Category Archives: Event

“Sidney Bechet: My Father” Daniel-Sidney Bechet Quartet

This year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Antoine ‘Adolphe’ Sax, the Belgian inventor of the saxophone! It is acknowledged that Jazz has been the voice par excellence of the instruments which the creator bequeathed to the world of music and no voice has excelled that of the late Sidney Bechet, born in 1897 in New Orleans and recognised as the finest player of the soprano saxophone by a good many of the giants of Jazz, the legendary Duke Ellington included!

Sidney BechetSidney Bechet was born in New Orleans in May 1897 and is acknowledged as the greatest of the early masters of Jazz, up there with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. He toured widely in the US and Europe and finally settled in Paris where he found himself amongst many of the most revered names of 20th century art, literature and music. During his short stay in England in 1919 he played before King George V and Queen Mary. Some of his compositions such as Petite Fleur are jazz classics.

Daniel-Sidney Bechet, Sidney’s only child, was only five when his father died but his whole life has been spent promoting his father’s memory. As a drummer, he has become an accomplished Jazz musician himself. His book, ‘Sidney Bechet: My Father’, published by Books of Africa and successfully launched at the Hippodrome Casino in May, tells the story of this visionary genius as witnessed by his son. It also records Daniel’s own life and gives us his own take on the world of Jazz. A copy of the CD ‘Homage’ containing some of Bechet’s most famous compositions is included in the book!

On Thursday 9 October, 8.00p.m., Daniel will be in place to promote the book and perform his father’s original compositions at Le Quecumbar, Battersea, with a trio of the brightest young stars on the London Jazz scene and the don of the double bass:

Giacomo Smith, soprano sax and clarinet

Kourosh Kanani, guitar

Eleazar Luiz Spreafico, bass

with Special Guest Gary Crosby (Jazz Jamaica)

The vibe will be New Orleans! The ambience will transport you to Paris ‘aux années 20s et 30s de la dernière siècle’! And you’ll be welcome to dress accordingly à la mode!

Admission: £8.00 in advance (£11.00 on the door)

Le Quecumbar, 42-44 Battersea High Street, London SW11 3HX


Kassé Mady Diabaté

KASSÉ-MADY-DIABATÉSunday 23 November
LONDON Purcell Room (as part of EFG London Jazz Festival)

Tickets from

Kassé Mady Diabaté has been recognised for decades as one of West Africa’s finest singers – the descendent of a distinguished griot family and his name, along with other griot legends such at Toumani Diabaté and Bassekou Kouyaté, is musical royalty in Mali. On Monday 27 October he releases Kiriké (meaning ‘horse’s saddle’ – an important symbol in griot culture) on No Format! Records – an album that celebrates his position as one of Mali’s greatest voices and one that will push him into the limelight. On Sunday 23 November he performs at the Purcell Room as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Produced by French cellist Vincent Segal, this album is the third in a series born out of the friendship between Segal and kora maestro Ballaké Sissoko, which resulted in Chamber Music in 2009 and At Peace in 2012. Long-time admirers of Kassé Mady, Segal and Sissoko set out to create an album that gave space to his extraordinary voice. The result is Kiriké and it completes the trio. All three albums are subtle interpretations of a gentle, intimate musical current in Malian traditional music but with a contemporary Bamako acoustic sound.
Kassé Mady sings in Bambara, transcribing all the nuances of the human soul into song and delivering the powerful messages of the Manding Empire that have travelled through the centuries. He is accompanied by Ballaké Sissoko on kora, Lansiné Kouyaté on balafon and Makan Tounkara on ngoni. This trio of musicians represents three major elements in Manding music: the kora music of the Casamance region, the balafon of the central zone and the more bitter-sounding ngoni of the northern deserts of Mali – all drawn together by the soft and hypnotic baritone voice of Kassé Mady.

Stand out tracks on the album include the beautiful and mesmerising Ko Kuma Magni, the melodic and gentle Simbo and the understated Sadjo, an endearing tale of a mother hippopotamus who was a favourite among the villagers of Bafoule on the River Niger.

‘The album is very intimate and understated, with a sense of eavesdropping on a truly great master singer’ (Lucy Duran, producer, journalist and SOAS University Lecturer)