Skip to main content

Quatrain feat. Savina Yannatou

Improvised Music Company & Mermaid Arts Centre Present


A project in four parts from Francesco Turrisi’s Tarab Ensemble

“Some of the most enchanting music I have heard this year.”- The Irish Times

“One can only hope that a group as good as this gets the wider exposure it surely deserves. ”- All About Jazz

Francesco Turrisi - accordion, harmonium, percussion

Nick Roth - saxophones, flutes

Emer Mayock-flutes, whistles, pipes, fiddle

Robbie Harris - bodhran, percussion

Kate Ellis – cello

With special guest:

From Greece: Savina Yannatou - voice

Francesco Turrisi presents this latest evolution of his Tarab ensemble, which has become eloquent in its linking of modal jazz to traditional music from across Europe. Over the course of 2010, the group takes on a major project and will come together as ensemble in residence in Bray’s Mermaid Arts Centre. They’ll devise new music over four cycles, each with a very special guest artist, starting in the spring with Iranian tombak master Pedram Khavar- Zamini and Palestinian oud player Haytham Safia, with a July visit from Bulgarian virtuoso of the kaval Theodossii Spassov, and an appearance by the masterful Greek singer Savina Yannatou to round off proceedings next November.

For his part Turrisi, a Milan native, has made a real impression since moving to Ireland, bringing a fresh perspective informed by his background in Italian baroque music and jazz piano. In Tarab he performs on accordion and frame drums, and convincingly bridges traditional music from around the Mediterranean in a band that also includes saxophonist Nick Roth and cellist Kate Ellis. Their jazz and classical backgrounds are finely countered by traditional flautist Emer Mayock who, along with percussionist Robbie Harris, brings an innate understanding of melody and form in Irish music. Turrisi directs proceedings with taste and subtlety throughout, deftly balancing these powerful elements to harmonious effect.

More about Tarab from Francesco Turrisi

The Arabic word "Tarab" describes a state of ecstasy and surrender one enters while listening to music with body and soul. When I created the ensemble Tarab in 2007 I imagined a connection between my southern Italian and Mediterranean origins and my musical journey and experience as a jazz musician. Following a successful Deis funded project in 2008 called Diwan Eireann, Tarab has evolved into a project that aims to create an imaginary link between aesthetic elements of Mediterranean music and the Irish instrumental and vocal tradition. Starting from common elements such as similar instrumentation, ornamentation and performance, Tarab develops new musical language based on improvisation, instrumental virtuosity and exciting rhythms.

About Savina Yannatou

A leading interpreter of baroque, renaissance and early musics, ECM recording artist Savina Yannatou is one of the most respected singers in Greek music. She is known not only for her mastery of older, formal repertoire but also for her experience in avant-garde jazz. Since 1983, she has been a member of the Early Music Workshop of Athens, performing at festivals across Greece as well as further afield, including acclaimed performances in Ireland with here group Primavera En Salonika. Her dedication to exploring and expanding her voice as an instrument and as a means of communication has led her to the Sephardic folk songs of the Jewish Diaspora, once the strongest community in the cosmopolitan port of Thessaloniki. This Jewish music of the Balkans has been renewed and modified through Savina’s artful vocal experimentation and subtle treatment. It’s an eloquent statement on her Greek roots and the culture that down the millennia has mediated the oriental and occidental worlds.

Tarab on YouTube HERE and HERE

Tarab on myspace HERE

Savina Yannatou YouTube HERE

Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to the IMC newsletter to keep up with the latest in Irish Jazz.

Sign up

Help us hold that note

Help support artists, and make the musical world in Ireland a richer place.