“London has one of the world’s top sound-recipe books in the world and it also has the performers who know how to cook-it-up and stir the pot to create an entirely new musical concept that could only really have been born in London.”
This is how the concept of LONDON TRIBES is described by producer Pablo Farba of publisher Editorial Nascimento and the team at The Forge in Camden,. Pablo is programmer-in-chief for the series which will has its launch party this Saturday. Sebastian interviewed him:
LondonJazz News: Pablo you are the producer of London Tribes. First tell us more about yourself…
Pablo Farba My roots lie in the extreme south of the Americas, split between Argentina and Chile where most of my family came from. Having lived in the UK as well as Italy for very long periods of my life, the best definition I have yet heard about me is the world’s first Britalian Argenchilean…. and I can live with this very comfortably. It describes me pretty precisely 🙂
LJN: And your musical antecedents/ enthusiasms ??
PF: I was born into a VERY musical household. Highly eclectic. My mother began the day with classical music and opera blaring out all over the house from 7am… which initially made me develop a bit of a rejection of the genre, although later in the day we went from the Tangos sang by Susana Rinaldi, Goyeneche and others, to the songs of Victor Jara, and ended up with The Doors and The Beatles because nowhere in the entire world are people so obsessed with one band as we are with the Beatles in South America.
LJN: What is the concept behind London Tribes?
PF: Since the big migratory waves from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean in the 1950s and 60s, the ethnic contingents living in London never quite got acquainted with each other in an intimate manner. Now, one or 2 generations later, this new wave of ethnic Britons, who are musicians, producers and composer have began checking each other’s music out in a much more personal way. As a result, many of them are often travelling the world, checking out one another’s cultures in their lands of origin. Many of these now end up not only LISTENING to the sounds of the antipodes, but they are now actually PLAYING together. One clear example of this is Kishon Khan, who originates in Bangladesh, lives in London most of his life, and is the Cuban musician’s first choice pianist in UK Salsa bands… how do you explain that ? Simple, they all live and work together in London.
Undeniably, London has perhaps the world’s top sound-recipee book and it also has the performers who know how to cook-it-up and stir the pot to create an entirely new musical concept that could only really have been born in London. Just like in Paris, the pot would contain cous cous, here in London we’re currying the enchilada to make the pepper MUY CALIENTE !!
These are the Tribes that come together to form the next generation of artists who are defining the evolution of the sound of London… perhaps the world’s capital ?
LJN: What is there that is special about London?
PF: One could say that London has lived through most of the experiences that the rest of the world is catching up with. London has had to face the challenges that multicultural integration brings, but as a reward, it has also had the privilege of showing the world what cn happen when the playing ground is levelled and creativity is given a platform within which to flourish.
You could compare it to Paris, and see the difference, where perhaps Paris would substitute the South Asian element for North African sounds, therefore obtaining a totally different soundscape to the one London has. We love having such a vast supermarket to sample, and this is where London Tribes comes into its own, as a sampling and collaborative platform where people can come and be overwhelmed by beauty.
LJN: So the “typical London sound” these days reflects our cultural mix….And where are we compared to New York?
PF: I think NYC would necessarily have to be defined by the sounds of Jazz, Funk and Latin music. Turn on the TV and along with images of the Big Apple, come the horn / brass sections playing the mirror image of what you hear, smell and see on the streets.
I think it is agreed with most London musicians that NYC is hard to beat from the “musical proficiency” perspective of the performers, who really are technically unbelievable players… one example of this will be on show at London Tribes on the 21st of November where the Ariacne Trujillo Trio from New York will be displaying precisely the mix I talk about. A genial pianist from the classical conservatory of Havana, turns into a Salsa and Timba pianist and vocalist and mutates from a blonde blue eyed cuban princess into a thumping mix between Diana Krall and Celia Cruz. Her rendition of an old song by Atahualpa Yupanqui, “Ariacne Trujillo plays Drume Negrita” on youtube was enough for me to be blown away. That is where I decided I could not live without working with this artist. I would say that in London we have an edge over most cities in terms of the diversity of mixes going on, and the types of eclectic projects being performed and recorded. One example immediately jumps to mind, such as the meeting taking place on Friday the 20th November between Kishon Khan’s Lokkhi Terra, the precursors of afro-bangla-latin-funk and Dele Sosimi, who was Fela Kuti’s musical director and pianist for several years. CUBAFROBEAT. It’s in the title. Now THAT is a mega collision between 4 continents that would put the tectonic power of continental drifts to shame. A Bangladeshi and a Nigerian composing and playing with their musicians who come from Turkey, Britain, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Cuba.
LJN: What bands will you be presenting this Sunday
PF: Lokkhi Terra, CubAfrobeat, Soothsayers, Fontanelles, Afrospot, Dele Sosimi’s Afrobeat Orchestra, Funkshy, Wara, Sambroso All Stars, the Justin Thurgur Sextet, the Javier Camilo Quartet, and Geraldo de Armas.
LJN: And you also have things up your sleeve for the London Jazz Festival
PF: I think one of the great artists among the other 2 LJF concerts I have mentioned (Cubafrobeat and Ariacne Trujillo Trio) is one of the most influential percussionists of recent times. Rubem Dantas is a legend, and was part of Paco De Lucia’s Sextet for 25 years. He single-handedly introduced the Peruvian Cajon into Flamenco, even though many younger Flamencos seem to think it always belonged in their traditional line ups. This man has played with many a legend, from Chick Corea to Gilberto Gil, Juan Manuel Cañizares to Paquito D’Rivera. He brings a trio which will play one of his creations, with a very percussive flamenco edge. Get ready to stomp your feet and scream OLEEE !!!
His Cajon Tour features 2 other musicians alongside him, playing piano, clarinet and obviously cajon and percussion Flamenco at its most sophisticated.
RUBEM DANTAS – CAJON TOUR FRIDAY 20TH NOVEMBER AT THE FORGE 7:30pm 3-7 Delancey Street Camden London NW1 7NL. 020 7383 7808
LJN: Who is Ariacne Trujillo and when is she on ?
PF: Grammy Nominee Ariacne Trujillo was born in Havana, Cuba. Trujillo and her trio expertly perform the cantering, highly percussive riffs that propel much upbeat Latin music, with classical and jazz influences. Grammy Nominee Ariacne Trujillo was born in Havana, Cuba. She began her career as a child prodigy concert pianist. Blessed with perfect pitch, she was able to graduate with honors from Cuba’s hyper-competitive ISA conservatory while working as a singer and dancer at the legendary Cabaret Tropicana.
Since arriving in New York City in 2002, Ariacne has performed or recorded with Paul Simon, Paquito D’ Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Danny Rivera, Jonny Pacheco, John Scofield, Brian Lynch, Esperanza Spalding and Savion Glover. The most recent and significant collaboration of her career is her contribution to the Pedrito Martinez Group. Such impressive bona fides aside, the most important qualities Trujillo brings to the mix are her ability to improvise both form and content, and her truly relentless sense of time.
It’s standard Cuban practice to break down to piano, clave and kick drum, but her work with the Pedrito Martinez Group repeatedly highlighted her talent by breaking down to piano – just piano – and letting the audience experience the unstoppable groove that Trujillo lays down – often while singing lead in her powerful and endlessly flexible voice. The range of expression in Ariacne’s playing and singing encompasses classical, afro-cuban, Latin, jazz, opera, blues and more.
At the LJF Ariacne brings one of her latest creations, where the New York Tribes make their first transatlantic appearance (many urban and world tribes will be visiting in 2016), and collaborates with her own
ARIACNE TRUJILLO TRIO
SATURDAY 21ST NOVEMBER AT THE FORGE 7:30pm 3-7 Delancey Street Camden London NW1 7NL. 020 7383 7808
LJN: And Dele Sosimi?
PF: Hackney born, Dele was raised in Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s shadow at the height of early 70s Afrobeat. He became Musical Director for both Fela’s Egypt 80 and later Femi Kuti’s Positive Force.
Dele Sosimi stands out as one of the most active musicians currently on the Afrobeat scene worldwide.
Dele’s career began when he joined Fela’s Anikulapo-Kuti’s Egypt 80, where he played keyboards for 7 years (1979-1986). Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was the founder of the style of music known as Afrobeat. The music is a blend of complex but highly danceable funk grooves, Nigerian traditional music (including hi-life), African percussion, underpinning the jazz horns and solos from other instruments, as well as rhythmical singing. Dele was the rhythm keyboard player for Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s Egypt 80 and worked and toured extensively with Fela around the world… Dele’s music and shows are charged with his passion, labours and unrelenting spirit.
Lokkhi Terra, introduced at Womad by the compere as “an Afro-Cuban thing with Bangladeshi origins”. Kishon Khan leant back from his keyboards with the glee of a man driving a super-car, and played as if distilling the entire 1970s work of Herbie Hancock into a high-octane drive in the country, as congas bounced and brass slid around him.
From the melas of Bangladesh to the streets of Havana and the beaches of Brazil, piano master Kishon Khan’s all-star jazz fusion collective have a musical wanderlust. A seamless collage of the some of the most vibrant musical styles on the planet, sliding goodnaturedly from feisty Afro-latin dance rhythms to subtle and sinuous Bengali vocals, from jazz-funk brass to ska and rumba and India ragas, it makes you want to pack your bags and travel the world in their company.
CUBAFROBEAT (FEAT. DELE SOSIMI & KISHON KHAN’S LOKKHI TERRA) FRIDAY 20TH NOVEMBER AT THE FORGE 7:30pm 3-7 Delancey Street Camden London NW1 7NL. 020 7383 7808
LJN: And there are going to be drinks and food which fit the music ? – at all these events?
PF: The Forge has now started a Latin American street food at the Cantina, which goes hand in hand with the fiesta atmosphere this venue seems to be building. People spill out onto the streets and it sometimes feels as if the happy vibe transported us in smell and sound to one of those places in Latin America where the fiesta never dies.
LJN: What are the longer term plans for London Tribes ?
PF: London Tribes will be a monthly year long series normally happening on a Friday and/or a Saturday, presenting the best of London and surroundings, and inviting top musicians to collaborate and contribute in writing the new London score and songbook. We want to keep this just like London is: Global, relevant, cutting edge and as funky as Camden Town deserves. Watch this space !!
Pablo Farba is content creator for one of the most important publishers in the Americas, Editorial Nascimento, based in Lisbon