XJAZZ! continues with SUPER SILENT, a showcase dedicated to acoustic improvisation. This time, we are thrilled to present two exceptional artists from the Berlin music scene: Kit Downes and Àbáse, both performing intimate, unplugged solo shows. We invite all attendees to immerse themselves in this ambient experience, allowing you to move freely within the space between the musicians, lie down on the floor, and fully immerse yourself in the music. This unique event takes place in the enchanting setting of the Emmaus Church, providing the perfect backdrop for extended, atmospheric sets that are entirely improvised.
Kit Downes will mesmerize the audience with a solo performance on the church organ, a memorable act that has become legendary at previous XJAZZ! FESTIVAL events. The multi-talented hero of the Berlin music scene, Àbáse, will also captivate the audience with a solo show on the grand piano and keyboards.
Kit Downes is a BBC Jazz Award winning, Mercury Music Award nominated solo recording artist for ECM Records. He has toured the world playing piano, church organ and harmonium with his own bands (‘ENEMY’, ‘Troyka’ and ‘Elt’) as well as with artists such as Squarepusher, Bill Frisell, Andrew Cyrille, Sofia Jernberg, Benny Greb, Mica Levia nd Sam Amidon. An organ scholar at St Peter Mancroft in Norwich whilst growing up, he is now living in Berlin, and performs solo pipe organ and solo piano concerts – as well as playing in collaborations with saxophonist Tom Challenger, cellist Lucy Railton, composer Shiva Feshareki, saxophonist Ben van Gelder and with the band ‘ENEMY’ (with Petter Eldh and James Maddren).He is also currently working with violinist Aidan O’Rourke, drummer Seb Rochford, composer Max de Wardenerand in the organ trio ‘Deadeye’ with Reinier Baas an Jonas Burgwinkel. He has written commissions for Cheltenham Music Festival, London Contemporary Orchestra, Biel Organ Festival, Ensemble Klang at ReWire Festival, the Scottish Ensemble, Cologne Philharmonie and the Wellcome Trust. He also performed as part of the National Theatre production of ‘Network’ from 2017-2018, featuring actor Bryan Cranston. He has performed solo organ concerts at the Elb Philharmonie in Hamburg, Lausanne Cathedral, Flagey in Brussels, the Royal Albert Hall in London as well as the Southbank Royal Festival Hall, Rochester Jazz Festival (US), St Olafs Minneapolis (US), Stavanger Konserthus, Aarhus Philharmonic Musikhuset, Darmstadt Organ Festival, Stuttgart Organ Festival, Laurenskerke in Rotterdam, Orgelpark in Amsterdam, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Berlin Jazz Festival, and the BBC Proms amongst many others.He holds a Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Musicin London, where he himself studied and now teaches. He has twice been awarded 1st place in Downbeat’s Critics Poll Rising Star for Organ and Keyboard categories respectively, and his ECM records ‘Obsidian‘, ‘Dreamlife of Debris‘ and ‘Vermillion‘ have been released to much critical acclaim.
On a quest for global grooves of unity, Àbáse is the imagination of Hungarian producer and keyboardist Szabolcs Bognár. Creating an exquisite blend of jazz, West African, Brazilian, hip-hop and electronic music, he released his debut album ‘Laroyê’ via Oshu Records. The word “àbáse” comes from the West African Yoruba language and stands for “collaboration” – a key element of Àbáse’s music, as he brings together versatile artists from around the world topush genre and style boundaries.