Spain meets Namibia in jazz

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-The Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek will showcase a joint performance by Spanish duo Albert Bello and Oriol Saña on Wednesday.

The two will also perform a second concert on December 4 in the Casa del Mar in Walvis Bay, alongside a Namibian band, Erna Chimu’s Band. The aim is to foster cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Albert Bello (guitar) combines being a teacher and performer, having participated in many music festivals, both nationally and internationally, including festivals in France, Greece, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil, and at the same time offers many master classes. Since 2001, he has recorded over 15 albums as a solo artist or as part of a group.

He is the director and the main driving force behind the manouche jazz (also known as gypsy jazz) festival in Spain, the Django L’H Festival (first held in 2010) and he was the founder, and is the current president, of the Association of Musicians and Fans of Manouche Jazz. Oriol Saña (violin) has vast experience in the classical music field, having participated in various symphonic orchestras, concert halls and at numerous music festivals in Europe and the USA. In addition, his alternative music interests saw him take part in a manouche jazz duo with Albert and in a bluegrass duo with Casey Driessen. Furthermore, he has recorded more than 50 albums.

As a result of a whole string of coincidences, Albert and Oriol first met on stage over ten years ago. During one of his concerts, Albert invited Oriol to join him and they played “Nuages” by Django Reinhardt. From that moment they grew together as musicians becoming one of the key bands performing manouche jazz Spain.
During their visit to Namibia the duo will present “Boston Bridges”, an album published in 2016 featuring six pieces by Albert and three other classic manouche jazz songs.

On the other hand, Erna Chimu, the Namibian artist chosen for this joint performance, is a well-known Afro-jazz and traditional singer whose second studio album, “Hai Serute” won her NAMAs 2014 awards in three categories.
She has performed at various occasions throughout Namibia and in October 2015 at the Night of Festivals in Leicester (United Kingdom).

Erna will be performing with her band: Sam Batola (guitar), Jean Pierre Ntsika (bass), Gerson Doeseb (keyboard), Lebohang Mothabeng (drums), Manneckey Khoe-Aob (percussion), Ermelinda Thataone (backing vocals) and Onai Patricia Mutizwa (mbira). The doors for the Warehouse Theatre concert open at 18h00 with the concert starting at 19h00, while at Casa del Mar in Walvis Bay they open at 19h15 with the concert starting at 20h00. Entry to both concerts is free.

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