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Free improvisation project with cellist Shirley Smart

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 and frequent collaborations, most recently with drummer/percussionist Demi Garcia Sabat.

The duo released an album 'Entanglement' on FMR records in 2020, and recently released a triple album with "Stories" with Garcia Sabat.

James Arben - tenor sax, flute, bass clarinet

Shirley Smart - cello

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