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.

music
Alex Wilson - Salsa Con Soul

Alex Wilson – Salsa Con Soul

On his sixth solo album, the award-winning Wilson looks more towards commercial influences than previous work. It would be easy for a man of Alex Wilson’s pianistic talent to cruise along comfortably, picking up sideman or session gigs here and there and continuing to operate in the time-honoured medium of standard small jazz groups. But...
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....
Maceo Parker - Pigalle Club, 20/8/08

Maceo Parker – Pigalle Club, 20/8/08

Published in London Tourdates, 5/9/08.
Avishai Cohen - Gently Disturbed

Avishai Cohen – Gently Disturbed

With this release on his own Razdaz Recordz, Avishai Cohen firmly entrenches himself as a frontrunning innovator in the piano trio medium. The Israeli bassist is joined by Mark Guiliana on drums and countryman Shai Maestro on piano – the latter a change in personnel from Continuo (Razdaz, 2006) and Live At The Blue Note...
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...