MEZCAL JAZZ UNIT was founded in 1986 in Montpellier and is led by the bass player and composer, Emmanuel de Gouvello. The music reflects the singular and diverse identity of the group and its relevance to current European jazz streams
MEZCAL JAZZ UNIT'S music is defined by the Mediterranean temperament of its musicians, the reminiscences of traditional melodies, an unabashed attraction for the Orient, a rock like energy and a sense of humor. The music goes from cool and reflective to joyous and explosive connecting to the audience with rare complicity.
MEZCAL JAZZ UNIT has performed in the following countries: France, Austria, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belorussia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Romania, Moldavia, Ukraine, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and USA.
Creative jazz projects were born from their travels and encounters with talented musicians from Eastern Europe, India, Asia, Africa or USA. Four of their ten albums are collaborations with some of these gifted artists, such as Bickram Ghosh the renowned tabla maestro with whom the group released the album, ď One,Ē in 2008 on the famed Saregama label. A second album will be recorded in 2018 as part of a new creative project with Bickram Ghosh including a tour in India and France organized by the French Cultural Services.
Two of their current projects are set in Asia with traditional musicians from Cambodia and Vietnam, the later featuring UNESCO designated gong players from Vietnamís Central Highlands. For these projects Emmanuel de Gouvello arranges and composes melodies taking into consideration the specificity of the traditional instruments. The longest running collaboration, begun in 2011 with Native American musician and educator, Grayhawk Perkins has had seven tours to date in the USA and France. This cultural and educational project represents Mezcal Jazz Unitís commitment to education and cultural diversity through music.
But above all, MEZCAL JAZZ UNIT is a quartet that excels in live performances with the expertise and generosity of the musicians and the compositions that resonate with the composerís myriad experiences from both" ici et ailleurs ", (here and afar.) A notion captured in the title of their last album of the same name.