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.

interview
A Cappella Group Jukebox Make Good on Own

A Cappella Group Jukebox Make Good on Own

Like all popular music groups, the Jukebox Trio has its own successful formula. Presenting a rich mix of classic covers and original material in an open, friendly, accessible style – with two singers and a human beatbox – it’s hard not to enjoy the experience of seeing them play. “I don’t know any other a...
Brazilian culture at a high temperature in Russia

Brazilian culture at a high temperature in Russia

A close circle of people is singing and chanting under Pushkinsky Most early Sunday evening. In the centre, two at a time duck, dive, feint and sway in hypnotising fashion, while enchanting vocal drones, drums and bow-like berimbaus provide the perfect musical accompaniment. It’s a weekly gathering of Moscow’s capoeira enthusiasts, disciples of the Afro-Brazilian...
Earth Patriot

Earth Patriot

RUSSIA NOW: “I always wanted to be a cosmonaut,” states Fyodor Yurchikhin without hesitation. “When I was a small boy, I jumped from a second floor balcony because I thought I was Gagarin.”
A Jazz Leader for the New Era

A Jazz Leader for the New Era

Hailed by none other than Bill Clinton as one of the world’s greatest living saxophone players, Igor Butman is an icon of Russian musical life. Born in St Petersburg in 1961, he took up the instrument at 15 with encouragement from his jazz aficionado father, a keen musician who worked by day and gigged by...
In Conversation with Chris Potter

In Conversation with Chris Potter

Potter’s album Gratitude (Verve, 2001) saw the saxophonist pay eloquent tributes to his key inspirators on the instrument—Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Eddie Harris and Ornette Coleman included. When asked which of his own contemporaries Potter draws on, he spoke of a mutual cross-pollination they all use to raise the bar. “I really enjoy...
Manuel Mengis: Freedom First, History Later

Manuel Mengis: Freedom First, History Later

The convoluted side lies in how he twists and turns his ideas, viewing and presenting them from a variety of angles. Many of the tunes possess an element of classical complexity–they are structured in movements, sometimes subtly connected and phasing gradually in and out, but often with clearer lines drawn. “For me the music is...
Omara Portuondo: 77 Not Out

Omara Portuondo: 77 Not Out

At 77, Omara Portuondo is an elder stateswoman of world music. Here she tells Frederick Bernas about her new album, Gracias, and reflects on a long life of innovation, cultural enterprise and funny stories. With a musical career spanning 60 years and counting, Omara Portuondo is far from finished. “It is never enough, there is...
Taking Off: James Morton

Taking Off: James Morton

As the Bristol scene becomes increasingly self-confident and highly talented players pour out of the city seeking wider exposure, Frederick Bernas profiles the latest to make a splash, saxophonist James Morton. “I don’t class myself as a jazz musician,” says James Morton. This 26-year-old saxophonist’s philosophy reflects the Bristol music scene that has nurtured him....
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...
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...
These Acoustics Can Electrify

These Acoustics Can Electrify

Pete Wareham is on a musical crusade: Acoustic Ladyland‘s frontman abandoned the traditional jazz direction to discover his real identity. Frederick Bernas heard all about it.
Us3: The Struggle Continues

Us3: The Struggle Continues

In 1992 Geoff Wilkinson produced the groundbreaking jazz/hip-hop crossover track “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),” gaining international recognition with his Us3 project. Fourteen years and six albums down the line he’s still going strong, but it could all have been very different. Here he tells AAJ contributor Frederick Bernas about the highs and lows of his long...