Fête Quaqua 2017 and other things….

A short background to my various Quaqua projects can be found here

fete quaqua 2017 group pic

August comes again, another Fête Quaqua is in the offing and, once more, it brings what looks like being another three days of getting down to, what for me, is the ‘real nitty gritty’. Playing music live in a concentrated listening environment. Think the intimacy of a small theatre or chamber hall with the focus on the performance and the performers. An audience engaging with the music in a direct way and sharing the musical discoveries with the musicians as they are made. No replays. Music making in real time. True performance not imitation.

I believe that we begin forming our musical identities in the womb and everyone has a unique personal musicality that grows and is shaped by our experiences throughout our lives. A truly creative artist recognises this uniqueness and that coming with it is a responsibility to employ it in their work. The musicians in this year’s Fête Quaqua all share this quality and the wide background of experiences make for a fertile ground in which the music can flourish. In one sense we are not trying to make a music but to reveal a music and to share it in real time.

The range skills and sounds available are not proscribed by pre performance compositional structures but come from the musical imperative at the time. With these musicians it is quite a range too!

About the event

Every year the guitarist John Russell puts together a project involving a group of highly creative and individual musicians to work together, sometimes for the first time. The idea is to provide a fertile ground for free improvisation, strengthening existing ties and making new ones.

There are three concerts, each starting and finishing with the whole ensemble. In between there will be smaller ensembles taken from the larger group and every night the performers will play at least once in one of the smaller groups. Each concert will have a different programme and nothing is repeated. The idea being that the whole event can be seen as a single piece of music that offers a glimpse into the creative potential of the individual participants within the ensemble.

The musicians taking part are…..


Alice Eldridge (feedback cello)


Satoko Fukuda (violin)


Matt Hutchinson (digital synthesiser/piano)


Ken Ikeda (electronics)

paul jolly

Paul Jolly (sax/reeds)


Charlotte Keeffe (trumpet/flugel horn)


Henry Lowther (trumpet/violin)


Pascal Marzan (guitar)


Rachel Musson (sax)


John Russell (guitar)


Gina Southgate (bric a brac)


Roger Turner (percussion)


Jennifer Walshe (voice)


Alex Ward (clarinet/guitar)


The Vortex 11 Gillett Square London, N16 8AZ

tel : 020 7254 4097 (Mon-Fri 12-6pm)

Times and Dates

Sunday 20 August 2.00 pm

Monday 21st August 8.00 pm

Tuesday 22nd August 8.00 pm

Admission per concert £8 / £6 concessions

Three day pass £20 / £15 concessions