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Free Improvisation Projects

Smart/Arben Duo

Freely improvised project with multi-reeds player James Arben.

James and Shirley met whilst playing with Ethiopian vibes legend Mulatu Astatke, and this duo project grew out of Green Room discussions on tour....

With a shared interest in free improvisation and musical dialogue, this project draws on a shared musical knowledge and experiences of jazz, classical and folk traditions.

The duo frequently collaborates with other artists, occasionally extends to a quintet version (below).

A recent collaboration also led to a release with drummer/percussionist Demi Garcia Sabat.

The duo released an album 'Entanglement' on FMR records in 2020, and future releases are planned.

James Arben - tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet

Shirley Smart - cello

Live dates here

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Quintet

Quintet

James Arben - tenor sax/flute/bassclarinet

Shirley Smart - cello

Alex Hawkins - piano

Liran Donin - bass

Jon Scott - drums

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