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Ramon Goose & The Triangle Project
The NuBlues frontman, now touring and recording with 'The Ramon Goose Band', tells us about an interesting sounding project he's involved with, exploring and educating about the roots of blues and jazz all the way back to Africa...
Tell us a bit about the Triangle Project?
The aim of the project is to explore the diversity within our musical heritage, and how this heritage has travelled around the world with the Diaspora, trade and more recently the international music market. It was conceived by Nola Marshall who has worked and lived extensively in Africa on various aid projects and also has a lot of experience working in the music industry both here in the UK and in Africa.
Our workshops feature three continents and collaboration between musicians from each of these, examining contemporary and historical stylse.
The workshops engage people, particularly young people, with how music genres from early blues to Hip-Hop have blended into one another and how their roots can often be found in the traditions of other cultures. We are currently involved with a workshop at the Charter School in Southwark, London.
I was very fortunate to be chosen to represent the UK, and also my specialist subject is the Blues. My role in these workshops is to teach the students about the history and origins of the blues and how it relates to African music and also music of today. I also run workshops on blues repertoire and techniques etc.
I've worked with Pee Wee Ellis previously (again thanks to Nola) and its a real joy to perform some of his classic compositions such as "The Chicken" with him but these workshops are really fun because we all perform together and anything can happen!
What has the response been from the school kids?
It's been a rewarding experience for both students and musicians as it is a true collaboration. We perform and compose with the students and there's a concert on the final day of the project so the students really feel they have achieved not only knowledge and understanding of these musical styles but also they get to learn it on their instruments, which for me is the best part of the project.
What about future plans?
We hope to take the project to West Africa next year and perform a series of workshops and concerts in schools and for the communities there. The great thing about the project is that it is ever evolving and we as the workshop leaders are also learning from working with each other.
Triangle Project on Myspace:
Ramon Goose has been described as the "British Ry Cooder" and has worked as a sideman to Eric Bibb and Pee Wee Ellis, as well as producing and co-writing the acclaimed "Drew, Mississippi" album with Mississippi bluesman Boo Boo Davis. He continues to work with the ground breaking and very successful Nublues and is also engaged in a side project/album with Diabel Cissokho from Senegal (noted for his Kora playing with West African superstar Baaba Mal).
You can see The Ramon Goose Band in venues and festivals across the UK and Europe. They have just completed a national tour of France (which included four maximum security prisons!) to road test new material for the new album 'Uptown Shuffle'.
"I've noticed for quite some time that a lot of releases tend to be on the more rocky side of the blues." Says Ramon. "With this record we hope to put that "T-Bone Walker" touch of sophistication into the music.
We really have been very fortunate to have the cream of the London Music scene performing on it - Kingston based Eric Ford - Drums (has performed with John McLaughlin's group) and also on Tenor Sax Duncan Eagles (who has worked extensively in the London Jazz and Blues scene), on trumpet - Gabriel Garrick (son of famed big Band Jazz Leader Michael Garrick), on alto Sax- Malcolm Miles (Jazz educator and performer at the Guildhall University), Akos Hasznos on Double Bass (has been with me since the beginning of the Ramon Goose band), Ed Van Der Mark (ex-nublues) on Electric Bass, Giles King (Ian Siegel Band) and Dominic Pipkin (ex- Errol Linton Band) - on Hammond and Fender Rhodes."
Album available from: www.ramongoose.com