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John Russell and Thurston Moore (A Fundraiser for the Vortex)


The Vortex Jazz Club is delighted to present its second fundraiser in an on-going series, after the success of the first with Dave Holland and Evan Parker. The club, as many musicians know, has played a nurturing role in the careers of many UK musicians and as such holds a special place in the jazz-scape of the UK. For this special gig we present guitarist John Russell with guitarist Thurston Moore in Duo. We thank them for holding the club in sufficiently high regard to donate the proceeds to the club to supports its continuity and programming activities. John and Thurston have played together on and off but not for some time. Both musicians share a love of all things guitar.  For this concert John and Thurston will be playing on both electric and acoustic instruments in a programme of improvisation sharing their passion for both music and guitars.

‘Improvised music is unique in that the musicians and audience share the discovery of the music together as it is being made and The Vortex, known as ‘London’s listening Jazz club’, has always put the music first, a rarity in a live music venue. The intimate atmosphere and genuine interest from a team of dedicated volunteers give an opportunity for musicians and audience to ‘get up close and personal’ in a way that is often impossible in larger venues. It all makes for the freer and more creative platform to be found there. I started Mopomoso way back in 1991 and The Vortex has been home to our regular monthly afternoon sessions for nigh on ten years. It provides a valuable platform for improvisers from around the world, playing in a diversity of styles. It is a delight to be able to give something back in the form of a benefit evening for this much loved venue.  Another delight is to be performing with Thurston Moore again. We share a love of guitars and things guitaristic and it is always a pleasure when we get a chance to play together’. – John Russell
John Russell bio 2018   
John Russell is a leading figure in the UK free improvisation scene where he made his debut performing in London in 1972. Amongst other things has been the driving force behind concert organisers Mopomoso and is, with Dublin based Paul G Smyth, co-partner of the Weekertoft label. Since 1981 he has drawn on his contacts to create a large pool of players under the title ‘Quaqua’ that comes together for specific events including an annual Fête Quaqua. Other groups include Evan Parker, John Edwards, Henry Lowther, Satoko Fukuda, Maggie Nicols , Mia Zabelka, JiJi Duerinckx, Sabu Toyozumi, Matthieu Safatly, Günter Christmann, Alice Eldridge, Steve Beresford, Dominic Lash, John Butcher, Pascal Marzan, Phil Minton and Ståle Liavik Solberg amongst others.  As well as performing with many leading improvisers around the world he also teaches and runs workshops in guitar and free improvisation. He is currently working on a new project called ‘Narrative’.
“…for Russell the fingerboard is apparently multiple. He finds new tones in the same place, new relationships in the same gesture. A second trip across the fingerboard is always a different excursion. The harmonic is a transparent sound: silence and ambient sound pass through it. It accounts for Russell’s unhurried pace and his sense of order, even when he’s playing fast: there’s simply so much going on…” – Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure

Thurston Moore bio 2018

Thurston Moore is the founder, in 1980, of New York City art-rock band Sonic Youth. Since disbanding in 2010 he has relocated to London where he leads the Thurston Moore Group and collaborates with local and world improvisers, artists and experimental roustabouts. He edits and publishes, with his partner Eva Prinz, the Ecstatic Peace Library book imprint. To date they have published a number of tomes including the facsimile compendium of MUSICS, the legendary communitarian magazine of British-based music discussion. Thurston teaches at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado USA and Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has worked collaboratively with Yoko Ono, Merce Cunningham, Cecil Taylor, Rhys Chatham, Lydia Lunch, John Zorn, Takehisa Kosugi, Zeena Parkins, Nels Cline, Glenn Branca, Jandek, Patti Smith, Milford Graves and others. He has composed music for films by Olivier Assayas, Gus Van Sant, and Allison Anders. He presently records and tours both solo, with various ensembles and with his own group. He recently premiered the composition GALAXIES for twelve 12-string guitars at the Barbican Centre in London.

We hope you support the support by coming along to hear these two fantastic musicians play together.


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