Terry Edwards (bass)
Mark Bedford (saxes)
Simon Charterton (drums)
Omar Puente (violin)
The Near Jazz Experience (NJE) is made up of multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards, bassist Mark Bedfordand drummer Simon Charterton. All three have had not just amazing but eclectic musical careers, and best known for their work as members of Madness and the Higsons. NJE's unique sound draws on Edwards’ double-sax technique - playing alto & tenor simultaneously, Charterton’s polyrhythmic funk patterns and Bedford’s fluid and grounding bass lines. Imagine Cross Can’s rhythm section with Roland Kirk, Motown and the Third Stream and you’ll get somewhere near where The NJE are coming from. http://thenje.co.uk/
Omar Puenteis a world class violinist with a unique sound who has garnered the respect of the international modern Jazz community since arriving in the UK in 1997. He has supported greats such as Tito Puente, Ibraham Ferrer and Omara Portundo, playing with John Williams, Kirsty MacColl, Jools Holland and Eddie Palmier and jammed with many visiting Latin artists such as Ruben Gonzales and the Afro Cuban Allstars. https://www.omarpuente.com/
Cuba is world famous for its creative arts including music. The country’s free music schools nurture the talent of thousands of skilled young musicians each year. While commitment and teachers are plentiful, musical instruments and resources are in short supply.
Play for Cubawww.playforcuba.orglaunched by the National Education Union, the Cuba Solidarity campaign and the charity the Music Fund for Cuba, is an exciting new project with the objective of shipping a container of musical instruments and equipment to young musicians on the island. They are appealing for new and second-hand instruments: reeds; strings; drum sticks, and any associated items such as carrying cases or music stands. Donations too are most welcomed. There will be a special solidarity price of £15 for those who want to support Play for Cuba by donating a musical instrument on the evening of the benefit. The instruments will be sent to Cuba in April 2019.
‘The NJE are first class musicians delivering first class music. What’s not to love?"
- Jazz In Europe
‘Omar Puente’s contribution to 20th and 21st century violin playing has now become legendary. His generous nature, his commitment to good music, his enjoyment of life and his respect for his colleagues are all characteristics which make him a true violin great’
- Nigel Kennedy