Here’s a roundup of some of the stuff I’ve been involved with lately.
I have been busy fixing a 10-piece brass section with Manchester School of Samba (www.sambaman.org.uk) for 2 gigs at Manchester’s Park Life Weekender in Platt Fields Park (Sunday 12 June) and Manchester Day Parade (Sunday 19 June). The lineup will consist of 2 trumpets, 2 alto saxes, 2 tenor saxes, 2 trombones, bass trombone and tuba and should be pretty stonking. The 12 June gig is sold out I believe, but you can catch the Samba School marching through Manchester City Centre on Sunday 19 from 2pm.
Composition is continuing slowly. I’m currently working on 3 new tunes. I actually started the first one just before Christmas but I left it for a while, came back to it and completely reworked it! It’s a crazy mixture of funk (think Brecker Bros ‘Some Skunk Funk’ style), Brazilian samba-reggaeton and middle-Eastern grooves. I’m still developing the lyrical content, but it’s going to be a song about going round in circles and never getting anywhere - pretty much sums up my life, I think!
The second song is a very Snowboy influenced Samba/Latin fusion, which definitely leans more towards the jazz/experimental side of Latin music - and contains an AAB head geared towards instrumental solos. This will repeat and repeat and repeat and... finally it breaks out into a new unusual sequence that I created with a funky horn riff and vocal montuno creating a nice counterpoint and vehicle for improvisation.
The third composition is going to be a samba. I’m experimenting with blending the coro/pregón (call/response collective refrain vs. individual improvisation) structure deriving from African music with samba rhythms inspired by one of my favourite Brazilian composers Ivan Lins. I realised that there are a lot of structural similarities between Cuban and Brazilian (as both African-derived) musics and, frankly, I’m bored of all my compositions going into standard montunos (call/response sections) so I’m experimenting with these techniques in Brazilian music.
I’m really excited to share all three compositions very soon (once I get my head round to writing some lyrics!). I’ll upload some onto the Laboratory to give you a taster.
I’ve got several gigs coming up with the Latin trio featuring Julian Harris (guitar), which will hopefully give me an opportunity to workshop these new songs. See the Diary section for details.
A busy month it is for Diáspora too , we did Matt & Phred’s last thursday May 26 with the small band, where we played to a packed dance floor. Tomorrow we’re playing at Prestwich Festival with the full 11-piece band (which is going to be recorded and filmed live) and on June 24 we’re playing at Civic Hall Saddleworth Oldham with the 7-piece. Details for both of these gigs and how to obtain tickets can be found on the website. On Saturday May 28, myself and Alyss Rose were kindly invited to participate on Latin DJ Amos De Roover’s radio show Global Vybz which airs every Saturday 6-8pm on North Manchester FM 106.6. Here we hung out with the Latin Crew, discoursed generally about what Diáspora means to us, and played a couple of songs too (Golden Section and ‘Move To The Music’). Details of how you can ‘listen again’ are at the bottom of this page. We are planning on doing a possible date with the band at Club Copacabana this July - of course, we will keep you posted. Check out the website (www.diasporamusic.co.uk) and Facebook pages for all the latest scoop on this exciting project.
With all this and various other appearances (including another outing to Burma with ‘The Burma Play’ in Taunton, summer looks to be busy.
Hopefully see you at a gig soon!
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Saturday 28th May 2011
Diáspora on North Manchester FM 106.6 fm - The Global Vybz show with Amos de Roover -www.northmanchesterfm.org
1st hour of the radio show - we're talking in the last 7 minutes or so
2nd hour of the radio show.
We're talking off and on from the beginning and then songs at times below
1st song "Golden Section" at 12 mins 51 secs
2nd song "Move To The Music" at 42 mins 26 secs (or 43mins 54 secs without the long intro)
RED & BLACK MUSIC