23–24 July 2016

Photo by Dawid Laskowski

Wadada Leo Smith – Two Day Residency

Hugely excited to welcome back the great American trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Wadada Leo Smith, after hosting the European premiere of his phenomenal large-scale masterwork - the complete Ten Freedom Summers suite - on his last visit here in 2013. This time around, Smith is joined by an incredible line-up of talented improvisers for distinct sets across two nights.

“Wadada Leo Smith's recent output, notably but not merely 2012's Pulitzer Prize-nominated Ten Freedom Summers is so relevant, so useful, in 2016 that it could be easy to forget he is a hardened veteran at 74 years of age, a member of the AACM since 1967 with a body of extraordinary work five decades in the making. And that is precisely because, with works like the aforementioned Ten Freedom Summers, not to mention his effervescent live performances with musicians of all ages, but mostly younger, Smith retains the same spirit that animated his early work such as Divine Love (also on ECM, back in 1979), but has honed it to perfection, reshaping his natural skill as a trumpeter in service to compositions that fizz with political and emotional energy.” – Joseph Burnett, The Quietus

“In his eighth decade, the pioneering US trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith is stepping even harder on the gas... [his] tone and phrasing often reflect mid-period Miles Davis, but he blends free jazz into those resources with a unique poetic focus.” – The Guardian



First half:
Wadada Leo Smith / trumpet
John Edwards / double bass
Mark Sanders / drums

Second half: as above plus;
Luiz Moretto / violin
Alison Blunt / violin
Benedict Taylor / viola
Paloma Carrasco / cello
Marcio Mattos / cello
David Leahy / bass
Hardedge / sound design


Wadada Leo Smith / trumpet
Steve Noble / drums
Pat Thomas / piano
John Coxon / guitar
Ashley Wales / electronics


Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith has been active in the creative contemporary music world for over 30 years and in 2013 was one of the three Finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. A trumpet player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser, his original theory of jazz and world music has been significant in his musical development as an artist and educator.

Born in Leland, Miss., Smith's early musical life began in high school concert and marching bands. At the age of 13, he became immersed in the Delta Blues and improvisational music traditions. As an improvisor-composer, Smith has studied a variety of music cultures (African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American) and to fully express this music, he has developed an original theory and notation system for jazz and world music which he calls Ankhrasmation.

Some of the artists Smith has performed with are Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Richard Teitelbaum, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrill, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Carla Bley, David Murray, Don Cherry, Jeanne Lee, Milton Campbell, Henry Brant, Richard Davis, Tadao Sawai, Ed Blackwell, Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Kowald, Kazuko Shiraishi, Han Bennink, Misja Mengelberg, Marion Brown, Kazutoki Umezu, Kosei Yamamoto, Charlie Haden, Kang Tae Hwan, Kim Dae Hwan and Tom Buckner, among many others.