New releases

  • Germana Stella La Sorsa: Primary Colours

    26th January 2024

    Singer and Storyteller Germana Stella La Sorsa to release second studio album “Primary Colours” on January 2024. With special guest Australian harpist Tara Minton and featuring Sam Leak, Tom Ollendorff, Jay Davis

    “...powerful and refreshing vocal.” Jazz Journal

    "There is a sort of positive melancholy in Germana’s vocal performance, you hear a link to the tradition yet at the same time it’s fresh and forward facing."  Jazz in Europe

    Two years since her debut album Vapour,  Italian London-based singer and storyteller Germana Stella La Sorsa proudly announces the release of her second studio album, Primary Colours. Supported by Help Musicians, Primary Colours is released by 33 Jazz Records and distributed by The Orchard.

    La Sorsa has released three singles: 'Black' in October 2023, 'Blue' in November 2023 and the title track 'Primary Colours' in December 2023. The album features long-time collaborators Sam Leak on Hammond Organ and Jay Davis on drums, with the addition of guitarist Tom Ollendorff and special guest Australian harpist Tara Minton.

    Primary Colours contains 7 original compositions reflecting La Sorsa's musical influences - such as Gretchen Parlato, Bobby McFerrin and Jeff Buckley - and drawing upon her eclectic background and skilful voice, as well as the band’s versatility, to create something fresh, new and unexpected. The music explores drum’n’bass grooves, latin influences and free improvisation.

    Primary Colours is a concept album that draws parallels between the art of colour and musical narration.

    “With this album I wanted to share something more deep and intimate than my first release. I was galvanised to create something the listener can relate to through the association of colours and feelings – through stories.'Primary Colours' is about how base human feelings and life experiences interconnect and interact with each other - ultimately leading to life changes - just like primary colours and shades combine themselves, creating new tones.” Germana Stella La Sorsa

    Following this idea, each track on the album conceptually flows from the last and into the next, always keeping the listener interested and engaged. The track that opens the album is 'Black' – the first single – with which La Sorsa opens up about her struggle with depression. With this surprisingly cheerful and lively tune, the singer shares about battling her condition with awareness, drawing upon the moments in which she lightheartedly accepted loneliness and dismay.

    It invites the listener to dive into the quartet's synergetic interplay and improvisatory freedom.

    Featuring Australian harpist Tara Minton, 'Blue' – the second single released - is a contemporary bossa-nova influenced ballad inspired by the singer's country of birth, Italy, and in particular her hometown Taranto (Puglia). Composed with the musical contribution of La Sorsa's Italian colleague and friend, guitarist Francesco Bellanova, 'Blue' has Italian lyrics dedicated to motherhood and to the singer's first son - a love lullaby that could remind him that she'll always be his safe harbour, as her hometown is for her.

    “ 'Blue' is about that safe place that you can always come back to; where you'll always belong. For me, that's my homeland and my roots, so inevitably the sea and the sun, which are the things that I've missed the most since moving to the UK. At first, I felt quite self-conscious about writing in Italian. I guess it makes me feel more exposed in some way. Then I got very enthusiastic about sharing my roots in my mother just made sense to write something my fellow Italians and my son would easily understand. The song was previewed at the Taranto Jazz Festival last summer, and I was pleased to discover everyone loved my writing in Italian.”

    On special guest Tara Minton, La Sorsa states: “She is an extraordinary artist. From our first encounter it was clear that we were artistically and humanly on the same page. She is from Melbourne, so I knew that she would understand my deep connection with the sea and how to give expression to this.”

     The title track and last single 'Primary Colours' expresses the message of the album. It states how experiences and feelings mix together to change one's perception of things, ultimately leading to one's feeling grounded, aware and self-reliant.  The tune is an invitation to embrace life's events with curiosity and confidence.

     To follow, support, stream and purchase click here

  • Solidaridad Tango: DISTANCIA

    17th November 2023

    Tango is the poetry of a city: the the music of passionate fate. DISTANCIA by Solidaridad Tango takes you on a journey from the despair of the pandemic to a celebration of the love and hope that kept us going through our darkest hours. “Distancia” is the Spanish word for “distance”—-this album captures the way people reach across boundaries of place and space, bridging the vast distances from Toronto to Buenos Aires to Kandy in Sri Lanka through music and poetry. 

    The album is an emotional roller coaster - a searing portrait of our times and a riotous answer to the divisions that keep us apart. The English lyrics and poetry by Aparna Halpé are unique in the world of tango, where songs are written almost exclusively in Spanish. They capture issues of homelessness, anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination, and the universal experiences of love and loss that haunt us all. Halpé’s compositions are a unique synthesis of multicultural musical influences, while being situated clearly within the language of tango.

    The album celebrates emerging women tango composers such as Pétalo Selser and Eva Wolff, while also tipping its hat to the iconoclast of contemporary tango, Julián Peralta. DISTANCIA ends with a poetic land acknowledgement, signaling the band’s commitment to reconciliation practices, an approach further demonstrated in the powerful album art by Oneida visual artist Mo Thunder.

    DISTANCIA rocks out with tango, rock, candombe, murga, milonga, and vannam rhythms and melodies, embodying the diversity of this band of women who are changing the face and sound of tango. Described as “bringing tango forward” by Laura Fernandez, host of Jazz FM 91’s Café Latino, this album by Canada’s all-woman tango band is a passionate embrace of life and death, and of the kind of inspiration that arrives at 3AM in the morning, wherever you are in the world.

    Valeria Matzner - Vocals

    Aparna Halpé - Violin

    Suhashini Arulanandam - Violin

    Esme Allen-Creighton - Viola

    Sybil Shanahan - Cello

    Shannon Wojewoda - Bass

    Elizabeth Acker - Piano

    Eva Wolff - Bandoneón

    DISTANCIA will be released worldwide on Friday, November 17th, 2023.

    To purchase click here

    Solidaridad Tango website

  • Nicole Rampersaud: Saudade

    3rd November 2023

    Canadian trumpet virtuoso Nicole Rampersaud is (finally!) launching her debut LP on Friday November 3rd on the Ansible Editions imprint (home to Brodie West Quintet, High Alpine Hut Network and others). Rampersaud has been active since 2008 in projects such as Eucalyptus, and alongside notable players including Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Ra-kalam Bob Moses, Joe Morris, Roscoe Mitchell, Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier, Anthony Coleman, Raven Chacon, and Ig Henneman.

    Since 2008, Canadian trumpet player and composer Nicole Rampersaud has relentlessly probed the sonic boundaries of her instrument, crafting exploratory works for it alone that she montages spontaneously into riveting solo performances.  On her debut LP Saudade for Toronto imprint Ansible Editions, she ventures further along this trajectory, augmenting her brilliant, individualistic playing with textural electronic treatments.

    Although said electronics play a crucial role in shaping the identity of this recording, it's her expansive lexicon as an acoustic player that drives much of abstraction that transpires. Then Again..., for instance, sees a base of moist, guttural growls stacked with twirling high-register phrases that bubble and melt as efects are intermittently applied. Similarly, its her faint pan-fute-like whispers of Erasure that immediately catch the ear—even as dub-like cascades stream of of this primary line by way of echoes and tweaked overdubs, listeners remain transfxed by Rampersaud's exquisite command of ultra-specifc trumpet techniques. Where others use processing as a means to obliterate the intrinsic timbre of their instruments entirely, Rampersaud almost deploys it like she's making a documentary—cutting between or superimposing various camera angles, crafting transitions, adjusting the tint of the footage, and only judiciously engaging in blatant trickery.

    Her capacious repertoire of sounds is mirrored in the remarkably broad scope of the vignette-like compositions themselves. Eruptive cybernetic jazz splatters down right beside a digitally-botched ballad or slices through quivering ambient mists. Sandro Perri, with whom she has worked in several other scenarios, enhances the gentle unruliness of this release wielding his keen ear for mixing and mastering.

    Nicole Rampersaud is recognized internationally as a singular improviser. Her adventurous versatility has led to collaborations with notable fgures such as Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Ra-kalam Bob Moses, Joe Morris, Roscoe Mitchell, Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier, Anthony Coleman, Raven Chacon, and Ig Henneman. She's been heard at key venues and festival including Toronto Jazz Festival, Suoni per il Popolo, the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Massey Hall, Aga Khan Museum, National Art Gallery of Canada, Guelph Jazz Festival, Cornell University’s Symposium - After Experimental Music, and  Göteberg Art Sounds Festival (Sweden). Her primary groups include Brass Knuckle Sandwich (with celebrated pianist Marilyn Lerner), a duo with guitarist Joel LeBlanc, and she co-founded the trio c_RL alongside Allison Cameron and Germaine Liu. She is also a member of Brodie West’s Eucalyptus, and regularly performs and records with Joseph Shabason.  Her compositional output has been commissioned by the EVERYSEEKER Festival (where she was their frst composer-in-residence), Festival RE:FLUX, the Canadian Music Centre's CMC Presents Series and presented by Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Wales, the Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York, and the Suddenly Listen series in Halifax, In 2021, she co-founded the improvisation-driven multi-disciplinary series, Understory, which uses technology to reimagine collaboration between artists across Canada.

    Reviewing Toronto's Women From Space Festival for Musicworks Magazine, veteran critic Stuart Broomer said the following of her: “Trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud opened the festival with an expansive exploration of extended trumpet techniques and electronic interaction. Beginning with bird calls and muted forest cries, she employed both standard and soprano trumpet and extensive looping through multiple microphones to create a world of trumpets—lows, highs, and blips—expanding her clarion horn into it’s own soundworld

    Recorded by Nicole Rampersaud at home. Produced by Sandro Perri and Nicole Rampersaud. Edited, mixed, and mastered by Sandro Perri. All compositions by Nicole Rampersaud © 2022 SOCAN. Photograph by Nicole Rampersaud. We acknowledge the support of Canada Council for the Arts.

    Available here

    Website here

  • Maria Grapsa: Life

    3rd November 2023

    The UK’s jazz scene is an internationally-renowned melting pot of cultures and one that Athens-born pianist Maria Grapsa has firmly established herself in. Bringing together an all-star cast of the country’s rising stars including saxophone phenomenon Emma Rawicz, she presents her debut album ‘Life’ (November 3rd, Musical Dojo Records).

    Merging a deep affinity for the modern jazz tradition with a classical background, Greek roots and folk, middle eastern and latin influences, she refined her distinctive compositional style at the UK’s prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Birmingham. With her writing in the spotlight, she empowers each member of her ensemble to improvise and explore their way through to new musical discoveries.

    Aptly named ‘Life’, the pianist’s debut reflects on her personal journey to date; in particular the early years. A scrapbook of memories reinforced by the photo (Maria’s sister circa 1985) on the album cover, her young nephew chatting on one track, and glimpses of long-forgotten folksongs. A colourful journey which took her, via a masters degree in environmental engineering, to the decision to immerse herself totally into the world of music.

    With a wealth of experience at leading venues as part of award-winning UK ensembles including Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Frontline, COLECTIVA and NU Civilisation Orchestra, as well as artists such as Jelly Cleaver and ESKA, ‘Life’ provides the perfect platform for Grapsa’s music to take centre stage.

    The sextet’s sound is highly dynamic, moving from pin drop/knife’s edge individual spotlights and emotionally charged balladic melodies, to the untamed energy of burning saxophone solos over a roaring rhythm section. The introspective lyricism of vocalist Becca Wilkins and thoughtful arrangements help create a welcoming, intimate space for the listener to hear Maria’s stories and reflect on their own experiences..

    Her compositional work has already been championed by the likes of Jamie Cullum, Jamz Supernova (BBC 6), Jazz FM’s Chris Phillips and Toshio Matsuura of Worldwide FM; a new collection of touching and intricate pieces are about to be discovered! 

    Maria Grapsa | Piano, compositions, Becca Wilkins | Vocals

    Matthew Kilner | Tenor Saxophone, Liam Brennan | Alto Saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet

    Kai Chareunsy | Drums,Tommy Fuller | Double Bass

    Emma Rawicz | Tenor Saxophone (track 7)  Tom Pountney | Guitar (track 9)

    Torin Davies | Guitar (track 9)

    Artist website:

  • Nabou Claerhout: Trombone Ensemble.

    3rd November 2023

    Five trombonists and a three-member rhythm section: that sort of unique musical synergy is what Nabou Claerhout brings to life with her own Trombone Ensemble. For years, such a project had been one of the dream projects on her bucket list, and thanks to Antwerp based cultural actor Rataplan, she already saw the creation become a reality in spring 2022. In the summer of that year, the eight-piece ensemble opened both Gent Jazz and Jazz Middelheim.

    In January 2023, Nabou was artist in residence at the Brussels Jazz Festival in Flagey, where she presented the Trombone Ensemble as one of three carte blanche projects. In a sold-out Studio 4, American trombone legend Robin Eubanks joined the line-up as a special guest, having previously also contributed during the studio recordings of the young collective during. The band’s self-titled debut album will be released on November 3rd 2023 via W.E.R.F. Records.

    Nabou composed the entire repertoire for this Ensemble herself, and did so with a fully open vi- sion. While writing the music, she explored the trombone’s wide possibilities: “The aim is to both indulge you with warm, soft, carrying parts and then afterwards discover the trombone’s spicy and cordial character.” That rhythmic playfulness, which we hear more often in Nabou’s compositions with her acclaimed quartet N∆BOU, also seeps subtly into this band’s sound.

    Despite the ‘unusual’ line-up of five diverse jazz trombonists, each with a different background, you still get to hear a very homogeneous sound, which is full of playfulness and small details. “I tried to make room and focus for each individual. And of course there is also a starring role for the rhythm section with guitar, double bass and drums.”

    When Nabou started looking for the dream fellow jazz musicians for this project, she ended up with artists from her own country, Belgium, but also from far beyond the country’s borders: The Netherlands, the UK and Germany. “In selecting the trombonists, I looked for specific timbres, but also for personality. It is important that there is a good balance in playing together, but also that each musician is strong enough on his or her own for the solo parts.”

    Wanting to push boundaries in her approach to both compositions and the trombone as an instrument, the real crème de la crème of the newest generation proved indispensable. “I selected a handful of European trombonists with whom I may or may not have already played, but who, above all, inspire me very deeply. They are all young people who have a lot to offer and already have sig- nificant projects to their name in their own region or country.”

    Nabou Claerhout (Trombone, compositions)

    Rory Ingham (Trombone) Peter Delannoye (Trombone) Nathan Surquin (Trombone)

    Tobias Herzog (Bass trombone, tuba)

    + GUEST: Robin Eubanks (Trombone)

    Gijs Idema (Guitar)

    Cyrille Obermüller (Double bass)

    Daniel Jonkers (Drums)

    Website here

  • The Harper trio: Passing By

    27th October 2023

    Greek born with Egyptian roots, electric jazz harpist and composer Maria-Christina Harper is reinventing the sound of the harp in the jazz world. With her anarchic spirit and an interest in exploring what the harp can do, rather than exploring its traditional sounds, she presents her instrument in new and exciting ways. Combining her traditional music roots with free jazz she creates an irresistible, compelling sound cosmos. It’s where East meets West.

    Maria-Christina has gathered two outstanding, highly acclaimed players to form The Harper Trio for whom she has specifically composed 7 original tracks. Featuring drummer’s-drummer Evan Jenkins and the dynamic saxophonist Josephine Davies (Instrumentalist of The Year, 2019 Parliamentary Jazz Awards), the trio release Passing By, a powerful debut recording of shimmering soundscapes and psychedelic sounds that flirt with the avant-garde creating an inventive slice of spiritual jazz. ‘Passing By’ was released on 27 October 2023 and was launched at The Royal Albert Hall on 2 November.

    Earlier this year, The Harper Trio released the album’s first single, **‘**In Cairo/Grandma’s Coat’. The track enjoyed significant radio play and critical praise establishing a new voice at the cutting edge of contemporary jazz.

    All three members of The Harper Trio are part of the musical exodus to the seaside town of Hastings and is where they met. It is also the place that inspired Standing Alone the second single to be taken from the album; an unapologetically slow, yielding contemplative piece of music and the album ‘s only ballad. The grace, beauty and the meditative nature of the composition “reflects the expansive vistas and seascapes of Hastings’s East Cliff where I so often find myself alone” says Maria Christina, “it’s about those moments of deep reflection when we question who we are and appreciate what we have”

    Maria-Christina Harper studied classical piano and harp in Athens, then at London’s Royal Academy. Disillusioned with the years of rigid, intense practicing of classical technique that left little room for musical self-expression, she found her way to studying Music Therapy with its focus on improvisation, something she describes as “a revelation”. And so began her journey in jazz.

    Both Evan Jenkins and Josephine Davies are well known on the UK scene with enviable jazz credentials. Maria-Christina argues that the glorious free sound they create is, in part, due to a friendship built over cooking, eating, talking and the long, unhurried playing of music together in Hastings, unhindered by the constraints of the city. “We knew we were onto something special from our very first rehearsal” she says. “It was an exciting and special moment”.

    Passing By was released on 27 October 2023 on Little Yellow Man Records and is available on CD, vinyl and from all digital and streaming platforms.


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