Filomena Campus’ My Jazz Islands Festival
11/12/13 November 2013
My Jazz Islands Festival brings the warmth and colour of Sardinia to autumnal London. Following the huge success in June of part one of the Festival, hosted in Cagliari by FPJ (Forma e Poesia nel Jazz), My Jazz Islands comes to the Pizza Express Jazz Club with three nights of top international jazz,
featuring trumpet star PAOLO FRESU, legendary writer STEFANO BENNI and UK award winning vocalist CLEVELAND WATKISS.“To quote a character from one of Benni’s novels: ‘I never want that which ends well to end at all.’ But it hasn’t ended, because Sardinia, with its atmosphere of warmth and vivacity, is coming to London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club in November.
Hats off to the organisers for bringing together this mélange of the two cultures: romance, fun, satire, fine music, powerful performers, jazz from island to island.”
Alison Bentley – LONDONJAZZ
Monday 11th November: DÙOS – CD Launch
Filomena Campus (vocals) & Giorgio Serci (guitar)
With Adriano Adewale (percussion)
Special guests Paolo Fresu (trumpet) & Sonia Peana (violin)
With original music by guitarist Serci and lyrics by Campus, DÙOS (“two” in Sardinian) explores sounds and atmospheres inspired by the Sardinian roots of these two London-based musicians. Campus is also a theatre practitioner and she uses her voice as a percussion instrument as well as singing exquisite melodies. They’ll be joined on this gig by the wonderful percussion of Brazilian Adriano Adewale. Special guests are Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu and violinist Sonia Peana (of the successful Alborada String Quartet). Fresu is an international star in his own right. Described by the Independent as ‘superb’, he’s also an inventive and inspiring proponent of free, yet melodic jazz. The New York Times said he has the ”the lyrical concision and softly plangent tone of Miles Davis.”
“Fresu makes a lyrical music with sharp turns, and is an imaginative interpreter of his culture’s own traditions” THE GUARDIAN
“On stage Campus is like a shaman of music, enchanting the audience with her deeply expressive voice and her magnetic presence” ANSA Italian Press Agency London
“Serci is one of the best acoustic guitarists right now but also one of the most inventive musicians on the circuit” Jonny Phillips – JAZZ UMBRELLA
“Adewale sang and handled his instruments with rapture. An extraordinary performance” JAZZWISE
Tuesday 12th November: JESTER OF JAZZ
Filomena Campus Quartet with special guest Paolo Fresu
Sardinian jazz legend trumpet player Paolo Fresu meets London based vocalist, lyricist and theatre director Filomena Campus and her stunning band: Steve Lodder (piano), Dudley Phillips (double bass) and Rod Youngs (drums). Lodder is perhaps best known for his work with Andy Sheppard, and is a virtuosic soloist and sensitive accompanist. Phillips is one of the UK’s most versatile and in-demand bassists, from his early work with Loose Tubes to Polar Bear’s sax-player Mark Lockheart. US drummer Youngs has worked with everyone from Denys Baptiste to Abdullah Ibrahim. The music written by Lodder and Phillips features strong, atmospheric, beautiful melodies and complex harmonies. Campus negotiates the precipitous tunes with sure-footed flair. Her evocative lyrics draw on Sardinian poems and songs. Campus has worked with Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo and Franca Rame, and in her vocalising, she uses sounds taken by them from the Theatre of Commedia dell’Arte. It’s a stunning mixture of creative improvisation from the worlds of jazz and theatre, performed with great charm.
“This singular Sard gleefully and expertly builds a multilingual set of beautifully stylish original songs… Hers is the most international of musics so she’s often gigging abroad; catch her when you can” Roger Thomas – JAZZUK
“In this project elegance reigns supreme, next to a philological research neatly knotted with the evolution of contemporary music and original jazz compositions underlined by the chameleon-like voice of Filomena Campus, that manages to combine musical styles and genres with incredible ease” Ayroldi – MUSICA JAZZ
“Fresu is one of the most seductive trumpet players in jazz, a heart-on-sleeve romantic, a purveyor of graceful, flowing lyricism, with a golden, sensual trumpet sound” JAZZTIMES
Wednesday 13 November: ITALY VS ENGLAND
Stefano Benni & Filomena Campus Quartet with special guest Cleveland Watkiss
Stefano Benni (spoken word), Filomena Campus (vocals), Steve Lodder (piano), Dudley Phillips (double bass), Rod Youngs (drums) with special guest Cleveland Watkiss (vocals and spoken word).
Acclaimed, award-winning Italian writer Stefano Benni joins Campus’ Quartet in this highly satirical juxtaposition of Italian and British literature and jazz, from the magical and mysterious to the comic, including excerpts from Shakespeare and Eliot. The music Lodder and Phillips have written covers an amazing range of jazz styles to accompany Benni’s witty writing, which includes God Save the Queen, a comic cavalcade of words evoking British culture, and One Hand Jack, a satirical piece of theatre, where the music tells the story. UK singer Cleveland Watkiss starred in Benni’s play about Thelonious Monk, Misterioso, directed by Campus at London’s Riverside Studios and is now back with Benni and on this project. Phillips and Lodder have created some superb swinging jazz to accompany the drama and poems read in English and Italian by Benni and Campus.
It’s all great fun, with a thought-provoking edge.
On Stefano Benni: “At his Italian readings he is treated more like a rock star than a writer. Huge audiences hang devotedly upon his every pronouncement.” Jonathan Coe THE GUARDIAN
On Cleveland Watkiss: “Best Male Jazz Singer in Britain” Evening Standard
“A jazz legend” TELEGRAPH
Show time 8.30pm, doors open 7pm.
All tickets £20, with complimentary Sardinian cheese (offered by Argiolas).
My Jazz Islands Festival events at the Italian Cultural Institute
7th November, 6.30 pm
Waiting for… My Jazz Islands: An evening of live music, theatre, documentaries about Sardinian music tradition and Paolo Fresu with a treat of Sardinian cheese and wine tasting.
10th November 4pm
Following the publication of “Nidi di Note” (Nest of Notes) a musical book of children’s tales, Paolo Fresu and Sonia Peana bring their children’s musical workshop to London.