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Vula Viel

Insights from the place where jazz and northern Ghanaian music meet

Friday 15th January 2016, doors 7.30pm: on-stage 8.00pm

The Lantern Theatre, Kenwood Park Road, Sheffield


Ended - report coming soon

TalkingGigs is delighted to present Vula Viel – a five piece band led by Bex Burch who plays the Gyil (the Dagaare xylophone made of sacred lliga wood).  Formed in 2013, the band have played an impressive array of gigs including the Purcell Room, Rich Mix and Ronnie Scott’s in London and recently released their first CD Good is Good (the meaning of Vula Viel in Dagaare).


The gig gives a unique opportunity not only to hear the intense rhythmic music of the current band - which combines African, jazz, electronica and minimalist influences – but also to hear the fascinating back-story that led to such an exciting musical combination.


Bex, originally from Yorkshire, and a classical percussionist by training, lived, worked and studied for 3 years with the Dagaare people of northern Ghana as an apprentice to a master gyil-maker.  Through her total immersion in the work, life and culture of the region, she came understand the essence of Dagaare music, its role in life and ceremony, and also to learn to play the gyil. She will explain and demonstrate the “bell pattern rhythm” which sits at the heart of the music and the highly organised harmonic structures which give meaning to the repertoire of Dagaare ceremonial music.  The gig will also explore how the band, which features some of London’s best young jazz talents, came together and developed their unique style and sound.  It will be a chance to glimpse some of the excitement and challenges of understanding, respecting and combining elements of different musics and cultures to produce such powerful and danceable tunes.  And, of course, you will get the chance to listen to the band playing their “joyous, celebratory and explosive” music.


Vula Viel are Bex Burch (gyil), Dan Nicholls (bass synth/keys), George Crowley (sax), two drummers Simon Roth and Dave De Rose.


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