If you`ve checked out the first part of this post, we’re still talking about the idea fusion, but now, we`re going to get a little more up to date. As the whole fusion movement happened in the seventies and on, that word seems to be pinned more or less to the rock-jazz combination, one of the greatest examples of which is Chick Corea. Well with the advent of the “www.” And later youtube, it became so much easier to find out what was happening all around the world. I know that’s when I started to get into music from Bulgaria, India, Africa, Brazil…etc. And it didn’t take long before creativity and curiosity got the better of us and we started actively combining different styles of music into new bands and ideas.
One of the groups that first blew me away was Farmers Market. They describe themselves as a Folk/Jazz/Pop/Humor group from Norway. Led by Stian Carstensen, a virtuosic multi-instrumentalist from Norway, the group has strong roots in Bulgarian folk but borrows from all over the world. Here is a clip of Farmers Market at the North Sea Jazz Festival
If you want to check out more here is another great video:
On the subject of combining cultures. Jayme Stone is a great Banjo player from Toronto who is in his own right following in the footsteps of the world-renowned Bela Fleck. Stone has been a Juno winner and contender for the last few years with his different projects. The project he won a Juno for was inspired by the music of Mali and his most recent project is simply called Room of Wonders - “Music Inspired by Folk Dances From Around The World”. Although I have not heard him with the line-up he is bringing to the festival this year, I can’t wait for the show.
Jayme Stone will be performing at the OIJF July 1st at 1pm with:
Jayme Stone – banjo, Kevin Turcotte – trumpet, Andrew Downing – cello, Joe Phillips – bass, Nick Fraser – drums
And of course we can’t talk about jazz and banjo’s in the same sentence without taking a bow to the great Bela Fleck. I heard a really great interview once with Bela where he said that all he ever wanted to do was tour with an inspiring band. With his virtuosity and versatility, Bela has collaborated with everyone from Chick Corea, to Edgar Myer, to his “Africa Sessions” project. None of these however are as profound and fun as his long-time touring project Bela Fleck & The Flecktones. Here is a fun video of The Flecktones:
Bela Fleck & The Original Flecktones will be performing at the OIJF on July 2nd at 9pm with:
Bela Fleck – leader, banjo; Howard Levy – piano, harmonica; Victor Wooten – bass; Roy Futureman Wooten – percussion, drums
Here is to Banjos and Jazz!