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Intakt Records Festival Day 4: Irene Schweizer & Maggie Nicols Duo // Omri Ziegele’s Noisy Minority

The fourth day of the Intakt Records Festival continues with another stunning double bill. Irene Schweizer (piano), Maggie Nicols (voice) begin followed by Omri Ziegele’s Noisy Minority

Irene Schweizer (piano), Maggie Nicols (voice)


Maggie Nicols and Irène Schweizer – two trailblazers in European music, two fighters for freedom. Maggie Nicols sang in London in John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble, worked with Keith Tippett, Trevor Watts and Lindsay L. Cooper. Irène Schweizer played at the jazz cafe “Africana” in Zurich, toured with Pierre Favre and Peter Kowald, and was known for her appearances at the meetings of Free Music Production in Berlin. What is less known is quite how important Irène Schweizer’s time in London was for her. She lived there as a young woman for a long time, and became familiar with jazz in Ronnie Scott’s club. Schweizer and Nicols met in the 1970’s as part of the FIG, (Feminist Improvising Group), were to play later on in carried on together when it became EWIG, (European Women’s Improvising Group), performing in the 1980’s at the early Taktlos Festivals and at the legendary Canaille Festival which took place at the Rote Fabrik in Zurich.

Omri Ziegele’s Noisy Minority


On the Zurich scene, the trio Noisy Minority is like an institution. It is known for performing contemporary jazz as a group with its own expressive identity, as well as a jaw-dropping capacity to put its foot to the floor and speed up. Saxophonist Omri Ziegele, bassist and sound-sorcerer Jan Schlegel and drummer Dieter Ulrich have been in this trio together for twenty years, and each plays his part in a group capable of all kinds of dare-devil exploits and unexpected grooves, but can also float delicate themes. They have a way of hovering between free improv and their spontaneously hatched arrangements, and then of bursting free. They have a relationship with jazz and its tradition which is neither hidebound nor precious. In 2014 the trio invited the New York trombonist Ray Anderson to join them. A succession of concerts and festival appearances ensued in 2015, plus a CD “Wrong is Right”. For this London concert they have re-invited the UK trumpeter Percy Pursglove, with whom they performed for the first time at the 2016 unerhört! Festival 2016 in Winterthur in Switzerland.


A festival celebrating one of the most imaginative record labels in Europe today. The artists on the label range from Barry Guy (who will be celebrating his 70th birthday in 2017), the best of NY Downtown, such as Ingrid Laubrock and Mary Halvorson, through the cream of European improvisation, including Irene Schweizer and Alexander von Schlippenbach, to the best of Swiss jazz, such as Lucas Niggli, Sarah Buechi and Andreas Schaerer.

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