Land of my mother, it’s always a pleasure to perform in Germany! The year’s shows kicked off with a run of three shows in Ludwigshafen, Augsburg and Minden. After my guitar got left behind in London (thanks British Airways :/ ) we were re-united just in time for the second half of the show at Ludwigshafen and then it was onto Augsburg. Here’s a lovely review of that show to whet your appetites for more upcoming Germany dates, this time in Einbeck and Idar-Oberstein!
Wow, guys sorry it’s been a while since my last confession.. I mean blog post ;) . It’s been a glorious summer in many ways, and not just weather-wise so even though it’s getting colder again I feel thoroughly warmed by meeting so many amazing new people at all the shows over the past few months. I really appreciate it when you take the time to come and chat after and give your words of appreciation and encouragement.
This year it’s been so wonderful to be able to start touring in France and there have been really memorable shows in Strasbourg, Chamonix and Montpellier in the last couple of months alone. Amazing times and so great to be so incredibly enthusiastically received.
Here’s a lovely live review (below) from the show in Chamonix as published in Le Dauphiné Libéré, the regional newspaper.
The final show in France this year happens on 7th December in New Morning Paris!! See you there!
It's certainly a strange time to be British wondering where exactly the UK is headed. I waver between giving in to a voracious need to devour the news trying to fathom it all out and long periods of time when I find the news too depressing and I need to succumb to the desire to avoid knowing anything outside my immediate sphere so that I can continue to function in a meaningful way.
As a mixed race person, I truly feel like a citizen of Planet Earth so it's genuinely weird to be caught up in this nationalistic colonialist-inspired 'we're better than you' throwback in the form of this thing called Brexit. And as my direction of travel as an artist looks ever outward, one of the greatest joys I am finding is experiencing the warmth that comes with taking my music across cultures to clubs, concert halls and international jazz festivals abroad witnessing first-hand musicians and audiences from all over the world being united by the language of music. It's a beautiful way to remind everyone present how very similar we all are at our core, that we all share a common human experience no matter what trappings of language and customs and nationality we also wear - something fans of 'world' music have long-since known. The feeling of being made welcome and having people 'get' the music when you are not from there is the precise opposite of us as a nation saying 'we don't want to be in your club', because collectively our goal musically is to remind ourselves that there is only one club to be part of.
Last week's show in Vauréal on the outskirts of Paris, got me thinking again about how we will fare as a nation culturally if Brexit actually goes ahead. It's not just the ease of travel for the likes of me and my musicians but also the reverse as fewer and fewer artists and musicians from all over the world will want to come here or be able to even if they still want to. How impoverished will we be through this pursuit of otherness? If Brexit does have to go ahead, here's hoping it is at least not at the expense of the open borders in our hearts and minds. Every time I see a show featuring invited guests from abroad or get to go abroad to play I'm going to think of it as an act of Brexit-busting rebellion against a political landscape that seems to be trying to narrow our world. Just don't anybody say it's 'the will of the people..' I believe the will of the people is that everyone should have equal opportunities in this life. I don't believe Brexit is the way to achieve that. If politicians were really listening they'd concentrate on addressing the inequalities that prompted so many to vote leave and see the referendum for the blunt tool it really was. If ever there was a definition of political 'correctness' gone mad, Brexit is surely it.
I am still floating somewhere on Cloud 9 after an absolutely incredible summer of touring. The shows at weekend in Norway and Sweden were the icing on the cake with just such an amazingly warm and powerful reception from everyone who came. Myself, Idris and Saleem can't thank you enough for giving us some wonderful memories over these past few months.
Back in London now, I am working hard on preparing some new music for you, so do stay tuned and remember, if you want to be the first to hear about any new releases, free mp3s or be in line for exclusive early bird access to tickets (as and when possible!), do join the mailing list. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click 'join mailing list'!
Shows for this year continue in October - London, Ingolstadt and Vienna still to come!! See the 'tour' page for details :) Over and out for now.
And cable cars... Unexpected final mode of transport to the hotel when we hit Bolzano a couple of weeks back. That was a new one! And such a gorgeous festival to have been involved with. Ruth Goller, bass player extraordinaire based in London (and part of so many great acts) but originally from the Sued Tirol area of Northern Italy curated a London-centric programme for their festival this year and we managed to squeeze in 3 shows before heading out at 5am the next to get to my cousin's wedding in Germany. Anyway, I digress..!
After a couple of 'catch your breath' weeks, we're off again for the next busy phase of coming out to see you - and this time we heading to Spain, Germany, Austria, France and Wales!! Hope you're ready! See the tour page for full details of where you can catch up with us.
Hope you're having an amazing summer so far!