Majid Bekkas (MA) oud/guembri/voc. – Markku Ounaskari (FI) drums/perc.) – Paul Van Kemenade (NL) altosax – Stevko Busch (DE) piano.
A new Van Kemenade initiative: a quartet with Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari (1967), famous Moroccan singer Majid Bekkas (1957) who brilliantly plays the ud and guembri alongside with Dutch altoist Paul van Kemenade (1957) and pianist Stevko Busch.
Oud/guembri player and vocalist Bekkas is a celebrity in Morocco. Like no other, Bekkas performs the gnawa, the mystical and trance-inducing desert blues from the Sahara. Bekkas is inspired by the gnawa music, tradtional African- and jazzmusic, a mix between India and Africa, the East and the West. He explored also blues and soul and created the Gnaoua Blues Band and took part in many international festivals and performed with musicians such as Archie Shepp, Joachim Kühn and Klaus Doldinger.
Finnish drummer/percussionist Markku Ounaskari is known for his melodic approach of the instrument and is one the most well-known and finest Finnish musicians. He started playing in the nineties in famous Finnish bands such as Piirpauke, Pekka Pohjola Group and Jarmo Savolainen. He played with lost of international players (Thomas Stanko, Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Marc Ducret).
Altoist Paul Van Kemenade (1957) is known for his collaborations with diverse musical disciplines and cultures (South/West African musicians, flamenco, renaissance vocalists, electronic music). He played with Ray Anderson, David Murray, Han Bennink, Markus Stockhausen, Metropole Orchestra, Jamaal Tacuma and many others. He recorded more than 60 lp’s and cd’s (30 in his own name), wrote over 200 compositions, received an ouevre award in 1999 (Boy Edgar Prijs) and a Royal decoration in 2007.
German pianist Stevko Busch (1966) has formed since 1995 a duet with the award-winning Dutch altosaxophonist Paul van Kemenade, with whom he released versions of a.o. Russian orthodox chants on several CD’s (Contemplation / Dedication / Fugara). His music spans a wide range of freely improvised music and compositions , sometimes with echoes of chamber music and instrumental tunes.
This unique quartet will be touring world wide between may 20 and june 01 in 2020.
photos by andreroseta, johan pape, gemma kessels