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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

GUY VILLERD AYLER PROJECT (article first published : 2003-09-14)

The Alliance Franšaise and The French Institute of South Africa have joined forces to bring a remarkable collection of musicianship and inspiration to South Africa for a two-week tour. ARFI is a jazz collective that is unique in its structure, ambitions, projects and philosophies. It is not a single monolithic group but rather shifts in shape and form with smaller groups with their own styles, shows and projects which then also rejoin the main body for different incarnations and roles.

Started in the 70's, ARFI is made up of a group of dedicated musicians who either form the core body of 20 permanent members although this rank is often swelled to as many as 56 when the associate members are involved in the projects. All are passionate about music and see their mission as making their special brand of musical entertainment in fresh, original and unorthodox contexts and formats. Their projects are extremely diverse and include shows that involve magicians, clowns, chefs, actors and creating the scores to silent movies.

The South ARFIcan Odyssey is no exception. This tour will see no less than three world premieres of new ARFI shows, two of which have been created through South African musical collaborations, while retaining the distinctive jazz sounds that ARFI is internationally renowned for.

The Ayler Project comprises Xavier Garcia (sampler), Christian Rollet (drums), Guy Villerd (saxo tenor) and Claude Tchamitchian (double bass). Guy Villerd states. Nowadays, when meanings give way to consensus, when ideology gets weaker and weaker, I would like to take the opportunity of this show to follow into the steps of Albert Ayler. Ayler's tour-de-force has been to create a whole new vocabulary to express his feelings. I want to make audible a voice both subversive and sealed by love and generosity. Music has the power to magnify our souls; for us, it will be passionate and sincere, strongly anchored in the future"

The ARFI schedule for Southern Africa takes in peformances by the Ayler Project in Durban on September 26 at 21h00 at Wilson's Wharf and on September 28 at 16h00 at the Joy of Jazz Club in Albert Park. Both performances form part of the Awesome Africa Festival.

On September 27 at 18h00, the Guy Villerd Ayler Project appears at EMAC Cultural Centre Kwa Mashu as part of Celebrate Durban Week.

The full schedule can be found on www.ifas.org.za or contact Catherine Duncan on e-mail: catherine@ifas.org.za




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