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Jaimie Branch: FLY or DIE


julij 16 22:30

friday, july 16, at 10.30 pm
main stage

Jaimie Branch (trumpet, voice)
Lester St Louis (cello)
Jason Ajemian (double bass)
Chad Taylor (drums, mbira)

According to connoisseurs, Jaimie Branch (b. 1983) is one of the most daring sound researchers of the younger generation, so it is not surprising that her debut Fly or Die (2017) was on the best jazz albums lists in esteemed media, such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times or Wire. But even before this album, the trumpet player was very active for many years, first in Chicago and then in New York (where she now lives), in both rock and jazz ensembles. Thus, it is not surprising that her multi-layered and sometimes abstract, but at the same time very tight music, which is also overtly politically engaged, contains connections to both alternative rock and electronics. With some of our good acquaintances her quartet will play in Slovenia for the first time. The band recorded the acclaimed second album FLY or DIE II: bird dogs of paradise (International Anthem, 2019).

Jaimie Branch started playing the trumpet as a nine-year-old. At the age of 14 she moved from Brooklyn to a Chicago suburb, where she then attended the New England Conservatory of Music and graduated in 2005. She later moved to Chicago, where she joined the budding city scene and worked not only as a musician but also as an event organizer. In 2012, she moved to Baltimore, where she earned a master’s degree in jazz performance from Towson University. She now works in New York City, where she has collaborated with musicians, such as Brandon Lopez, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Mike Stolthet, as well as collaborated on albums by alternative rock bands, such as Never Enough Hope, Local H and Atlas Math. With the band FLY or DIE (our acquaintance Tomeka Reid played the cello in the original quartet), she combines jazz, alternative rock and experiment in multi-layered and complex music, ranging from microtonality to post-rock structures. As the titles sometimes suggest, her compositions are an angry and sharp response to Trump’s era of outright right-wing and racist attacks on minorities and police violence (for instance, Prayer for Amerikkka, which is, according to several critics, the central track of the second album). Branch is accompanied by established musicians of the younger and the middle generations (mostly from the Chicago scene). Lester St. Louis is also known from various ensembles of Dré Hočevar. Jason Ajemian and Chad Taylor are regulars on the Chicago scene, where they regularly collaborate with our acquaintance Rob Mazurek. With the latter, Taylor already performed at our festival in 2018 in the Chicago / London Underground Quartet.

Photo: Peter Gannushkin


julij 16
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