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Eduardo Niebla

THURSDAY 13TH MARCH 2014

Doors 7.00pm

£16.00

Over 14's

In a career spanning four decades, guitar virtuoso and composer Eduardo Niebla has been acclaimed as one of the most potent forces in flamenco jazz fusion today. And his highly lyrical style, with explorations into Indian, Arabic and classical music, has resulted in the most electrifying, brilliant and poignantly poetic guitar playing on the world circuit.

His concert appearances have included the Cairo & Tbilisi International Jazz Festivals, the Jaipur Festival India, the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, the Odessa Jazz Carnival, the Olympic Games Greece, the San Isidro Fiesta Madrid, Glastonbury and the Brecon International Jazz Festivals, as well as extensive concert tours to Europe, the Baltic States, the Middle East and South Africa.

It’s a journey which has led to many collaborations with artists across the globe including jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill, Indian maestros Nishat & Wajahat Khan, Deepak Ram (bamboo flute) Kala Ramnath (Indian violin) & Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar), as well as flamenco bass pioneer Carles Benavent, his brother Salvador Niebla (drums), the spiritual gypsy singer and percussionist Paban Das Baul, Palestinian oud player Adel Salameh, electronic global phenomenon Juno Reactor, the Dante String Quartet and pop musicians George Michael and Craig David.

Since 1974 Eduardo has made 23 albums of his original compositions, recording for BASF, EMI Odeon, Venture Virgin, Jazz-Point and Riverboat Records. Latterly Eduardo has produced his albums at his own recording studios including his latest CD “My Gypsy Waltz” which he launched to acclaim at Celtic Connections Glasgow and the Queen Elizabeth Hall London:

“His latest album demonstrates his fluid, technically brilliant guitar work… and the standout track is the 18 minute India, a series of meditations on poverty and resilience, in which lyrical, drifting guitar passages are matched against rousing interplay with Srikanth’s violin… the exuberant title track…(and) the thoughtful and lyrical Rosie is another reminder of Niebla’s exquisite guitar work.” (THE GUARDIAN)

Eduardo is currently recording his new album, his 24th, due for release in 2014. This features several new Festival commissions, including pieces for guitar and brass band, choirs and church organ.
Over the years Eduardo has been commissioned to write music for films, documentaries and plays, including for the BBC, as well as collaborating with writers and poets including Fran Landesman, Mike Horovitz and Ian McMillan.

“Eduardo – virtuoso? Inventive improviser? Yes and yes. And creative composer too. Writer of beautiful melodies, great grooves… he cast a deep, engrossing spell over the audience which transported them to other places, to the distant past, to India, Arabia, North Africa, Spain – tracing the link between modern Flamenco and the ancient music of India. And then on to the New World, to South and Central America for the rumba. At the end of the concert he thanked the audience for having been present while the band “searched for these deep places in the music.” Believe me, they found them.” (London Jazz, March 2010)

DETAILED BIOGRAPHY

Born in Tangiers Morocco in 1955 Eduardo is one of 11 children and the 7th son of the 7th child. In 1960, a politically turbulent time, the family became refugees and fled to Girona in Cataluña (Spain) where he grew up. It was an impoverished upbringing, but the guitar was his refuge and following the setting up of teenage bands he formed the cult symphonic rock band “Atila” when he was 18 and turned professional. In the 1970s Eduardo was rated alongside Paco de Lucia as one of the top guitarists in the Hispanic Peninsula and their albums are now collectors’ items:

“Atila was the best act in the Canet Festival.” (Popular 1)
“The most brilliant moments arrived with the drum and guitar solos… the guitarist was mobbed and carried shoulder high.”“ (Disco Express)

In 1975 Eduardo toured France with Atila and moved to Paris, where he took part in several exhibitions of conceptual art with the painter Jaume Xifra. In 1978 he reached London to follow a solo career, starting out initially as a member of Mother Gong, with whom he recorded the album “Fairy Tale” and appeared at Glastonbury, as well as later busking in Covent Garden with guitarist Antonio Forcione.

During the 1980s, while living in a squat in Little Venice, he met Tom Newman, legendary producer, who lent him his first recording equipment, and performed with Lol Coxhill at Ronnie Scotts. He formed a new 11 piece band with Lol and top classical, jazz and pop musicians, recording his 5th album “Towards the Sun”:
“Eduardo Niebla is the new Paganini “(Denis Milner LPO)

This was a very exploratory period for Eduardo; he was also composing orchestral works for films and documentaries, including “Active Birth”, “RD Laing”, “Pablo Neruda” & “El Gato y la Paloma” and was performing with the writers & poets Fran Landesman and Mike Horovitz. He also became close friends with the renowned psychiatrist R.D. Laing.

In 1983 he formed the acclaimed Eduardo Niebla Guitar Duo with Antonio Forcione, which has been repeatedly named as the best guitar duo on the European circuit:
“Stunning flamenco jazz guitar pyrotechnics.” “The undisputed highlight of this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Quite simply brilliant.” (THE SOUND)
In 1983 they supported The Barclay James Harvest tour to stadiums around Europe and in 1990 performed at the San Isidro Fiesta at the Rockodromo Arena Madrid to an audience of 35,000 people. “Impressive” (Diario de Granada) “A great triumph in this week’s jazz festival.” (Diario de Almeria)

Eduardo released 5 albums with Antonio Forcione from 1984-1992 including “Light & Shade”, “Eurotour”, “Celebration”, “Music Without Frontiers” & “Poema” on Virgin & Jazz-Point Records. Since 1992 Eduardo has worked with guitarists Emilio Maya, Pepe Justicia, Mark Johns, Giorgio Serci, Dario Rosetti Bonell, Ricardo Garcia, Carl Herring, Matthew Robinson and in 1996 recorded “I Can Fly Now” with Victor Unukovsky:
“Niebla wove a stunning kaleidoscopic array of sonic textures, part classical, part flamenco, tinged with jazz and Latin hues; passionate and gorgeously ornamented, built around melodies of exquisite melancholy.” (Scotsman)

The 1990s saw Eduardo explore his passion for Indian music, forming The Eduardo Niebla Trio with master tabla player Sukhvinder Singh and Indian sarod maestro Wajahat Khan, with whom he toured Spain and recorded “Magic Nights”. Other UK and international tours took place with tabla players Partha Sarathi Mukherjee and Sanjay Jhalla:
“His music transports you to a higher level…sensitive, intricate and fantastically rhythmical. His fingers penetrate all the secrets of the guitar... He is an artist with new ways of understanding and making music.” (Diari de Balears)

“The versatility with which he imbues his guitar is truly breathtaking, whether performing his poignantly poetic melodies or accompanying a truly fabulous transcontinental performance.” (Scotsman)

In 1995 Eduardo met the Palestinian oud player Adel Salameh, with whom he recorded “Mediterraneo” for Riverboat Records, and toured internationally:
“Astonishing interplay between the principals who wed technical fluidity and virtuosity to an unashamedly secular passion.” (Q Review)

Later he recorded a set of very beautiful songs with the spiritual Indian gypsy singer and percussionist Paban Das Baul and was invited to record an album with bamboo flute player Deepak Ram “Searching for Satyam”, with whom he toured South Africa in 1999. This subsequently won Best Instrumental Album at the 2000 South African music awards.

The end of 1999 saw Eduardo appear at the Tbilisi International Jazz Festival and the release of his 20th album “The Gift”: “A stunning collection of originals… which work wonderfully well, showing what Jelly Roll Morton called ‘the Spanish tinge’ is still a potent force.” (Jazz UK)

In the last decade Eduardo continued to perform throughout Europe and the Baltic States with tours to Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Balearic Islands, Spain, Ireland, Estonia, Moldova, the Ukraine, The Olympic Games Greece and throughout his adopted UK homeland:
“He gives pleasure that only a world class virtuoso at his best is capable of… his performance reached everyone in the packed hall…extremely impressive.” (Sakala News, Estonia)
“A display of supernatural talent…and a spellbinding mixture of flamenco and modern jazz, bursting with obvious passion and verve.” (The Spectator)

In 2001 he again performed with Deepak Ram, this time in Beirut and a year later was invited to collaborate with the legendary sarangi player Pandit Ramesh Misra and singer Sanchita Pal on a tour of the UK. In 2002 he appeared at the Royal Festival Hall London to a standing ovation and sold the highest number of CDs in an evening by an artist at the hall. The following month he joined Adel Salameh at the Mediterranean Arts Festival at The Barbican London.

In 2003 he released his 21st album “Natural” recorded at his new North Yorkshire studios and in 2004 his 22nd “Lights from the Inner Side”, both featuring Salvador Niebla (drums), Carles Benavent (bass), Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar), Kala Ramnath (violin) and Satyajit Talwalkar (tabla):

“A fluent, fluid and captivating acoustic guitarist… technically superb (whose) spectacular skill remains at the service of expression, lyricism and a profound musicality... this is absorbing, uplifting and sophisticated instrumental music.” (Scotland on Sunday)

“A formidable guitarist and a beautifully sequenced disc by a musically fluent master of today’s generation… hugely enjoyable… experimental… with many stunning moments. Unbelievably invigorating.” (Songlines)

In 2004 he began to work with Ben Watkins of Juno Reactor, composer of the music for the Matrix films, and their work is now licensed to Japanese films. The following year he was invited by sitar maestro Nishat Khan to perform in Mumbai and was chosen to give a showcase concert at WOMEX, the world music expo.

His acclaimed collaborations with artists from around the globe continued in 2006 - 2008 with three British Council projects in which Eduardo premiered new music:
• the first with the Nawazen Ensemble, a traditional Jordanian group, joined by Sanju Sahai on tabla.
• The second was a collaboration with Rajasthani gypsy musicians from the desert, with whom Eduardo closed the Jaipur Festival India to a standing ovation, accompanied by guitarist Carl Herring
• and the 3rd was a concert at The Cultural Heritage Centre in Abu Dhabi with Lebanese darbouka player Rony Barrak and Carl Herring – again to a standing ovation.

In 2007 Eduardo’s appearance at The Brecon International Jazz Festival Wales was filmed by BBC4 for a documentary on world jazz; he also appeared on BBC2 “The Culture Show”.
Throughout Eduardo’s career he has appeared on television and radio in countless countries.

2007 also saw Eduardo awarded 2 new commissions:
• the first by Chameleon TV, sponsors of the Yorkshire Planetarium, who commissioned Eduardo to write the music for a 3D film into space, with poetry by Yorkshire poet Ian McMillan.

• The second was a multimedia piece based on the 4 elements for the Ripon International Festival’s 10th anniversary which Eduardo entitled “Open Your Doors”. This involved 150 local musicians and young people with lyrics by Ian McMillan. The project was filmed for ITV Yorkshire.

In 2008 he again was invited to perform with Indian musicians; the first with young Indian vocalist Nina Virdee at The Darbar Festival in the UK, followed a month later by a concert with sitar virtuoso Purbayan Chatterjee and top Indian string players in Kolkata India to mark Indian Independence Day.

2010 saw the release of Eduardo’s long anticipated new album “My Gypsy Waltz” recorded at his UK studios featuring
Eduardo Niebla – guitar & composition
Salvador Niebla – drums
Jyotsna Srikanth – Indian violin
Dharmesh Parmar – tabla
Ken Marley – double bass
Sara Gilford - cello
Queen Marys & Aysgarth Senior Choirs :

“His latest album demonstrates his fluid, technically brilliant guitar work… and the standout track is the 18 minute India, a series of meditations on poverty and resilience, in which lyrical, drifting guitar passages are matched against rousing interplay with Srikanth’s violin… the exuberant title track…(and) the thoughtful and lyrical Rosie is another reminder of Niebla’s exquisite guitar work.” (Robin Denselow, The Guardian)

“In this dense mix of rhythm and culture, he has produced a hypnotic album. Exotic and percussive, Eduardo explores musical avenues that are rarely pursued. For sheer breathtaking artistry it takes some beating.” (Ben Jackson, The Sun)

“It’s his debt to rich family community that makes his music resonate deeply… Niebla’s own lived internationalism ensures this is a passionate musical journey involving gems and tantalising experiments. Stunning pieces like ‘Phoenix’ exquisitely capture his heartfelt respect for life in all its bittersweet complexity.” (Jan Fairley, The List)

This was launched in January 2011 at Celtic Connections and the Queen Elizabeth Hall London.

Appearances in 2010-2011 also included the Kaunas Jazz Festival Lithuania and the Rigas Ritmi Music Festival Latvia:

“Their music was a unique heady blend including flamenco, Latin, classical, Indian, Arabic and jazz ingredients. It was a lush guitar choir with a high-revving Indian tabla motor in the middle. Niebla is a heart-on-sleeve romantic, and there was a yearning poignance to his songs like “Mirror of Life,” “Rosie” (for his daughter) and “Para Margarita” (for his mother) … Parmar, with his clattering rain of propulsion, made sure that Niebla’s sentiments swung.” “(JAZZ TIMES)

In 2011 Eduardo was commissioned to write music for two new projects:
• The first, which he entitled “My Yorkshire Road”, celebrated his adopted North Yorkshire homeland in the UK and was a collection of pieces for guitar, brass band, choirs, fishermen’s choirs and folk musicians and lyrics by Ian McMillan which he premiered at the Ryedale Festival in 2011.
• The second was a series of pieces for guitar and string quartet which Eduardo premiered with the Dante String Quartet at their festival in Cornwall on 15th July 2011:
Krysia Osostowicz -violín 1
Giles Francis - violín 2
Rachel Roberts – viola
Bernard Gregor-Smith - cello

2012 - 2013
Eduardo appeared at the Cairo Jazz Festival, where he received a standing ovation, and returned for an extensive 13 date concert tour of Ireland, as well as appearances at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall London, where his regular trio of Carl Herring (guitar) & Dharmesh Parmar (Indian tabla) were joined by the Pavao String Quartet performing a new series of compositions by Eduardo for guitar and strings.

In 2012 Eduardo was commissioned by Chris Wade of the Beverley Folk Festival to write a new piece to celebrate their 30th anniversary, a project involving local folk musicians, Beverley Brass Band and children’s choirs, and this was premiered at the 2013 Festival. The project won the David Bedford Award from the PRS Foundation. He also wrote music for choirs and church organ for the Garforth Arts Festival.

Eduardo is currently in the studio recording these pieces for his new album, his 24th, which currently features performances by the Pavao String Quartet, children and adult choirs and which will also feature church organ. The new album, yet to be named, will be released in 2014.

2014
Eduardo will be touring the UK, from the Shetlands Islands and the Outer Hebrides, back to Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall and including St. George’s Bristol, as well as across Ireland, North & South and possibilities are being explored for Eduardo to tour Europe and beyond.

After all these years of touring and acclaim by the press and audiences, Eduardo always remains true to his humble roots and performs with integrity and a consuming passion that is Eduardo Niebla:

“Eduardo – virtuoso? Inventive improviser? Yes and yes. And creative composer too. Writer of beautiful melodies, great grooves… he cast a deep, engrossing spell over the audience which transported them to other places, to the distant past, to India, Arabia, North Africa, Spain – tracing the link between modern Flamenco and the ancient music of India. And then on to the New World, to South and Central America for the rumba. At the end of the concert he thanked the audience for having been present while the band “searched for these deep places in the music.” Believe me, they found them.” (London Jazz, March 2010)

Recent TV & Radio appearances & press interviews include:
BBC Radio 3 “In Tune”, BBC Radio Bristol, RTE1 “The View”, RTE Radio 1 “Arena”, RTE Radio 1 “Pat Kenny Show”, ITV Yorkshire “Calendar”, Yorkshire Post Magazine, South Wales Evening Post, BBC Radio Wales “Mixing It”, Norwich Evening News, The Independent newspaper, BBC4 “World of Jazz”, ITV Yorkshire “My Yorkshire”, BBC2 “The Culture Show”, London Jazz

“Niebla proves his mastery and composing genius with every touch.” (Die Rheinpfalz)

“Dramatic, emotional, spicy, fleet-fingered… Niebla continues to play from the heart.” (The Herald)

“No recording can do full justice to the thunderstorm of this musician in full flow – deep booming chords interspersed with lightning percussive effects… his language is full of hot, dark Mediterranean passion. “ (Scotsman)


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