Louisiana swamp cat Duncan Ford will be breezing into the capital tonight (Thursday) for a down-home session of blues’n’soul at Botanico. Exact details of guitarist Duncan’s background and repertoire are murky but his mysterious story has something to do with a curse, a crossroads and a mutt named Johnson. All will become clear at the live performance this evening, when Duncan will be accompanied by his buddy Jesse on percussion.
Later on Thursday, at Jazz Club Elite, a hip cat with some serious musical pedigree will begin a short series of dates at the newest and best music venue in town. Christophe Astolfi is a bona-fide gypsy jazz star, having collaborated with heavyweights such as Tchavolo and Dorado Schmitt, David Reinhardt and Stochelo Rosenberg. It is a very good sign of things to come at Jazz Club that Mr Astolfi has decided to make the trip to Phnom Penh, not only performing for three nights (with resident players Seb on bass and Nono on violin) but also holding a guitar masterclass at the venue this Saturday afternoon. Contact Jazz Club Elite directly for more details.
Chinese House will launch their newly-refurbished garden space this Friday with a live performance from emerging Cambodian star Sam Rocker. There are plans for many more great gigs at the venue in the coming weeks, including a special show next Wednesday, when Carrie will hold the launch party for her solo album Under The Same Sun. The album, produced by Euan Gray, features performances by top Phnom Penh jazz cats Larry Martinez (piano) and Andrey Meshcheryakov (bass) – both of whom will be joining the unique live music party next Wednesday. To make the night even more special, there will be guest performances by Cambodian superstar Nikki Nikki, locally-based soul singer Rhiannon Johnson and Mr Euan Gray himself. Carrie told Leng Pleng:
“We’ll be performing the album as a band at the concert on Wednesday. It’s a real privilege to play with musicians like Larry, Andrey, Rhiannon and Euan. Euan has been an awesome producer. Under The Same Sun is a singer-songwriter record, with conversational songs that connect with people very strongly. Emotional, moving, poignant… but with a lot of joy!
With just 100 seats, and half of them gone already, space is limited. Those wishing to join the concert can SMS +855(0)12521032. The ticket includes a welcome drink and I’m also going to give everyone a copy of album! You’ll be able to find Under The Same Sun online via CD Baby, iTunes, Soundcloud and Spotify very soon. There were about 120 people involved in crowdfunding this album project. It’s exciting to finally get to the launch party!”
Detroit-born jazzman Gerard Evans swung into town a little more than a month ago, and has been slowly adjusting to the Phnom Penh-style of life. Gerard has this past week been stepping out to a few city music establishments, flute in hand, to showcase some of his expert musical chops. Gerard ‘paid his dues’ at the legendary Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit – reportedly ‘the world’s oldest operating jazz club’ – a joint where you ‘really have to know how to play jazz’ or risk being quickly booed off stage (by either the audience or the other musicians on the bandstand). Check out this Berklee-educated and extremely versatile flautist when he makes a guest appearance with Miss Sarawan Band at FCC – The Mansion this Saturday night.
More news next week of the Audi International Jazz Festival, which will bring more fantastic jazz groups to perform for the first time in Phnom Penh. The festival kicks off next Wednesday at Raffles with a concert by the internationally renowned Christian Brenner Quartet :
Whatever you’re up to over the next few days, stay safe out there and… see you around the traps!