Ubuntu Music Series: 'The overall concept is to put together musicians who will play pieces and freely improvise'

Ubuntu Music Series: 'The overall concept is to put together musicians who will play pieces and freely improvise'

credit: Richard Kaby

Saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga discusses what to expect from the series of improvised and contemporary music

Ubuntu Music Series is the latest addition to Glasgow's flourishing improvised music scene. Taking place at the Old Hairdressers, it's the brainchild of saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga.

'Ubuntu translates to humanity, in all its meanings,' explains Bonga. 'The overall concept is to put together musicians who will play pieces and freely improvise. Having the musicians operate in both worlds during the same performance exercises more parts of the musical heart and brain.'

For the first concert, Bonga will be joined by Danielle Price on tuba, Atzi Muramatsu on cello, and Jamie Bolland on piano. 'What to expect? South African pieces? Satie? Improv? We'll decide on the day,' says Bonga. 'The line-up will keep changing, so it's always a process of trying to put together players who are willing to take the journey together and have fun whilst doing so.'

Bonga was born in South Africa and moved to the UK aged six. He primarily works in the fields of South African jazz and improvised music, having worked with the likes of Louis Moholo, Lucky Ranku and Maggie Nichols. He's also led his own bands, and toured with Lydia Lunch, Robyn Hitchcock, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Since moving to Glasgow in 2016, Bonga has been a regular at Tony Bevan's free improv sessions. 'It's hard to compare places like Glasgow and Cape Town, where I also spend time, to London, where I've lived most of my life, just in terms of scale. I'm still a recent arrival, but I have met and played with lots of fantastic players who are also fantastic people. I have known Tony Bevan for years – and was delighted to find he lived here – and have met players through his gigs and from rehearsing with Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. It's definitely a friendly city.'

Old Hairdressers, Glasgow, Sat 13 October, 2pm, £5.

Ubuntu Music Series

This series of improvised music gigs is the brainchild of South Africa-born, Glasgow-based saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga.

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