Joe Higham

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Born: August 26, 1960    Primary Instrument: Reeds

Joe Higham

Tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, B flat clarinet

After studying sculpture at the Brighton College of Art & Design he went to the CAT in Newcastle (now the Newcastle University) where he graduated in Light Music (nowadays called jazz). Several years later, whilst visiting friends and playing concerts in Brussels (1988), he discovered that the Brussels Conservatory was opening a new jazz section and decided to follow the courses -4 years- given by Belgian musicians such as Steve Houben, Jean Louis Rassinfosse and Bruno Castellucci, ending up with a first prize in saxophone and a diploma in Jazz Studies....
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The Al Orkesta mixes folk and ethnic music with jazz and rock elements, leaving lots of room for the soloist's creativity. The quintet is made up of the leader Jo Higham (tenor sax, clarinet), the trumpet player Jean-Paul Estiévenart, the guitarist Jacques Pirotton, the bass- player Olivier Stalon and the drummer Setphan Pougin. Traditional music from Turkey (”House of the Marriage”) Syria (”Sal Fi-na Al-Lahda”) and Israel (”Sphil-Zhe Mir A Lidele”) form the thematic starting point upon which the musicians improvise to their heart's content. A conspicuous role is set aside for Pirotton's electric guitar, so that the music in addition to folk and jazz can also be called rock. All the numbers are by Joe Higham with the exception of ”Valse Immonde” by Jacques Pirotton. I hesitate to make anyone spend money, but this CD, an issue in the latest offering from Mognomusic, is another little pearl. Perhaps the free jazz elements, which are definitely present, may scare off some listeners, but here there can certainly be no talk of “squeak-grunt” music.
As a Leader

Al Orkesta
Where are we now?
Mogno j030

As A Side Musician

Chris Mentens Jazz Van
Record Label : De Werf

Chris Mentens Jazz Van
Azeto - 2003

Singulier des Pluriels
Tomas & Co
Auto production - 1996

Le Second Soufle De Josaphat
Tomas & Co
Sowrex - 1999

Urban Gypsy
Bai Kamara jnr
Bang - 2005

Delivery Day
Odex Protocole

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Primary Instrument:


Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students

Newcastle College of Arts & Technology (Degree in Light Music) Brussels Consevatory (Degree in Jazz Music) Teaching at the Jazz Studio (Antwerp) Clinics in Holland and Belgium. Workshop coming up in Mouscron (Nr Lille) 26/08/09

Tenor sax, Soprano sax, Bb clarinet, Bass Clarinet.

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