Today at the Proms - Day 20


Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2021, Susan Omand takes a quick look at today's Prom...


Ooookay. Umm. There's not a lot I can immediately write about today's Proms programme because all it says is "Nubya Garcia, Saxophone" with nary a hint of the works, or even the style of music, that we shall be listening to. 

According to the Proms website "British saxophonist, composer, DJ and bandleader Nubya Garcia is one of the brightest of a new generation of jazz talent, drawing comparison with greats such as Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon. Named a ‘major voice’ by The New York Times, she has devised a brand of ‘eclectic, danceable, political jazz’ that draws on influences from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Tonight marks her Proms debut."

So I did a bit of a dig. The music on her website seems to be predominantly jazz and it is stunning. Indeed, all the music on her debut album, Source, which came out last year, is definitely worthy of a listen, which I have now done because I was so taken with what I heard on her website. The music switches from the cool and meandry to the frenetically polyrhythmic, like good jazz should; in case you're wondering my favourite track on the album is the short (in comparison to the rest) Boundless Beings which is the final track, sounding by turns vaguely space-like and very melancholy with a stunning use of minor key and a bassline that eats into your soul. However, you can definitely hear the Caribbean influences in the album's title track, Source, below which has a fantastic reggae-like beat underpinning it but I also loved the traditional African vocalising on La cumbia me está llamando. So I'm hoping for more of this same quality in tonight's prom. Whatever we get, whether it be her own jazz, or her interpretation of classical compositions, it will definitely be different, and it will very definitely be good.





Here's the full programme for today's Proms which you can listen to live on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer

Nubya Garcia
saxophone

Image adapted from NORTH-FACING ENTRANCE OF THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL AT DUSK © David Iliff