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Ivar Berix: Kinan Azmeh - Wedding

The Calefax musicians enhanced a new video collection with a personal touch. This collection of existing as well as brand new clips of Concert Registrations and Tour Impressions offers a unique way to explore Calefax’s history of no less than 35 years.

Kinan Azmeh – Wedding by Ivar Berix, clarinet

Ivar: “There is so much to tell about this clip from 2015. My research for music from the Middle East started in 2007. For the project Far East Revisited (with tours to China, India and Turkey in 2008 and 2009) I was looking for inspiring composers and artists from Syria, Iran, Libanon and Egypt. We were in touch with concert halls in these countries and about to book a tour in 2010. We (Calefax & Tony Overwater Trio with Wim Kegel on drums and Maarten Ornstein on sax) came with music by Duke Ellington (Far East Suite) and wanted to combine this music with new music from the region.

So what did I look for? Links with Ellington, jazz, improvisation, but also contemporary composers and inspiring musical personalities. I searched online in small local record labels and listened to short music fragments in YouTube. One day, I found a record from the group Hewar, with the for me unknown clarinet player Kinan Azmeh. As soon I heard this record, I knew we had found our wished partner! At that point I didn’t know yet it would still take a long time before we would meet. Because in 2010, the Arab Spring started, a series of protests, uprisings and armed rebellions in the Arab world. Of course the tour was canceled.

The cooperation did take place after we commissioned Kinan a piece for Calefax in 2011. The première of Five Flying Dutchmen took place in Augusts 2012, and Kinan came over! The meeting was very heartfelt and after that the pieces kept coming in: Ibn Arabi Postlude and Wedding where most well-known and even found a place on a Calefax cd with Eric Vloeimans.

I find it fantastic to see Kinan is famous now: he travels the world and workes with heroes like Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. He mostly tours with his bands Cityband and Hewar.”