Criss Cross Europe
Jim Black - coach
Nabou Claerhout - trombone, Belgium
Chris Guilfoyle - guitar - Ireland
Michel Meis - drums - Luxembourg
Sannne Rambags - vocals – Netherlands
Aleksander Paal - alto sax - Estonia
David Bowden - bass – Scottland
Jim Black - drums
Cansu Tanrikulu - composer, vocals
Elias Stemeser - piano
KULTUR I LX (Luxembourg)
JAZZLAB / De BIJLOKE (Belgium)
IMPROVISED MUSIC COMPANY (Ireland)
ESTONIAN JAZZ UNION (Estonia)
EDINBURGH JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL (Scotland)
AMPA / CONCERTCLUB PARADOX (The Netherlands)
Coach Jim Black, who came to the forefront of the new generation of jazz innovators in projects like Human Feel, Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin's trio, Pachora, and Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio, is internationally acknowledged for his virtuosic but highly personal approach to contemporary jazz. Black picked out an intriguing selection of musicians for ‘his’ Criss Cross Europe band.
Nabou Claerhout took a brave and unusual leap to learn to play the trombone at the age of 9. Nobody could have imagined then that, years later, she would land in the middle of the contemporary jazz scene. Today, Nabou is one of the most promising and innovative jazz trombonists of the Benelux. With Fred Wesley and Mark Guiliana in mind, the young Nabou went from Kunsthumaniora Brussel to Codarts Rotterdam, with among others Bart Van Lier and Ilja Reingoud as her teachers. From an early age onwards, Nabou got the chance to play together with internationally renowned artists like Bert Joris, John Ruocco, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Evan Parker, Martin Fondsen, Jules Buckley, Jeroen Van Herzele, Andy Hunter, Bert Boeren, Akua Naru etc. After a stop at the Royal Academy of Music in London (2017), Nabou graduated from Codarts in 2018. Since then, she has been teaching at the Kortrijk Conservatory and Wilrijk music academies, and has been working as a researcher at the Arts & Research Institute in Antwerp since September 2021.
Drummer Michel Meis belongs to the new generation of Luxembourgish jazz musicians. He studied jazz drums with Oliver Strauch and Georg Ruby at the Hochschule für Musik Saar (Saarbrücken, Germany) and regularly proves his versatility and openness through numerous projects. Besides his own jazz project, the Michel Meis 4tet, he played for a long time with Dock in Absolute (pop/jazz) and currently plays with Everwaiting Serenade (melodic hardcore), Kleinkram (jazz), the Gilles Grethen Quartet (jazz) and the duo Blankx with pianist Manuel Krass (free jazz/electro). Meis played live in clubs and at festivals in Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Ukraine, Romania, China and Japan. With his 4tet, he released his debut album “Lost in Translation” in January 2019 in the series “Jazz thing Next Generation” on Double Moon/Challenge Records – a first for a Luxembourgish artist.
Aleksander Paal is a demanded jazz saxophonist who is currently working as a performer, composer and educator in Tallinn, Estonia. Initially starting with classical piano at age 7 he switched to saxophone and discovered jazz music at age 10. During his early years Paal participated in numerous local saxophone competitions, both classical and jazz oriented, and managed to win some of them. Most notably in 2012 he got the 1st prize in the Northern European Jazz Talent Contest in Groningen, Netherlands. Aleksander has studied jazz music at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (2008-2014) and at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar in Germany (2010). During his studies he took part in many international workshops, most notably attended the IASJ meeting in the Hague in 2010. Nowadays he has become a sought-after improviser in the jazz idiom. Knowing his way around different styles of music (including free jazz, contemporary free improvisation, pop, funk, R&B and more) is definitely one of the strongest sides of Paal's playing. Back in 2016 Aleksander was a lead alto player in an international project called Euroradio Jazz Orchestra which took place in Scotland and was conducted by Tommy Smith. In 2018 Paal was among few musicians who were comissioned to compose a symphonic jazz piece for a large orchestra with a jazz rhythm section. The work was done together with Raul Sööt and got premiered later in November, celebrating 100 years of Estonia. Besides leading his own groups (one quartet and two trios) Aleksander plays lead alto in Estonian Dream Big Band and New Wind Jazz Orchestra. As a sideman he has played and recorded with various local groups such as S.P.A.R. Quartet, Trading Fives, Jason Hunter Quintet, Sofia Rubina Band and more. Paal teaches at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre since 2018.
Dawid Bowden , award-winning bass player and composer based in Glasgow, working primarily in the fields of jazz, folk and contemporary improvised music. A mainstay of the Scottish scene, David Bowden has toured the UK and Europe extensively with a variety of projects. In 2015, David won Yamaha Jazz Scholarship Award and in 2017, fresh from graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he was awarded the title of ‘BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year’. David specialises in writing genre-spanning instrumental music for bespoke ensembles. He has a diverse musical palette that is reflected in his main compositional project inspired by his studies in Ghana and Amsterdam: the acclaimed world/jazz fusion ensemble ‘Mezcla’. Tying together modern jazz with influences from West Africa, Latin America and RnB music. The band has appeared at festivals across the UK and will be releasing their debut album in 2020. As a sideman, David is a member of the Fergus McCreadie Trio. The band’s acclaimed album ‘Turas’ was shortlisted for the ‘Scottish Album of the Year’ award and has followed with appearances at venues such as Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Oslo and Stockholm Jazz Festivals. David is also a co-leader of the contemporary jazz quartet ‘Square One’ described as a ‘powerhouse of Scottish Jazz talent’ by BBC Radio Scotland. The band won the Peter Whittingham award 2015 and have released two albums to critical acclaim followed by a tour of the UK, Austria and Poland. David is also active outside of the Jazz scene, regularly performing with acts such as Robin Adams, Avocet, Dosca, Finn Anderson to name a few. Recent performance highlights have included festivals across the UK as well as performances in the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Belgium, Holland, Australia, Dubai and Zambia.