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The Festival of the Between

  • Vortex Jazz Club N16 8AZ UK (map)

The music of the East and the jazz of the West is connected by the primacy of improvisation. In the dialogue between these styles of music, improvisation is taken to new heights as the rhythmic and melodic complexity of the East meets the harmonic mastery of Western jazz. 

The Festival of the Between is the world's first music festival focussed on showcasing these collaborations.

Confirmed artists so far:

Saturday 19th March

Bahla - a quartet of exceptional jazz musicians who bring together Jewish folk music and Western jazz. Recently performed at Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms. 


MASAA - a band from Germany, brought together through introductions made by Markus Stockhausen, featuring exceptional Lebanese singer Rabi Lahoud, award-winning pianist Clemens Christian Pötzsch, Marcus Rust on trumpet and Demian Kappenstein on drums. Masaa have toured the world including the Middle East and East Africa with their heady mix of Rabih's improvised Arabic lyrics and exceptional contemporary, groove-focussed composition from the band. 

Sunday 20th March


ALULA - a London-based septet featuring British-Iraqi singer and composer Alya Marquardt and leading jazz and world musicians Asaf Sirkis (drums), Shirley Smart (cello), George Crowley (tenor sax), Olie Brice (bass), Sam Leak (piano) and Nikos Ziarkis (oud / guitar). Their music has been described as "sensational" and Alya's first album received a 4-star review from Songlines magazine. They bring together original music and Iraqi and Arabic folk music into a highly improvised jazz frame to create a thrilling and multi-layered performance. 

DON KIPPER - The new kids on the block performing exceptional klezmer / klezmer-inspired jazz. Don Kipper are a multi award-winning innovative ensemble playing and transforming a wide range of traditional musical forms, from Turkish Fasıl and Greek Rebetiko to Romani music and Klezmer. While they attempt to root ourselves deeply in these traditions they always seek to explore radical interpretations and taut arrangements full of complex harmonies, polyrhythms and imaginative improvisation. Since 2013, they have released our First and Second albums, played two European Tours, and won the titles of both the inaugural Moshe Beregovski Award for best Klezmer Newcomers and The World Music Network’s Battle of the Bands.

More acts to be confirmed soon! 

Taking place over two days at one of London's most loved music venues, Vortex Jazz Club, the festival will bring you seasoned headliners and new fresh acts, all making exceptional music by bringing together the best of Middle Eastern and European musical ideas.

The wonderful Mopomoso afternoon takes place on 19th March between 2.30 - 5.30. We would like to offer ticket discounts to anyone who comes to both performances! More info soon.

Earlier Event: March 12
Don Kipper at Jackdaw
Later Event: April 12
Don Kipper at the Woodburner