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Free Improvisation Projects

Smart/Arben Duo

Freely improvisation project with multi-reeds player James Arben.

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

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

It occasionally extends to a quintet version (below) and frequent collaborations, most recently 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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James Arben - tenor sax/flute/bassclarinet

Shirley Smart - cello

Alex Hawkins - piano

Liran Donin - bass

Jon Scott - drums

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