Joshua Abrams
Jazztopad Festival
Michiyo Yagi & Hamid Drake Duo – premiere / Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society feat. Hamid Drake
25.11.2022
Fri.
7:00 PM
NFM, Red Hall
Performers:

Michiyo Yagi – koto
Hamid Drake – drums
***
Joshua Abrams – gumbri
Lisa Alvarado – harmonium
Mikel Patrick Avery – drums
Jason Stein –  bass clarinet

Guest appearance:  
Hamid Drake – percussion

Venue:
NFM, Red Hall
plac Wolności 1, 50-071 Wrocław
Tickets:
from 20 to 65 zł

Through decades of activity, Hamid Drake has managed to establish close relationships with the most important figures on the improvised music scene, including double bass player William Parker, saxophonists and clarinetists Ken Vandermark, David Murray and Peter Brötzmann. But aside from these big names, his list of collaborators includes countless instrumentalists from around the world, among others Michiyo Yagi, whose improvisations on the Japanese koto are so fascinating.

Yagi started playing koto – a Japanese zither with a characteristic crisp and sonorous tone – at the age of six. She went to the US to study, where she began working with experimental music and playing compositions by such artists as John Zorn and John Cage. In 1999, the prestigious Zorn label Tzadik released her first solo album. Since then, Yagi has continued to be active in improvised music. Firmly rooted in traditional sounds, the artist has collaborated and toured for years with the iconic performers of improvised music in Europe. In addition to the traditional thirteen-string koto, she also plays the twenty-one-string model and the sixteen- and eighteen-string bass koto.

Although the Chicago double bass player Joshua Abrams is best known for his jazz projects and improvised music, his aesthetics are reminiscent of tradition. He was the first bass player in the legendary Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots, and after moving to Chicago, he became a part of the local jazz scene. Abrams has composed and performed acclaimed soundtracks for award-winning documentaries, including The Interrupters and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. The project that has defined his career over the past decade is the Natural Information Society, a group that plays the Moroccan string instrument called gumbri. Over the years, the group expanded their line-up and developed a trance-inducing sound, juxtaposing different traditions from northern and western Africa with the tradition of American minimalism. As a result, a warm, ecstatic rhythm was created, enhanced by the extended improvisational passages played by the members of the formation and their guests. The band has performed with countless Chicago improvisers, including Hamid Drake. The latter is a titan of free jazz and improvised music, and his joyful energy takes each project to the heights of excellence. Drake will renew this relationship at the Jazztopad festival.

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