Marama Cafe Band

The Marama café band formed in 1999 as to celebrate and explore the music of Romanian singer Maria Tanase. It featured Ileana Rozavlea (vocals), Dominic Coltman (violin), Oliver Baldwin (bass) and Pete Watson (accordion). The group toured the UK, created a Romanian music festival at the Union Chapel in London released the CD Sapte Vai.

The band has added gypsy jazz, French musette, tango, swing and more to its repertoire and plays frequently in London and southern England. A new CD was released in April 2019 and the band is much in demand for functions.  Pic : St George’s Gardens, Bloomsbury, London, April 2018 with Andy Hamill on bass.

Marama Cafe Band

Pete Watson

Accordionist

Pete has led the band for a number of years and conceived much of the music. The band has developed a high degree of on stage chemistry combining slick arrangements with skilled improvisation in a number of musical genres.

David Ahmed

Guitar

Dylan-inspired Londoner David Ahmed moved quickly on to folk mandolin and tenor banjo in his youth, before discovering the legacy of Django Reinhardt.  He performs with several Gypsy Swing ensembles in the UK. Fiery and melodic emotionalism is the essence of his style.

Toby Nowell

Associate Trumpet

Multi-instrumental Toby Nowell comes from a long lineage of professional musicians and plays trumpet, gypsy guitar, saxophones, clarinet and vocals. A talented jazz player, he is also well known for playing Balkan Brass (Balkanatics) and Afro-Beat  Bukky Leo’s Black Egypt).

Frank Biddulph

Violin

Frank Biddulph is a violinist and educational composer. He is arranger in residence at the Lambeth Music Service and In Harmony Lambeth, where he specialises in writing inspiring pieces for young strings ensembles.

He is an experienced performer in a range of music styles from Gypsy Jazz, Klezmer, Turkish and North African to Irish, Scottish and English folk music.  He has toured in Europe extensively, Middle East, the US and recorded with Mukka for the BBC John Peel sessions.  He was commissioned by Julian Lloyd Webber in 2011 to write a piece for cello solo.

Tim Ellis

Guitar

Tim Ellis is a guitarist originally from Leicester. He studied music at Dartington college of Arts and guitar with Gypsy Jazz stars Lollo Meier and Aurelien Bouly, and has strong musical influences from both the Alsatian Manouche and Dutch Sinto gypsy jazz styles.

Nick Kacal

Bass

Nick Kaçal (pronounced Kasaal) is a double bassist and audio engineer. Originally from Trinidad, he studied Electroacoustics at Salford University (graduating in 1990) where he was inspired by the Manchester jazz scene.  

Since then he has played widely on the London music scene playing predominantly jazz and acoustic folk, occasionally touring to places such as Cape Verde, France and Spain.  He has formed his own group, Guerillasound, and currently plays with the Gabrielle Ducomble band. Pic : Neil Huxtable.

 

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