‘This is absolutely brilliant” (Gilles Peterson about the South African duo)
Church Of Sound
Church Of Sound is the London hotspot par excellence. Every month, the crème de la crème of the contemporary jazz scene gathers at the renowned St James the Great Church in East London. The vibe is such as that of the legendary NYC jazz club Birdland in the ’50s. The format is as simple as it is unique. An ensemble plays in the middle of a church and is encircled by the audience. Aside from their own repertoire, the focus is also on a songbook.
Last year was the first time that COS burst its banks and made the crossing to the European mainland. Base of operations: the former convent and current art centre Les Brigittines. The result: a sold-0ut first edition and an ecstatic audience. A sequel became a must. A two-dayer right away actually, with none less than Alabaster dePlume (Wed 27 May) and South African duo dumama + kechou (Thu 28 May).
dumama + kechou
dumama + kechou – lowercase please – is a duo residing in South Africa that will soon debut with ‘Buffering Juju' on the ‘Experimental Music Imprint’ Mushroom Hour Half Hour label. Jazz guru Gilles Peterson let us know that "This is absolutely brilliant” when he played one of their tracks on his famous BBC Radio 6 show.
Singer dumama and instrumentalist kechou say that they’re influenced by Xhosa (a section of the South African population) folk, jazz, hip-hop and a decent dose of South African protest. The character of their sound is created by both loop stations and handmade traditional instruments. As if you are hearing Ibeyi for the first time. Or: a splendid mix of 21st century South African spirituals and digital folklore. So it’s no surprise then that Angel Bat Dawid (aha, yet another International Anthem connection! is to be heard on their debut.
For their songbook, they handle the work of ‘Mama Africa’ and activist Miriam Makeba. Makeba was mostly known for the worldwide hit ‘Pata Pata’ (from ’67) and her ‘Graceland’ tour with Paul Simon. Fun fact: Makeba lived in Brussels from 1985-1990.