After an amazing gig last night for the EFG London Jazz Festival, LUME decamps to The Harrison for our last gig of the year. We are very pleased to welcome Alex Roth’s Otriad.
In 1941, three Jewish brothers went into hiding in Poland’s Naliboki Forest to escape capture by the encroaching Nazi troops. By the end of the Second World War, they had led over 1,200 other Jews to safety, establishing a tight-knit community that resisted the Germans on one side and their co-operating Belarussian forces on the other. The Bielski Otriad, as the group became known, defied the fate of so many of their kind by refusing to give up hope even under the bleakest conditions.
It is this strength of community spirit that inspired the formation of Alex Roth’s Otriad, itself centred around three brothers of Polish-Jewish ancestry. Nick, Alex and Simon Roth (playing saxophones, guitars and percussion respectively) grew up to the sound of their mother’s violin and piano, quickly taking up the instruments that would eventually allow them to develop a unique musical understanding together. This three-way dynamic has been pivotal to each of their careers thus far, forming the core of several groups along the way (including the ten-piece electro-acoustic chamber ensemble Sefiroth).
Otriad is completed by two musicians whom Alex has met through studying for his MA at the Royal Academy of Music: James Opstad, who has been the bassist in Alex’s trio (with Simon again) since 2010, and saxophonist Joe Wright (half of the electro-acoustic improvising duo Wright/Roth, which has been active for over a year now).
Alex’s music for Otriad is an expression of the relationships that have formed between these five musicians, moving between folk-like melodies, free-form improvisation, electro-acoustic soundworlds, complex rhythmic structures and richly evocative harmonies.
Support set with:
Nick Roth (sax)
Alex Bonney (trumpet)
Hannah Marshall (cello)
See you at the Harrison, 28 Harrison Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 8JF.
Doors 8pm, music starts from 8.30pm. Entry £5.