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Equal Spirits

EQUAL SPIRITS is the new project from trombonist and composer Raph Clarkson, “one of the rising stars of UK Jazz” ( The music aims to celebrate the coming together of the British and South African post-war jazz traditions, encapsulated for example by Keith Tippett’s many collaborations with musicians such as Dudu Pukwana and Mongesi Feza.
Raph’s interpretation of this historic cultural partnership comprises music inspired by the English hymnal tradition, with chorale-and-plainchant-like melodies meeting the joyful harmony and melodic approach of South African Township Jazz, bound together by freely improvised passages and loose, unbound, wild grooves, and the direct power of the spoken word.
Having studied with Keith Tippett and subsequently played with South African jazz legends Pinise Saul and Adam Glasser, Raph brings together and explores some of his greatest musical passions.


Raph Clarkson – trombone

Leeto Thali – spoken word

Chris Batchelor – trumpet

Adam Glasser – piano and harmonica

Steve Watts – bass

Mike Pickering – drums

Vortex, London January 2018


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