Marama Cafe Band

This band led by Pete Watson (accordion) features Frank Biddulph (violin), David Ahmed (guitar) and Nick Kacal (bass). The band play Pete’s arrangements of French musette tunes and tangos, Hungarian gypsy music arranged by Frank and swing tunes and arrangements led by David. Live performances include other musical styles including gypsy jazz, klezmer, Irish folk, and world music.  Latest CD  (see shop) released May 2019.

The band originally formed in 1999 to play the music of Romanian folk singer Maria Tanase and featured Romanian vocalist Ileana Rozavlea (vocals), Dominic Coltman (violin), and Oliver Baldwin (bass).  The group toured the UK, created a Romanian music festival at the Union Chapel in London and released the CD Sapte Vai.

GIGS & EVENTS

Nov  13th  2019  Resonance FM 104.4 Broadcast DJ Ritu’s show “A World in London”.see highlights here :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrgmf0Wklr4&t=501s

ALL 2020 EVENTS have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID19 except:

Sunday Sept 20th  St George’s Gardens, Bloomsbury, London (afternoon from 2pm)

Monday October 19th  Le Quecumbar, London (from 630pm) featuring Pete, David, Frank and Rupert Gillett on bass.

Pic : St George’s Gardens, London, April 2018

Pete Watson

Accordionist

Pete leads the band and conceives much of the music. The band has combines a high level of stage chemistry, slick arrangements and skilled improvisation in different 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 for In Harmony Lambeth, where he specialises in writing inspiring pieces for young strings ensembles.

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 extensively internationally, recorded for BBC John Peel sessions, and was commissioned by Julian Lloyd Webber in 2011 to write a piece for cello solo.

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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