Nu Civilisation Orchestra: Parallel – A Tribute to Joe Harriott

As part of London Unwrapped at King’s Place, Nu Civilisation Orchestra (NCO) presents a sonic and visual tribute to Joe Harriott on 20th July, the legendary free-form Jamaican jazz genius who settled in London in 1952 and went on to explore the sounds of the city and the musicians he met there to create his own characteristic style of jazz.

For this specially commissioned performance supported by Arts Council England, an 11-piece Nu Civilisation Orchestra will focus on the music of Harriott’s Abstract era and his distinctive and demanding method of group improvisation, which emphasized a dialogue between musicians rather than individual solos, challenging instrumentalists to re-orientate their playing and create an ever-shifting soundscape. 

Nu Civilisation Orchestra will feature musical director, Peter Edwards on piano and Nathaniel Facey on alto saxophone. Visual effects will be provided by video artist Catarina Rodrigues, working in parallel with the musicians to add an immersive, multi-dimensional improvised tribute to Harriott’s music. 

Date & start time:Tues 20 Jul – 7pm
Venue:Kings Place Hall One – GA
Price:£20.00+ £3 booking fee.
£10.00 under 30s


Peter Edwards, leader of Nu Civilisation Orchestra said 

“It’s exciting to lead the NCO to present the music in tribute to the jazz genius Joe Harriot, as part of London Unwrapped at King’s Place, and we plan to play it fast and furious in keeping with Harriot’s style. Harriott compared his music to abstract painting was highly influenced by the artwork of Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. For this arrangement of Joe Harriott’s music, I have added more instrumental colours to complement his rich and varied compositional and improvisational textures. Whilst listening to his music I thought of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition; in which each piece has a story or particular mood.”

Helen Wallace, Executive Artistic Director, Kings Place, added

 “London Unwrapped is a celebration of the seismic contribution immigrants have made to London’s music story. It was so important to us to include a project from Tomorrow’s Warriors, a ground-breaking, life-changing, history-making London institution which has done so much to nurture the next generation of jazz artists. Nu Civilisation Orchestra will focus on the unique creative practices of Joe Harriott, the legendary Jamaican jazz pioneer, who came to London and invented a whole new music, partly drawn from the diversity of musical voices he encountered in the city.”


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