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Frederick Bernas

Writer, musician, nomad, student, thinker, youth worker, couchsurfer, photographer, filmmaker, activist...

About Me

Of the above, I'm mostly a writer and musician, born in London but lacking any strong cultural or political loyalty to the UK. I currently live in New York City, which I regard as a second home, and have spent a lot of time in Bristol, England – a close third, where I studied Politics and Russian at university. From 2008-2010 I was based in Moscow, a fascinating and wild metropolis full of cultural intrigue. I used to play tenor sax in an original funk/hip-hop party band and sometimes create electronic music with a few different instruments. In terms of listening, I generally love jazz in all its manifestations and also enjoy reggae, Latin, chillout, world, blues, folk, funk and some rock and hip-hop. I strongly believe in the importance of being open-minded so will give anything a fair chance. Within jazz I am particularly interested by artists who explore new ways of fusion with other genres; there's a limitless gold mine of potential out there, which is something I try and tap into with my own music. From late 2007 to June '08 I hosted a radio show called Off The Hook on BURST, my university station. It featured all the above genres and I had lots of guests from the Bristol music scene coming into the studio. I write for a number of other publications and am always looking to expand. A full portfolio of my recent work is available online at Interviews include Us3's Geoff Wilkinson (published on AAJ), Chris Potter, Omara Portuondo, Manuel Mengis (AAJ), Pete Wareham of Acoustic Ladyland, Neil Cowley, the Mercury-nominated Portico Quartet and The Blessing. I've also written liner notes for Hat Hut Records.

My Favorites

  1. Chris Potter - Lift: Live at the Village Vanguard
  2. Julien Lourau - The Rise
  3. Michael Brecker - Pilgrimage
  4. Soweto Kinch - Conversations with the Unseen
  5. Eddie Palmieri - Listen Here!
  6. John Coltrane - Giant Steps
  7. Joshua Redman - Freedom in the Groove
  8. Maceo Parker - School's In
  9. Miles Davis - Milestones
  10. Kenny Garrett - Pursuance: The Music of John Coltrane
  11. Magic Malik Orchestra - 69-96
  12. Sonny Rollins - Tenor Madness
  13. Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night
  14. Christian Scott - Rewind That
  15. Roy Buchanan - American Axe
  16. Youngblood Brass Band - center:level:roar
  17. Courtney Pine - Underground
  18. Dave Douglas - Strange Liberation
  19. Biréli Lagrène - Gypsy Project and Friends
  20. Rosario Giuliani - Mr Dodo
  21. Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Security
  22. Besh o droM - Gyí!
  23. Dizzy Gillespie - Bahiana
  24. Jaga Jazzist - A Livingroom Hush
  25. Breakestra - Hit The Floor
  26. Nils Petter Molvær - NP3
  27. Keziah Jones - Black Orpheus
  28. Ponto de Equilíbrio - Abre A Janela