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Josephine Davies – conductor, composer, arranger, tenor saxophone

Mike Chillingworth – alto saxophone

Rachel Cohen – alto saxophone

Helena Kay – tenor saxophone 

Adam Bishop – tenor saxophone/flute/clarinet

Tamar Osborn – baritone saxophone/bass clarinet

Noel Langley – trumpet/flugelhorn

Rueben Fowler – trumpet/flugelhorn

Nick Smart – trumpet/flugelhorn

Robbie Robson – trumpet/flugelhorn

Anna Drysdale – horn

Olli Martin – trombone

Maddie Dowdeswell – trombone

Eddie Curtis – bass trombone

Alcyona Mick – piano 

Dave Whitford – double bass

Shane Forbes – drums


The Ensō Ensemble

The Ensō circle is a Zen Buddhist symbol, traditionally drawn in a single brushstroke as a meditative practice celebrating the beauty of incompletion and imperfection, and the polarity of movement and stillness. It is an inspirational tool for award winning saxophonist and composer Josephine Davies as she plays with the balance of written music and space for improvisation.  This has been the same trajectory as with her trio Satori though now she is taking it much further with her 17 piece orchestra.

Josephine has been writing for large ensembles for the past 15 years, beginning during her residency as tenor saxophonist in the London Jazz Orchestra led by Scott Stroman. This was an opportunity for her to experiment with ideas and sounds, and eventually begin her own band. Deeply inspired by a range of composers from Vince Mendoza to Stravinsky to Maria Schneider, Josephine’s writing focuses on flowing melodies, rich harmonies and creative use of instrumental textures. The upcoming October concerts feature her new work, to be recorded next year, ‘Ascension Suite’, a series of 8 pieces representing the 8 parts of the Celtic Wheel of the Year, bringing a much needed celebration of nature, connection, and  renewal to our fragmented times.  The suite begins with Summer Solstice, the longest and lightest day of the year and moves through the metaphorical and literal wheel, becoming increasingly dark and tenebrous, before returning at the end of the cycle back to light and luminosity.  

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