CURRENT LOCATION: BRAZIL


Frederick is in South America. He has worked for AP, the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, VICE and others, recently reporting from Antarctica, Uruguay and Argentina.

Author Archive
Portico Quartet: Mercury For Rising Hang Men

Portico Quartet: Mercury For Rising Hang Men

The Portico Quartet are ‘indie’ in the truest sense of the word. Frederick Bernas talks to the Mercury-nominated post-jazz ensemble. It is a genuine musical fairytale. In 2004, the Portico Quartet was just one of countless acts busking the hallowed walkways of London’s South Bank. Four short years later, the group finds itself nominated for...
Polar Bear - Polar Bear

Polar Bear – Polar Bear

Published in London Tourdates, 8/8/08.
Samay - Dingwalls, 16/7/08

Samay – Dingwalls, 16/7/08

The first thing that strikes you about Samay is the intriguing combination of Western and Indian instruments: guitar, bass, saxophone, Tabla and Sarod. From the opening moments of this CD launch gig, it was clear a wonderful sense of communication existed: the five musicians frequently exchanged glances and pushed each other forward during solos. In...

North Sea Jazz Festival 2008

North Sea Jazz Festival Ahoy, Rotterdam July 11-13, 2008 The 33rd North Sea Jazz Festival was a showcase of epic proportions. Fifteen different stages in the Ahoy Centre played host to 200 artists; venues varied in size from large concert halls like the Amazon, Darling and Hudson to smaller, more intimate spaces and stadiumesque acoustic...
Neil Cowley Trio: What's In A Name?

Neil Cowley Trio: What’s In A Name?

Neil Cowley is a jazz musician who doesn’t listen to jazz. Frederick Bernas talks to him about his 20-year career on the piano stool. When their debut album Displaced was released independently in 2006, the Neil Cowley Trio received mixed reactions. Conservative critics with a penchant for old school hard bop and pure, mainstream jazz...

Neil Cowley Trio – Koko, 20/7/08

Neil Cowley Trio + Portico Quartet Koko, Camden Sunday, 20/7/08 Two of our jazz scene’s rising names graced the stage at Koko, a venue normally reserved for the very latest disposable indie bands. Kudos must go to the iTunes festival programmers: even though the total number of acts performing at the month-long free event is...

Latin Funk Spectacular to hit Jazz Café

Tuesday 29 July will see two acclaimed Latin funk collectives take to the Jazz Café stage in a special gig to showcase new albums on Aire Sol Records. Hailed as one of the hardest-working and most exciting bands to emerge from the States in the last decade, Grupo Fantasma draws on a wide variety of...

New wave of UK groups shine at Europe’s biggest jazz festival

North Sea Jazz Festival 11-13 July 2008 Ahoy, Rotterdam A veritable Who’s Who of contemporary jazz was on the bill at the 33rd North Sea Jazz Festival, with titanic names like Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter alongside an exciting selection of newcomers. Empirical, Led Bib, Finn Peters, Acoustic Ladyland and others represented the vibrant new...
Blink - Blink

Blink – Blink

Blink: Blink LOOP Records The latest offering from London’s infamous LOOP Collective, this eponymous debut features an unconventional bass-less trio of pianist Alcyona Mick, Robin Fincker on tenor sax and clarinet and drummer Paul Clarvis. All demonstrate considerable capabilities in the field of loose, open jazz which is experimental yet accessible. Mick’s command of the...
Kenny Garrett - Ronnie Scott's, 2/7/08

Kenny Garrett – Ronnie Scott’s, 2/7/08

Hackneyed cliché it may be, but Kenny Garrett really has done it all. Work with names such as Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock provides a mere glimpse of his glittering CV, augmented by recording dates for labels including Atlantic, Warner and Nonesuch. At Ronnie’s he was joined by Lennie Stalworth on bass, Jeff...

The Heliocentrics / Flying Lotus – Thekla, 7/6/08

Bristol’s ambitious Venn Festival came to the end of its fifth year in spectacular fashion with a showpiece evening at Thekla on Sunday 7/6/08. Californian DJ/producer Flying Lotus, a.k.a. Steven Ellison, warmed the crowd up with a frenzied sequence of myriad beats – drum&bass, hip-hop, techno and more – and frequent lightning embellishments from a...
Ponto de Equilíbrio – Abre a Janela

Ponto de Equilíbrio – Abre a Janela

Formed in a Rio de Janeiro hippy refuge in 1999, Ponto de Equilíbrio blend traditional aspects of roots reggae with musical flavours from across Brazil into an utterly distinctive and highly refreshing individual sound. The group’s second album, Abre a Janela, conveys a similarly diverse selection of moods and emotions, from deep, mellow grooves such...