Festivals Talking

Martin Longley anticipates festival performances around the globe, tracking down artists to quiz them on their advance strategies, observing their set-list mulling processes, assisting them in their wardrobe decisions and suggesting ridiculous backstage rider requests...

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Moers Festival Interviews: Matt Mottel & Kevin Shea

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Matt Mottel & Kevin Shea" reviewed by Martin Longley


Improviser In Residence becomes Improvisers In Residence, for the 50th anniversary of the Moers Festival in Germany. Running since 2008, this has been a year-long in-house situation for invited artists, and usually offered to a single being. In 2021, we have the innovation of a twosome, in Matt Mottel (keyboards) and Kevin Shea (drums), who also happen to be the long-running band formation called Talibam!, normally (or abnormally normally) resident in New York City. The avenues over there were becoming ...

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Moers Festival Interviews: Fred Frith

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Fred Frith" reviewed by Martin Longley


The Moers Festival in Germany celebrates its 50th anniversary during this year's edition, between 21st and 24th of May. The English guitarist Fred Frith was always a frequent player at this festival, particularly during the 1980s, whether with Massacre, Skeleton Crew or playing bass with John Zorn's Naked City. In comparatively more recent years, he appeared with the Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie (2013) and led his own Gravity Band (2014). Now it's time for a return, so Frith will be ...

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Moers Festival Interviews: Julien Desprez

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Julien Desprez" reviewed by Martin Longley


It might seem that the Parisian guitarist Julien Desprez has made a recent storming of the jazz and improvisation scenes. He did make lightning moves and sounds at Jazzfest Berlin and the Moers Festival in 2018 and '19, but Desprez was active nearly a decade ago—though enjoying a much lower profile. He even toured the UK in early 2015 as one third of In Bed With alongside drummer Sylvain Darrifourcq and keyboardist Kit Downes. He was also a member of ...

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Moers Festival Interviews: Pat Thomas

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Pat Thomas" reviewed by Martin Longley


In 2020, the Moers Festival in Germany presented one of the first full post-lockdown events, with its performers physically in place, and its four-day programme resolutely running in the accustomed Eventhalle venue. There was a stage at each end of this cavernous space, with the French-German Arte television crew filming for broadcast on its channel, as well as providing an online livestream. A small audience was allowed inside the Halle, and the weekender was a massive success, especially under such ...

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Tallinn Music Week Interviews: Kadri Voorand

Read "Tallinn Music Week Interviews: Kadri Voorand" reviewed by Martin Longley


Tallinn Music Week was postponed from its accustomed March dates, and rescheduled for late August, with much of its programme preserved, and many gigs moved outdoors to facilitate being spaced-out in the virus era. This is a festival where all music styles are embraced, from jazz to metal, folk to electronic and pop to classical. Many of its events will revolve around the Telliskivi Creative City, a re-born factory zone that's now the Estonian capital's chief arty hang-out. As with ...

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Green Man Interviews: Alabaster DePlume

Read "Green Man Interviews: Alabaster DePlume" reviewed by Martin Longley


Alabaster DePlume has a softness of saxophone tone. He also has a hardness of poetic intent. These divergent aspects of this multi-instrumentalist, London-living bon vivant can be heard on an impressive pair of recent releases. To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 (International Anthem Recording Co.) finds DePlume at his most introspective, making music that sounds like an Ennio Morricone soundtracking for the placid moments in an epic martial arts movie, his tenor saxophone issuing breathy ornamentations, with ...

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Moers Festival Interviews: Mariá Portugal

Read "Moers Festival Interviews: Mariá Portugal" reviewed by Martin Longley


The Brazilian drummer, percussionist, singer and composer Mariá Portugal has performed at the last two editions of the Moers Festival, in Germany. The first time was with Quartabê, her regular four-piece from São Paulo, who are now up to their third album release. Last year, Portugal weighed in to the multiple Moers Sessions, which are an absolute festival highlight, presenting various player permutations in a feast of spontaneous free improvisation. In 2020, Portugal has been chosen as the ...


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