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noJAZZ (article first published : 2007-08-20)

Acclaimed, boundary-breaking five-piece jazz-inspired contemporary French band noJazz comes to Durban for one performance only at the Alliance Française in Windermere Road.

The Eye for Talent website explains: “If there is a concept behind, it is very simple: to mix the original celebratory spirit of jazz with hypnotic rhythms and contemporary sounds. Acoustic and Jungle, Trip Hop and Fanfares, melodies and samples, funk and jazz happily mingle with drum and bass.

It all began just a few years ago with the meeting of five musicians ready for anything, proud of their multiple respective experiences but determined to explore new musical territories.

Philippe Balatier, aka Balat, keyboardist and sample magician, fan of James Brown and of the Propellerheads, and composer of ad soundtracks. Guillaume Poncelet, an incredible young French jazz trumpeter. Pascal Reva, aka Bilbo, guitarist and drummer, a popular multi-instrumentalist with impeccable influences. Philippe Sellam, aka Slam, saxophonist who's played everything from free to big band, and has accompanied the likes of Gil Evans and Paco Sery. Mike Chekli, aka DJ Mike, the man on the decks, infused with soul and funk, a key figure on the Parisian hip hop scene.

For the last two years the band has been touring Europe, appearing at clubs and festivals. Each of their shows is so explosive that that their name is spreading like wildfire. A fantastic display of energy and rhythm, an invitation to trance: brass solos, hip hop, musicians that move and communicate their enthusiasm to the crowd, and at the same time can bring back the magic of George Clinton or Frank Zappa as well as, of course Miles Davis, for the innovation. The list is never ending with such eclectic neo-jazzmen! The band members have created around themselves and their music is an imaginative, all-encompassing universe, with their logo, photos, website, videos, etc. A new, enticing aesthetic whose drive is the sound, percussive, powerful, sophisticated by always devilishly infectious.”

Affirming this view is Grand Performances who quotes on their website: “A funky, rocking Parisian electro-jazz five-piece dance band about whom Le Monde, the most "intellectual" of the city of light's daily papers, questioned; "Is noJazz the future of Jazz?" Indeed this group is set to re-define the genre with its syncopated, danceable rhythms, words, modalities and melodies from around the world.”

Presented by the Alliance Française, noJazz takes place on August 31 at 19h30. Tickets R40. There is a cash bar. Booking through 031 312 9582.




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