Two Simon Industrial and Professional Fellowships to celebrate Jazz music
British-Bahraini trumpeter Yazz Ahmed and three-times Grammy winner Puerto Rican percussionist Carlos Maldonado have received a Simon Industrial and Professional Fellowship. Working together with Dr Alexander Gagatsis at the Department of Music at the University of Manchester, the team aims to bring together examples of new scholarship and musical production to cast light on the dynamic world of diasporic jazz practices in the framework of dialogue between composers, performers, scholars, and students of jazz.
The project will result in the composition and premiere of a new work on Thursday 15th December (1.10-1.55 pm, Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall), and will be followed by a performance workshop and research forum with Dr Evanthia Patsiaoura that same afternoon.
Yazz says: “It’s an honour to have received this fellowship and I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with the students, Alexander and Carlos. During the summer I played alongside Carlos in New York when I was a guest soloist with Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and he is a wonderfully talented musician. This experience really sparked my interest in Cuban music and I’ve been having lots of fun learning about its complex rhythms and structures, exploring different ways to blend these characteristics with Middle Eastern rhythms and scales. The piece I have written for this project is inspired by popular music from 60’s Iraq, married with the sounds of Salsa and Montuno. It sounds like a crazy mix, but I feel it will work beautifully!”