Wednesday 21 February 2018
Breaking new ground with their unique mix of cinematic jazz entangled with Jewish folklore, Bahla the London-based 5-piece outfit was formed by Venezuelan pianist Joseph Costi and English guitarist Tal Janes. Their meeting un-earthed a sound world of Jewish folk melodies hidden in their memories from childhood, from two different corners of the world. They curiously began researching and learning about the wide spread geography and history of the music, ranging from North-African rhythms, liturgical melodies and yiddish art songs from Russia. Bahla was born to bring their findings to life.
Their album Imprints is a collection of 8 songs inspired by different stories of identity, migration and displacement. The music is home to many different influences ranging from Radiohead to Polar Bear and Shai Maestro, but has kept Jewish folk traditions at its core. Music and culture are joined at the hip and particularly in the current climate, Bahla have been driven to show that it is not only possible for different cultures to meet peacefully, but these moments of collaboration can lead to something new and exciting. Across the album, a distinctive palette is underset by a bold and dynamic rhythm section, while radiant vocals – echoing the modal form of Jewish prayer music – rise and fall over searching, delicate melodies on keys and guitar.
Since their debut performance at the late BBC Proms, Bahla have kept a busy schedule including performances at the London Jazz Festival and Brecon Jazz Festival.
Bahla are: Inês Loubet – Voice, Tal Janes – Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Joseph Costi – Piano, Wurlitzer & Fender Rhodes, Andrea Di Biase – Double Bass, Ben Brown – Drums & Percussion