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What does the future hold for improvised music? No answer, but exciting insights are offered by Melting Pot, a collaborative project that annually features five of Europe’s best young improvisers from five different cities – including Berlin based Argentinian saxophonist Camila Nebbia – finding common ground in real-time. They’re followed by Omawi, an Amsterdam-based improvising trio built around the multi-layered playing of pianist Marta Warelis with veteran bassist Wilbert de Joode and the excellent drummer Onno Govaert.
(NO, AT, DE, BE, PL)
Every year the European cooperation initiative melting pot brings together various groups of young improvisational musicians who form new ensembles without long rehearsal times. This year, the Jazzfest Berlin, Handelsbeurs Concertzaal (Ghent), Jazztopad (Wrocław), Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria (Oslo) and the International Jazz Festival Saalfelden are working together, with each organizer inviting a musician from their own region to participate.This year’s configuration is especially exciting, as these five distinctive, budding improvisers come together to navigate spontaneous sonic fabrics: Polish drummer Hubert Zemler (Wroclaw), Norwegian violinist Tuva Halse (Oslo), Iranian clarinetist Mona Matbou Riahi (Saalfelden), Dutch bassist Louise van den Heuvel (Gent) and Argentine saxophonist Camila Nebbia (Berlin). The great appeal and special feature of improvisation lies in the fact that very different artists can come together without the compulsion of common contexts; that five musicians, most of whom do not know each other, symbolically bridge different styles and origins in order to develop something new.
Tuva Halse – violin
Mona Matbou Riahi – clarinet
Camila Nebbia – saxophone
Louise van den Heuvel – e-bass
Hubert Zemler – drums
A cooperation between Berliner Festspiele / Jazzfest Berlin, Jazztopad Festival (Wroclaw), Handelsbeurs (Gent), Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria (Oslo) and Internationales Jazzfestival Saalfelden
20:30 / World premiere
Marta Warelis, who performed at Jazzfest Berlin in 2021 as part of trumpeter Dave Douglas’ Secular Palms project, is arguably one of the most exciting pianists to emerge from the hothouse environment of the Amsterdam jazz scene. The Polish native is a musician of remarkable resourcefulness and invention, and her practice makes room for a dazzling wide array of approaches. While she’s an excellent post-bop pianist—evoking the sound of New Dutch Swing in the Xavier Pamplona Septet or unspooling richly melodic improvisations in Douglas’ hard-swinging quintet—she is just as authoritative in her explorations of pure sound. Her powerful 2022 solo album “A Grain of Earth” revealed her improvisational abilities on a set of prepared piano pieces on par with the music of Berlin’s Magda Mayas. But only few projects have showcased the full diapason of her aesthetic like Omawi, her collective trio with veteran Dutch bassist Wilbert de Joode and the agile young drummer Onno Govaert, both crucial figures on the current Amsterdam scene. The group recently released “TK”, its first new album in eight years, and it captures a significant growth leap. But at the same time, the trio’s essential quicksilver improvisatory style remains constant, with all of its members introducing a succession of riffs, patterns and grooves emerging of thin air—embraced or batted away by the rest of the group in real time—which are elaborated upon, deconstructed, or both. Omawi possesses a dazzling dynamic sensibility, moving from the most delicate gestures to unleashing sudden torrents of visceral sound, with every motion pouring out of the ongoing din with organic liquidity.