Wednesday 28 March 2018

The Balagan Café Band - Album launch

Christian Miller
The Balagan Café Band
Christian Miller - guitar
Shirley Smart - Cello
Richard Jones - violin
Joe Browne - saxophone
Alice Zawadzki - voice
Mike Guy - accordion

Date - 23rd March 2018
Venue - The Green Note, Camden, London, UK
Current album - The Balagan Café Band (F-IRE 2018)

Mike Guy
Future performance
3rd May 2018 - Inventions and Dimensions, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK
13th May 2018 - Southampton Modern Jazz Club, UK
18th May 2018 - Paxton Centre, Paxton Arms Hotel, SE19 2AE, UK

The Balagan Cafe Band launched their debut album in the atmospheric candlelight of the Green Note in Camden this week. The trio draw inspiration from a broad range of feisty cultures around the world but are very much grounded here in London. There is a zesty pleasure in their music, a liveliness that sparks with passion and intelligence. Special guests included Joe Browne (soprano saxophone), Alice Zawadzki (vocals) and Mike Guy (accordion).

Joe Browne
An eclectic new project, this group combines the worlds of jazz, world music and classical, featuring the intimate chamber instrumentation of violin, guitar, cello and accordion and an elegant yet fiery fusion of improvisation and written music. Ranging from Parisian and American Jazz, the Chaabi music of Algeria, Tango from Argentina, Balkan folk melodies through to the early modern and folk music of Western Europe, Balagan fuses these threads into a coherent and characteristic sound world.​

‘…this is music for the ears, heart and feet.’

Alice Zawadzki
The past couple of years have seen the band perform at venues including the Elgar Room, Omnibus and National Portrait Gallery to enthusiastic public responses. The ensemble features some of the UK’s most versatile and capable artists.

Having traded Astronomy for jazz, Christian Miller has played guitar with the broadest possible spectrum of UK jazz musicians – including Heidi Vogel, Mike Mondesir, Adrian Cox, Alex Garnett and Nigel Price, as well New York swing scene favourite Gordon Webster. Equally at home on electric and acoustic instruments, his current projects include Kit Massey’s Hot Club of Jupiter, the Southside Gypsy Trio and his own trio and quartets playing modern and contemporary jazz.

Richard Jones
Richard Jones is a dynamic, exciting young British musician who strives to forge and unearth musical collaborations between a wide range of musical contexts. Since completing his Masters studies at the Guildhall, he has immersed himself in the London music scene and has found a seat within a plethora of different bands. Far removing the violin from the orchestral setting, he delves into rock, folk, world music and jazz to find his sounds. Already, Richard has had the pleasure of working with a host of renowned musicians, including Nicolas Meier, Audrey Riley, Robert Mitchell, Alex Hutton and Christine Tobin.

Shirley Smart
After 10 years living in Jerusalem, Shirley Smart now lives in London, where she has quickly established herself on the jazz and world music scenes. She has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Yasmin Levy, Neil Cowley, Gilad Atzmon, Antonio Forcione, Shekoyokh, Kosmos, London Klezmer Quartet, Avishai Cohen, Omer Avital, Sabreen, Ross Daly, Arun Ghosh, Alice Zawadski, Maurizio Minardi, Sefiroth Ensemble and Partikel as well as leading her own projects, including North African and Middle Eastern group the Melange Collective. She also performs on releases by singer Alice Zawadski on Whirlwind label, and Maurizio Minardi’s Piano Ambulance.

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