Instrumental world jazz quintet Radio Banska play a stunning array of genre-defying
Latin, east European, middle eastern and fusion compositions delivered with passion and style. They will take you on an exciting tour of musical influences from around the world, from Morocco, Jamaica and Buenos Aires to Paris, Budapest and the Balkans. With Nina Trott on violin, Dave Spencer on electric guitar, Tony Barby on acoustic guitar and Peruvian charango, the band have recently acquired a dynamic new young rhythm section in the shape of Sol Ahmed on double bass and the virtuosic drummer Mark Whitlam, enabling the band to expand their vision of intelligent, danceable music with wide-ranging world roots seasoned with jazz.
Since forming three years ago Radio Banska have performed at Bath Fringe Festival, Bath Festival Opening Night, Bristol Harbourside Festival, Keynsham Music Festival, several major jazz festivals including Marlborough International Jazz festival and Teignmouth Jazz Festival, and countless other venues including the Canteen, the Old Bookshop and Colston Hall Foyer in Bristol, the Square and Compass at Worth Matravers Ruskin Mill Arts in Gloucestershire and St Lawrence Hall in Ashburton, Devon as well as touring on the Arts Council funded Rural Touring circuit in Wiltshire. They released their first CD ‘The Balkan Courtesan’ last year on a small local record label.
A selection of reviews :
“..with numbers that speed up to drive dancers into ecstasy, haunting, exotic minor key melodies, unusual time signatures, it is music to dance to, it’s a celebration. The rhythm section of Tosh on double bass and drummer Mark Whitlam are what make Radio Banska an extraordinarily powerful band, a kind of Levantine Zeppelin … the whole band is terrific, worth seeing for their musicianship alone.” – Charley Dunlap, Listomania
“Based on CD sales alone, which were the highest for any festival band this year, the audience loved your eclectic, exciting and polished performance – one of my personal highlights of the festival” – Ian Pennicott, director Teignmouth Jazz 2011
“The rapport between the musicians is captivating … traditional and original material with jazz, Balkan and Latin influences. An intelligent, dynamic, adventurous musical journey – I can’t wait to hear them again!” – Marick Baxter, Bath live music promoter
‘The Balkan Courtesan’ ALBUM
“I spend hours listening to world music of all kinds, every continent, every genre, and very rarely does a disc make me sit up the way this one did ….unexpectedly enchanting, and for my money probably the release of the year.” – Kevin Darling-Finan, BBC West, Nov 2011
“Who knew John Zorn was composing Balkan/Arabic tunes? Balkan-jazz quintet Radio Banska, evidently, and there’s a cracking arrangement of Zorn’s ‘Ravayah’ on this album. For all the rootsiness of the tunes, they’re all modern, with guitarist Dave Spencer contributing half and violinist Nina Trott’s briskly Manouche ‘Emo Latino’ a lively little number. Tosh Wijetunge’s bass and Mark Whitlam’s drums cast a convincing reggae spell over Richard Galliano’s ‘Chat Pitre’, moodily rendered as a loose ballad, and guitarist Tony Barby flavours Spencer’s ‘We’re not in Kansas Now; with a Moorish flamenco underpinning. It’s all tightly arranged, straddling the roots/jazz divide without overstretching either way, and nicely captures the band’s distinctive sound” – Tony Benjamin, Venue Magazine, Jan 2012
“Just been listening to the album – lovely stuff!”– John Etheridge, jazz guitarist
Contact David at Fougou Media for bookings and enquiries.