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Deco Heart: Lucian Ban & Mat Maneri  -  Fri May 18, 2012  |  08:00 pm
Admission £ 10.00 ( £ 8.00 concessions)
0191 232 0192
Two of Jazz North East's most exciting gigs of 2011 were the appearance of New York viola player Mat Maneri in June, and Romanian pianist Lucian Ban leading his 'Enescu re-Imagined' octet at the Sage in November. So when we heard that Mat & Lucian had formed a duo, 'Deco Heart', and would be touring Europe in May, we pulled out all the stops to bring them back to Newcastle.

Mat has become almost a JNE regular: this will be the fifth time we've brought him here, every time in a different context, and he's built quite a Tyneside fan base for playing that combines the most advanced microtonal techniques with deep roots in the jazz tradition - there are times when he swings as powerfully as any jazz fiddler of the past. Lucian, though, was a bit of an unknown quantity to us until his superb Sage gig, where he proved a revelation. Classically trained, he has been described as "playing with a sensibility and fluency that recalls Vladimir Horowitz as much as McCoy Tyner", but that hardly does justice to the freewheeling scope of his musical imagination.

The duo have recently been in the recording studio, and we've heard a couple of clips which we can only describe as joyously upbeat. The resulting album is likely to appear later this year on the prestigious ECM label, but to get the full impact of this glorious musical pairing, you can't beat being up close and intimate in the concert room at the Lit & Phil.

This concert is financially assisted by the Romanian Cultural Institute