WE ARE BIRDS

• a nordic afro jazz breath •

We Are Birds

We Are Birds... Three rare birds : A Finish virtuoso, an African adventurer and an engaged rocker are inviting a high flying Swedish "vocal improviser". Their instant connection makes this airy, nordic jazz engaging with the rock energy, exploring African roots and melting in the pop. The creation is spontaneous and soaring.

We're open and curious, says Tuomas. We may be playing under the African heat today, walking on a frozen lake in Finland tomorrow and drinking a good wine in Provence next week. We're experiencing great moments together and this is precisely what creates this unique connection – and that's why We Are Birds! We follow the music, together, that's it.
We Are Birds music - Official

The peculiar universe of the Birds was born out of these specific moods, ranging from E.S.T. to Coldplay. As Tuomas's delicate jazz is outplaying, the pop influence can be heard in the rhythmic. The style remains sober, both elegant and energetic.

The obvious and shared language of these birds? An accessible jazz mixed with world pop, filled with sharing, listening, understanding, attention to others and unity values.

Nobody in this trio is afraid to bring in his personal passions. The We Are Birds music sounds like a lively jazz with afro-pop vibes, and that's what gives it such a strong character.
We Are Birds music - On Stage Live Somewhere

The We Are Birds project was born between Finland and Africa in 2010, during a jam session where Tuomas  A. Turunen, a Finnish jazz pianist, meets Dimitri Reverchon, a drummer-percussionist and an urban griot. The Afro-Scandinavian blend is alchemy at first sight. The two composers set their minds to explore this crossbreeding genre and search for a bass player. Emmanuel Soulignac joins them one year later, bringing along his pop influences to the project.

I had the pleasure of attending the birth of We Are Birds, during a jam session where Dimitri Reverchon, this percussionist griot, was discovering the delicate touch of Tuomas Antero Turunen, young pianist just arrived from Finland. Since then, with the groove of Emmanuel Soulignac's bass, the Birds took off for a series of concerts that made them land on the Jazz island in Porquerolles where the trio enlightened our nights for a week. By offering their "Live Somewhere" record today, We Are Birds let us perceive the musical complicity uniting these three musicians at the crossroad of all musics. A genuine musical journey filled in with emotions and nice surprises.
Frank CassentiFilmmaker, stage director, musician

Over less than three years, We Are Birds combined local stages, festivals and studio recording sessions. After being widely acclaimed in Marseille in 2012, they participated in the Jazz Festival in Dakar, Senegal. In 2013, they start performing in French festivals including "Jazz in Porquerolles". They spend most of 2014 creating and recording.

The meeting with the artist and producer Ulrich "Yul" Edorh (Nina Simone, Asa, Joe Chiccarelli... ) will trigger a major turn of the band's artistic direction.
In November 2015, WAB releases a 4-tracks EP, a foretaste of a first album to be released in 2017 for which the Birds invite major artists for collaborations, such as Arnold McCuller (vocal, James Taylor, Beck, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Collins) who will sing in French for the first time of his career. Exceptional participations follow, with Blick Bassy (vocal), Fausto Beccalossi (accordion, Al di Meola), Stéphane Guery (guitar, Archi Shepp, Last Poets) and at last, as an evidence, Hannah Tolf (vocal improviser) --Hannah will simply finalize the Birds' synergy on stage and in the album. This interconnection gave birth to the airy atmosphere suspended between earth and sky, that is specific of the "Live Somewhere" DVD.

Discography

We Are Birds "No Return" CD coverNo Return
Release : Spring 2018.
Nutsy Prod.

We Are Birds "No Return" CD coverLive Somewhere
Box Set CD & DVD.
2016.

We Are Birds "No Return" CD coverPromo CD
EP - 4 Tracks.
2014.

Musicians

We Are Birds - Tuomas A. Turunen - Piano
About Tuomas
Tuomas A. Turunen • Piano & Fender Rhodes

A Finnish Jazz pianist, Tuomas A. Turunen is a member of various famous bands performing on the Nordic Jazz scene. He has been performing for the past ten years in various international Jazz events and festivals including Pori Jazz, Jazz Baltica, Montreux Jazz Festival, Getxo Jazz, Swedish Jazz Celebration and Jazz in Dakar.

Tuomas also recorded eleven albums with his different formations (Skalle & Sharon, Emil Brandqvist Trio, Kauhukakara, Wonga... ). Tuomas studied Jazz at the University of Göteborg, in Sweden, from 2004 to 2009, with musicians Lars Jansson and Anders Jormin. In 2009 he received the Jazz Award from the Swedish Royal Music Academy and in 2010 Tuomas won the Special Jury Prize for the Piano Contest at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Tuomas lives now in France and works as a composer and a freelance musician.

We Are Birds - Feat. Hannah Tolf - Vocals
About Hannah
Hannah Tolf • Vocal Improviser

Hannah Tolf is a musician and vocal improviser from Gothenburg in Sweden. With voice, effects and sound recordings, she works in several artistic fields and has toured and played at venues around the world.

She is active with her own quartet as well as with the experimental trio Soil Collectors. With the later, members explore the human movement and relationship to nature and to each other. Hannah's music wavers between free improvisation and written music. Her music is based on feelings, experiences and is asking questions about self-awareness and empathy. 

Hannah released a debut album in 2014, "The Park". She is collaborating at the moment with the visual artist Karolin Kent in their Sibiri duo and are now working on the piece VARIAM, a trilogy under bridges.

We Are Birds - Emmanuel Soulignac - Bass & Double bass
About Manu
Emmanuel Soulignac • Bass & Double bass

Emmanuel Soulignac began his carreer as a Rock bass player in the 1990s and added the double bass to his palette following a meeting with Michel Zenino. He wins the First Prize of Excellence in electric bass in 2003 and graduated from the French Musical Confederacy after completing his studies in Jazz double bass.

Emmanuel founded the Bass Institute F. Darizcuren in Marseille, where he is teaching his two instruments. He is also a member of several bands : Afro-groove style , Jazz , but also Pop Rock & Folk, Delta Blues, Rock 'n Roll and Gospel. At the same time, his bass accompanies the "Convergence" tuba concerto with Thomas Leleu and the Marseille Opera Philharmonic Orchestra. He also participates in international jazz festivals such as "Jazz in Dakar", Sahel Festival", "Jazz in St-Louis" with the Wato band (afro groove) or "Jazz in Porquerolles" in the South of France.

Thanks to his Massilia Sound Gospel membership, his bass/double bass polyvalence and fairly 70's sound, Emmanuel collaborates to Don Billiez' last album (Jan 2018).

He produced We Are Birds' first album as well as the "Live Somewhere" DVD. Emmanuel is now working on the next album "No Return", which is expected mid-2018.

We Are Birds - Dimitri Reverchon - Drums & Percussions
About Dimitri
Dimitri Reverchon • Drums - Calabash & Sabar

Dimitri Reverchon is a drum player bred in Ivory Coast to the sounds of African beats and a wild traveler of African deserts. He lives in Southern France and in Saint-Louis of Senegal, where he learnt percussion : the Calabash and Sabar.

Dimitri is the founder and composer of the band Wock in Senegal, that won the "Discovery Prize" from Radio France International in 2000 and also got nominated as "Best World Album" for the Music Awards with the Keeman album. Dimitri also signed the world theme song for the Paris-Dakar Rally for 6 years and collaborated as a composer and arranger with Phil Collins for the Little Dream Foundation. He also made music for picture for some Ushuaïa TV shows.

Dimitri is now collaborating with the Cape Town diva Sibongile Mbambo, as her percussionist and sound co-engineer.

Download the Bio - (pdf, 567 KB).

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