in Addis Ababa in the early 70s — a blend of jazz, traditional Ethiopian and Latin music that’s hypnotically and irresistibly groovy. It was thanks to the Ethiopiques collection that listeners in France first discovered this elegant vibraphonist and percussionist and then, later, again, in Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers, when Bill Murray played his mixes in his car. Mulatu Astatké is an eminently learned musician who trained in London and the US, where he attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston and played at clubs in New York. He later returned to Ethiopia and got the country’s capital swinging. Mulatu Astatké is also a wonderful composer whose melodies swirl around you like a cocoon, travelling from ears to toes.
- Mulatu Astatke (elp, vb, perc)
- James Arben (dir, f, sax)
- Danny Keane (vlc)
- Byron Wallen (t)
- Alexander Hawkins (p, kbd)
- John Edwards (cb)
- Richard Olatunde Baker (perc)
- Jon Scott (dms)
Over two decades have passed since Yuri Buenaventura, and his bright timbre, first seduced French listeners by declaring his love for the nation’s repertoire. Especially memorable is his cover of ‘Ne me quitte pas’ (Don’t leave me) that he began singing in the Parisian metro. It’s an unbelievable, formidably efficient cover and proof renewed that it’s impossible to resist the master of Colombian salsa! Yuri has made us dance, sing, and cry too, because there’s sometimes a hint of tragedy in his voice. It’s no exaggeration to describe him as an incredible vocalist, whose power and presence soar above his orchestra’s brass. This Francophile turned ‘Chevalier des Arts & des Lettres’ (Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters — a point of pride) has lost none of his energy or generosity. Prepare to witness its deployment during his grand — and long overdue! — return to France. ¡A bailar!
- Yuri Buenaventura (v)
- Andrés Alfonso Gomez Arango (dir, p)
- Diego Fernando Galindo, Castaño (bkv)
- Johan Castro Perlaza (bkv)
- Francis Emeris Garces Salazar (t)
- Andy Steven Rodriguez Carvajal (t)
- Daniel Felipe Duque Rengifo (t)
- Richard Alexander Stella Prieto (tb)
- Luis Camilo Maestre Lopez (tb)
- Yeinson Muñoz Rodriguez (tb)
- Héctor Adrián Benavides Zapata (bg),
- Jefferson Arango Parra (perc, bgo)
- Carlos Sabogal Valencia (perc, tim)
- Edy Jonathan Garcia Garces (perc, cga)
Théo Ceccaldi may be one of the most prolific and eclectic figures in French jazz, but nobody expected him to put together a project so radically different from anything we have heard from him until now. The project idea came to the violinist during a trip to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, where he met a great many artists, including Hewan Gebrewold, who will be performing this concert beside him. Both have ventured outside the realms of their favourite musical genres to invent one that is part-way between jazz and traditional Ethiopian music, borrowing also from trance and numerous flavours of electro. The resulting recordings blow you over, but this music is certainly cut out for the stage too.
- Hewan Gebrewold (v)
- Théo Ceccaldi (vln),
- Akemi Fujimori-Poivre (kbd)
- Valentin Ceccaldi (b)
- Cyril Atef (dms)
La Delio Valdez
If ever there were an orchestra that faithfully represented all the riches of cumbia, the multi-century music from across South America, then it might just be La Delio Valdez. This collective of musicians was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began to make a name for itself by revisiting the continent’s popular repertoire — a rich constellation of different cultures — before contributing a host of its very own pieces. In recent years, the group has released an increasing number of carefully crafted music videos that are a perfect reflection of their warmth and a measure of the growth of their discography. But it’s on stage that their unrivalled merriness comes to life and there is no doubt that they will be proud standard-bearers for their homeland during an All Night event embracing all four corners of the world.
Lefto Early Bird
Belgian miner of neglected sound troves (‘digger’) DJ Lefto Early Bird is a familiar face at the Worldwide Festival and is just as inquisitive and beneficent as his partner, Gilles Peterson. For his new project with Heavenly sweetness, Lefto has immersed himself in the fabulous Ethiopiques collection and this exploration has yielded a buoyant mix that will just sweep you off your feet. ‘I came to Ethio-jazz through samples,’ he explained. As a young rap producer, I was always on the lookout for samples in African and Middle Eastern music, and I ended up coming across the Ethiopiques catalogue’ — A true revelation. It will be no surprise then to hear Mulatu Astatke’s music in a DJ set that is going to turn the Théâtre Antique into a sort of ‘Swinging Addis’ — he is actually going to be on just beforehand — but also Mahmoud Ahmed’s enchanting voice, as well as saxophonist Getatchew Mekuria’s groovy phrases...