Sunday 17 February 2019

‘The Afternoon Sessions’
a continuing series featuring some of the finest in free improvisation
Viv Corringham / Mia Zabelka
Lawrence Casserley / Alison Blunt / Hannah Marshall
Maggie Nicols / John Black
Emmanuelle Pellegrini / John Russell

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square,
London N16 8AZ tel:  020 7254 4097

Doors open 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions

Viv Corringham / Mia Zabelka duo

Viv Corringham (vocals) makes a welcome return to the Mopomoso stage, this time in the company of another of our ‘out of town regulars’ Austrian violinist / vocalist Mia Zabelka. Delighted to have them back in what will be their debut performance as a duo.

Alison Blunt / Lawrence Casserley / Hannah Marshall trio

A fine trio put together by leading electronic music practitioner Casserley and featuring two of the UK’s leading string players in Blunt on violin and Marshall on cello. A sonic bath for the ears!

Maggie Nicols / John Black duo

Vocalist Maggie Nicols needs no introduction. She has been at the heart of free-improvisation since the 1960s and is as vital today as ever. Many performers cite her as a nurturing influence on their art.

John Black (guitar) is an arch-improviser and musical journeyman who has been active in free-improvisation for many years, alongside his work in sacred and Spanish music traditions

Emmanmuelle Pellegrini / John Russell duo

E. Pellegrini (poetry, action, improvisation)
Emmanuelle Pellegrini’s performances are more or less poetic but for sure quite loud. She crosses the road of many improvisers, dancers, video artists or poets as well as visual artists. Her poetic work is mainly influenced by the sound poet Bernard Heidsieck. On stage she practices a form of improvised poetry, guided by listening and memories. Performed body is also important in her work focused on orality. She has made two crucial encounters : one with the french choreographer Emilie Borgo and the other with the italian percussionist Elisabeth Flunger with whom she has developed a number of different projects. More recently she has worked with Lee Patterson, Xavier Saïki or Fred Marty and has also played with Jean-Philippe Gross, Xavier Charles, Thomas Charmetant, Isabelle Duthoit…
In the East of France she curates Densités, International Festival of improvised music and performing arts.

Guitarist John Russell has been organising and playing concerts of freely improvised music since the early 1970s. He founded Mopomoso in 1991 and co-directs the Weekertoft label with Dublin based pianist Paul G Smyth. As well as being a member of a number of established groups he runs a developmental project Quaqua and this June will be visiting professor at The Musashino Art University in Tokyo, where he will lecture and run workshops on the subject of free improvisation.


Sunday 20 January 2019


The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ Phone: 020 7254 4097

Admission £8/£6 concs


Electric, acoustic, micro-tonal, plectrum, prepared, finger style, steel, nylon, hollow and solid body. Showcasing a number of approaches to the instrument Mopomoso starts the New Year with an all guitar special featuring Matthew Grigg, Mark Hewins, Ross Lambert, Pascal Marzan, John Russell, Dave Tucker, Alex Ward and Joshua Weitzel. ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got a string!’


Sunday 16 December 2018

The Vortex
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
tel 020 7254 4097

Doors open 2.00 pm Admission £8 / £6
Mopomoso presents our end of year
Christmas Party

Every year Mopomoso hosts a variety of musicians from across the free improvised music scene to come and play in a series of five to ten minute cameo sets. It is a wonderful way to catch up with old favourites and to check out new players in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. As well as the music there will be refreshments and a raffle. You too are welcome to bring some food to share.
Let’s celebrate another good year of making great music together.

Of course there will be some silly stuff as well!
Here’s Steve Beresford, Kay Grant, John Russell and Roger Turner playing toy laptops at our party in 2007


Sunday 18 November 2018

DOORS OPEN 2. 00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions
Mopomoso presents
The Afternoon Sessions
The Vortex
11 Gillett Square?London, N16 8AZ?
T: 020 7254 4097
Some of the finest from the world of free improvisation

November’s concert in the Mopomoso Afternoon Sessions series highlights the music of the duo with five contrasting sets from ten musicians who have each developed their own personal approach to playing. An engaging mixture of the electric and the acoustic, music doesn’t get ‘liver’ or more lively than this!

Tom Jackson (clarinet) Martin Hackett (synthesiser) duo

Blanca Regina (voice and electronics) Dave Tucker (piano and devices) duo

Matt Hutchinson (piano) Chris Burn (trumpet) duo

Kay Grant (voice) Alex Ward (clarinet) duo

Niklas Fite (guitar) John Russell (guitar) duo

Niklas photo Christina Marx John by Peter Gannushkin


Sunday 21 October 2018

Sunday October 21st Doors 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions
The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
tel: 020 7254 4097

Welcoming in the Winter season with a stunning international line up of four sets, featuring some of the finest music from the world of free improvisation from around the world.

Alex Maguire (piano) / Simon Picard (sax) duo

A deeply rooted sense of harmony and melody are tightly locked into the improvisations from this respected and much loved duo. Delighted to have them on a return visit to Mopomoso.

Yoko Miura (piano) / Stefan Keune (sax) / Mia Zabelka (violin) trio

We play host to a first time meeting for this international trio coming here from Germany, Japan and Austria.The music promises to move between the delicate use of space and a dense, visceral expressionism

Axel Dörner (trumpet) / Sture Erikson (sax) / John Edwrads (bass) / Raymond Strid (drums) quartet

“Should be recognized without qualifictions as an identifying archetype of top- flight improvisation”, “A true Northern European super group” – Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly on The Electrics Jazz, free jazz, improv and contemporary music in a melting pot, a highly original musical profile created by four internationally acknowledged improvisers regular bassist Joe Williamson is replaced for this gig only by John Edwards.

Isadora Edwards (cello) / John Russell (guitar) duo

Fiery and spirited cellist arrives from Chile to play with renowned guitarist Russell. We gratefully acknowledge help and support from the Chilean Ministry of Culture for this concert.


Sunday 16 September 2018

presenting ‘The Afternoon Sessions’

a continuing series featuring some of the finest from the world of free improvisation

Sunday September 16th Doors open 2.00 pm
The Vortex
11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ
020 7254 4097
Admission £8 / £6 concessions


PHIL DURRANT (mandolin) / MARTIN VISHNICK (guitar) duo

Mandolin and guitar are a traditional pairing in other musical fields but virtually unknown in the world of free improvisation so this pairing is quite a treat. The duo first met at the Skronk April event in 2017 and it became rapidly apparent that they shared common interests in extended techniques and were influenced by electronic music. They have have since become a fixture, performing at Flim Flam, Hundred Years Gallery, The Horse @Iklectik, SkronkFest and as part of larger groups at Mopomoso and Arch1. Poised and intricate playing from two dedicated and talented musicians.

CATH ROBERTS (sax) / ALEX WARD (clarinet-guitar) duo

World class clarinet player Alex Ward is joined by Sloth Racket and Lume luminary Cath Roberts on baritone saxophone for a set that should be full of fireworks. Alex will also be playing electric guitar so we can expect a broad sonic canvas with many twists and turns.


‘LUST ROLLERS’ – MARK BROWNE (sax and collected objects) / Dan Gregory (junk- guitar remnants) plus special guest IAN MCGOWAN (trumpet-guitar) trio

Priding themselves on once being described as a meeting between the dead Franz Liszt and the Dadaists, Lust Rollers look to provide a head on collision between the virtuosic and the openly inept. Improvised Music utilising elements of absurd theatre, this is a visual group whose instrumentation encompasses large gongs, glass, bones and homemade instruments exemplifying an overtly domestic nature. For this concert they are joined by the extraordinary talent of Ian MacGowan on trumpet and guitar

Three very different sets illustrating some of the constant delights to be found in free improvisation. Do come and give your ears a treat!


Sunday Monday Tuesday 19 20 21 August 2018

Fête Quaqua 2018
19th – 20th – 21st August

an annual gathering of free improvising musicians
this year featuring

Mark Browne (sax / percussion)
Phil Durrant (mandolin / electronics)
Max Eastley (self made instruments)
Sylvia Hallett (violin / electronics)
Matt Hutchinson (piano / electronics)
Paul Jolly (sax / clarinet)
Dominic Lash (bass)
Martin Mayes (french horn)
Phil Minton (voice)
Rachel Musson (sax)
Steve Noble (drums)
John Russell (guitar)
Chun-Ting Wang (bass)
Alex Ward (clarinet / guitar)
Stephen Ying (turntables)

Three concerts at The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ tel:020 7254 4097
Sunday 19th 2.00 pm Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st 8.00 pm Admission £8 / £6 concessions
Three day pass £20 / £15 concession

NB Phil Minton will not be appearing in the Sunday concert and Martin Mayes will not be appearing in the Tuesday concert. All the other performers will be taking part in all three performances.

Put together each year by guitarist John Russell Fête Quaqua aims for old friends to get together and meet new ones in an atmosphere of in the moment, never to be repeated, musical invention. Free improvisation is unique in that the audience and musicians discover the music at the same time and this makes for a genuine engagement with the creative process.
The musicians taking part this year come from a mix of backgrounds and experiences which should lead to some very exciting exchanges. Each concert starts and finishes with a short piece by the full ensemble and the interim programme comprises changing combinations of musicians that are different for each event.
No two concerts will be the same in this never to be repeated event. Miss it and you have missed it!



Sunday 15 July 2018

As part of its ‘Afternoon Sessions’ Mopomoso presents three contrasting duos of freely improvised music.

Sunday July 15 Doors open 2.00 pm
Admission £8 / £6 concessions

The Vortex,
11 Gillett Square,
London N16 8AZ
020 7254 4097

Paul Pignon (clarinet, bass clarinet) / Richard Sanderson (amplified melodeon) duo

Based in Sweden, Paul Pignon has been involved with improvised music since the 1960s. He is joined by Linear Obsessional founder and head man Richard Sanderson.

Noel Meek (electronics) / Alan Wilkinson (sax) duo

New Zealander Noel Meek brings his special blend of electronics to bear on the colossal saxophone of Flim Flam boss Alan Wilkinson.

Johnny Lapio (trumpet) / John Russell guitar) duo

Italian trumpeter Johnny Lapio arrives for a debut duo with Mopomoso founder John Russell

Come and sample the delights of a music unlike any other in that the audience share the discovery of the music at the same time as the musicians themselves. A truly direct listening experience!

Paul Pignon has received travel support from  The Swedish Arts Grants Committee


Sunday 17 June 2018

The Afternoon Sesions

a continuing series featuring some of the best from the world of free improvisation

Doors open 2.00 pm                       Admission £8 / £6 concessions

The Vortex  11 Gillett Square London N16 8AZ

tel 020 7254 4097


Bouche Bée – John Eyles (alto saxophone) / Petri Huurinainen (guitar) / Emmanuelle Waeckerlé (voice)

Bouche Bée (the name is a French expression meaning “open-mouthed” or “speechless”) was formed in 2005 by vocalist Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and guitarist Petri Huurinainen. Music-writer and saxophonist John Eyles joined in the Spring of 2017. Three individual voices listening and responding together shape Bouche Bée music.

In the summer of 2015, they met while rehearsing to perform Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning at Union Chapel in Islington.  They also attend Eddie Prevost’s  Friday evening improv workshop. 

Emmanuelle is a London-based interdisciplinary artist, writer and performer. She is a Reader in photography and relational practices at University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. She is a member of MoWo (Mopomoso Workshop group). In 2017 her double CD Ode (owed) to O was released by edition wandelweiser records.

Petri is a Finnish musician and artist currently living in London. He works with live based sounds, extended-guitar performances, and drawings. His limited edition 12″ vinyl record Exile Nothing came out in 2016 and is available from Rough Trade.

John was a founder member of the Mopomoso Workshop and is a member of MoWo. He is also in the thirteen-strong London Experimental Ensemble which performed Cardew’s Treatise at Iklectik in January 2017, the recording of which was released by Split Rock records in March 2018. 

Dave Tucker (bass) / Matt Hutchinson (piano) / Andrew Lisle (drums) trio

Trio leader Dave Tucker’s first recorded release was in 1978 with Mellatron and in the early 80’s he was a member of “The Fall” touring and recording. He went on to experiment with other musics and, after moving to London in the mid – 80’s he studied & performed with Phil Wachsmann. Since 1992 a member of the Alan Tomlinson trio he has performed with many musicians from around the world and is a valued contributor to The London Improvisers Orchestra and Mopomoso.

A member of The Sidewinders, inc. Marc Charig backing Stevie Wonder’s 2nd British tour to the Mike Osbourne quartet c. 1967/68 Matt ’s earliest excursions into free improvisation also came around this time. The early 70’s was mostly spent composing and playing for Jazz groups in and around London. Meeting  Richard Beswick introduced another side of free improvisation in the forms of Tony Wren, Phil Wachsmann and Bead records. In the early 80’s met John Butcher in one of John Williams’s jazz ensembles. Further collaborations with Phil Wachsmann and also Chris Burn dominated a lot of his activities in the ‘90s,  presenting opportunities to play in Europe and N.America and to work in bands such as King Ubu Orchestra, various permutations of the Chris Burn Ensemble collaborating with the likes of Lol Coxhill, Derek Bailey and Evan Parker,  Also performed with the Mhu Mhu Orchester with Pauls Lytton and Rutherford and Johannes Bauer and was a regular performer at the LMC, the Red Rose Club  and the Klinker club. Towards the end of the decade appeared in the London Contemporary Piano Festival in 1998 alongside Stan Tracy, Michael Finnissey, Mervn Afrika, Rene Reznek.The new millennium saw a continuation with Ensemble as well as work with smaller groups particularly duos with Chris B and Phil W and subsequent albums with both.

Andrew Lisle is a drummer from Northumberland, UK. In 2008 he began studying Jazz at Leeds College of Music discovering a passion and talent for free improvisation. While there he co-founded Shatner’s Bassoon.  To date the band have recorded two studio albums (and have toured the UK extensively. After graduating in 2011 he moved to Lisbon, Portugal where he spent much of his time at Clean Feed Records playing with a.o Rodrigo Pinheiro (Red Trio), Hernani Faustino (Red Trio), Rodrigo Amado and Luis Lopes. Moving to London in 2013 he has played with a.o Colin Webster, John Edwards, John Dikeman, Alex Ward, Dirk Serries, Alan Wilkinson, Matthew Bourne, Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders.

Henry Lowther (trumpet) / John Russell (guitar) duo 

Quite simply one of the best trumpet players in the World today Henry Lowther has played with everyone and everywhere from The Ronnie Scott group to the Woodstock festival. A prolific arranger and gifted composer he also leads his own group Still Waters. His duo with Mopomoso founder Russell is based on a deep understanding built up over a number of years of playing both in a duo and in a trio with violinist Satoko Fukuda. 

Here’s a duo set from two years ago 


Sunday 20 May 2018

The very best from the world of improvised music in the intimate setting of ‘London’s listening Jazz club’ 

‘The Afternoon Sessions’ 2.00 pm doors open   £8 / £2.00 concessions admission bookings / enquiry 020 7254 4097

Address  11 Gillett Square, London N16 8AZ


Sylvia Hallett (violin) / Ian McGowan (trumpet) duo

sylvia and ianTwo much loved figures on the London free improvisation scene both Sylvia and Ian display a real love of play within their music. Sometimes letting the music run ahead, sometimes reacting in a split second, they maintain a constant creative vigilance and a deep sense of musicality. Delighted they can return to play a set for us!

Kay Grant (voice) / Caroline Kraabel (sax) duo

kay and caroline

Both Kay Grant and Caroline Kraabel have worked consistently for improvised music (Kay as a Mopomoso volunteer and Caroline in The London Improvisers Orchestra) and this dedication is implicit in their music. A commitment to sharing the moment and following the path suggested by the music in a very direct way that is also bound up in a genuine sense of fun.

John Russell (guitar) / Stale Liavik Solberg (percussion) / Alex Ward (clarinet) trio

russell solberg ward 

How come this grouping has never happened before? The three musicians have worked together in other highly regarded combinations around the world but this is the first time they have played as a trio. Sometimes something that seems so right can be staring you in the face for a long time before the logic kicks in. This should be a cracker!