Jazz may have been born and grown up in America, but today the music has no one home. Europe is arguably is a more innovative centre for jazz than the US. Reflecting the vitality of European contemporary jazz, the Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston is hosting a free festival this weekend.
Match&Fuse features 13 bands from eight countries, with gigs in the club on Friday and Saturday nights, and outdoor performances in the adjoining Gillett Square on Saturday afternoon and evening. The Arts Council-supported project is part of a touring exchange programme for European ensembles set up by London-based five-piece, WorldService Project.
The idea behind the project, bandleader and festival organiser Dave Morecroft tells Londonist, "is to bring ensembles and musicians together and 'match' them opposite each other. Once the ensembles are in place, the 'fusing' begins — new music is created, and musicians collaborate together to create new bands, compositions and musical explorations."
Expect high quality, Avant-garde music in an informal setting. "When I listen to all the bands, the thing they share is a vibrant energy about their music, pushing creative boundaries whilst still retaining a 'listenable' sound," says Morecroft. Highlights include hardcore, drummer-led British quintet Led bib on Friday night (15 June), a big band made up from contributing groups in Gillett Square at 6.45pm on Saturday (16 June), and the following set from WorldService Project themselves. The music will continue on into the early hours each night.
The Vortex is a world-class, volunteer-led jazz club, presenting contemporary jazz seven nights a week in an atmospheric upstairs space. The club is part of the Dalston Culture House, an architecturally conceived cultural centre that sits next to Gillett Square, London's newest town square. The area has its own website.
Here is the quirky trailer for the festival:
Image by Alex Winn, courtesy of the Vortex.