In association with Guitar Guitar.
The first night presents:
Simon Thacker & Karmana
One of the UK’s most accomplished musical figures, Simon Thacker is a composer, classical guitarist and ensemble leader whose ever expanding world draws on a deep immersion in diverse cultures.
As well as touring as a classical guitar soloist, he has also developed some of today’s most prescient ensembles, including: Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western collective which has seen him tour and collaborate at major festivals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, most recently for an audience of 60 000 in Dhaka and at one of India’s biggest sacred music festivals; Simon Thacker's Ritmata, his musical laboratory with three of the UK’s leading improvisers; Songs of the Roma with cellist Justyna Jablonska and Romany singer/violinist Masha Natanson, a new Romany musical journey, which will be touring Scotland in spring. All of these groups have been selected for the prestigious Made in Scotland showcase. Simon has been classical guitar tutor at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College for over 10 years. This year will see the release of three new albums of his work.
As well as solo, Simon will also be playing with his duo “Karmana” (Sanskrit for “performing anything by means of magic”), with Edinburgh based cellist Justyna Jablonska. Justyna’s music experience is rooted in but goes beyond the classical repertoire, in which she holds a Masters Degree from the RNCM, taught by Peter Dixon (Principal Cello, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra). In 2014, 2015 and 2016 she was chosen to participate in the Lucerne Festival Academy which enabled her to work with Sir Simon Rattle, Barbara Hannighan, Matthias Pintcher and Isabelle Faust. She will be recording a new album with Simon and Songs of the Roma later this year, supported by Creative Scotland.
Simon and Justyna released the debut Karmanaalbum in 2016, which included collaborations with the renowned Scots singer/songwriter Karine Polwart, Polish Roma singer Masha Natanson and Dehli born tabla master, Sarvar Sabri. The album has been given airplay in over 40 countries (over 200 stations in the USA alone) and attracted glowing reviews across the world.
Classically trained, but has a genre-defying style that is far flung from the classical guitar. With heavy influence from artists such as Rodrigo y Gabriela and KT Tunstall, Ali has developed a unique blend of percussive guitar and loop mastery, to create an original sound that gets hands clapping, hips shaking and feet stomping.
Ali recently performed at the Belfast Guitar Festival and the London Guitar Night, and is the founder of the Edinburgh Guitar Night.
Jenny has an eclectic repertoire that takes influence from classical, jazz, acoustic and rock. Her dynamic performances have won her acclaim with audiences across the UK. Her unique style led her to becoming a finalist of Sky Arts ‘Guitar Star’ 2016, where she performed in front of music legends George Benson, Tony Visconti and Miloś.