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Joelle Leandre / Alex Ward / Michel Doneda + John Russell / Roger Turner


French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. Trained in orchestral as well as contemporary music, she has played with l’Itinéraire, 2e2m and Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble Intercontemporain. Joëlle Léandre has also worked with Merce Cunningham and with John Cage, who has composed especially for her.


A composer, improviser, and multi-instrumentalist, Alex began playing with guitarist Derek Bailey when he was just 12 years old. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. Both as a clarinettist and guitarist, his longest-standing collaborations in the field of improvised music have been with the drummer Steve Noble.


Over the years, Michel Doneda (b. 1954) has developed one of the most extensive musical vocabularies in free improvisation. A specialist of the soprano saxophone, he has gradually moved from left-field jazz to the fringes of free improv ever since he began to lead his own sessions in the early ‘80s. His trio with John Russell and Roger Turner has been playing and evolving over many years.


An early involvement with the emerging free improvisation scene (from 1972) led Russell to found QUAQUA, a large bank of improvisers put together in different combinations for specific projects. Then in 1991, he started MOPOMOSO which has become the UK’s longest running concert series featuring mainly improvised music, running a monthly series at the Vortex. He is also now regularly part of Evan Parker’s own trio with John Edwards.


Roger Turner is applauded for his precision and speed since he entered the London improvising scene in the 1970s. His restricted drum kit is extended by found objects to create a sound comparable to no other. He’s played with Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Otomo Yoshihide, Shelley Hirsch, Joëlle Léandre, Keith Rowe…