Olivier Ker Ourio
More entente cordiale in store at The Café Des Amis, as we continue our occasional Friday night musical salon in conjunction with The Alliance Francais. Our guest is traveling light, with perhaps the smallest instrument in the jazz set up – Olivier Ker Ourio plays the chromatic harmonica.
Modest in size it may be, but not in its artistic ambition. In Ker Ourio’s cupped hands, it becomes sinuous, assertive and hugely expressive, evoking the mastery of its greatest exponent, Belgium’s Toots Thielemans and fittingly, they’ve played together. Ker Ourio is no stranger to the highest jazz echelons on both sides of the Atlantic, and his latest release Siroko (e-motive) yielded memorable music with bassist Heiri Kaenzig and the peerless guitarist Ralph Towner. It’s an ideal setting for the chromatic harmonica’s singing colours, revisited here in the company of leading Irish musicians Michael Coady and Tommy Halferty
They’ll be playing standards and Ker Ourio’s engaging compositions, both a reflection of his cultural identity. One as contemporary jazz musician, the other as a native of La Reunion, the French protectorate in The Indian Ocean where he grew up.