Debbie Cameron vocals & fender rhodes
Hasse Poulsen guitar and vocals
Luc Ex bass guitar
Mark Sanders drums
”Freedom is a strong seed
Planted in a great need.”
The Langston Project is a quartet where musical inventiveness meets the poems of the late, great American writer Langston Hughes. It is the combination of creative - or let's say “free” - music with ambitious song writing.
The poems by Langston Hughes are set to music in precise song forms that allow the four musicians room for interpretation and improvisation. Langston Hughes' poems call for swinging and grooving music and for the blues – the more or less abstract blues, “ Contemporary Blues” as Luc calls it.
The arrival of Debbie Cameron in the quartet in the Spring 2014 brings a strong jazz and soul fell as well as a deep American prononciation that fits Langston Hughes' poems perfectly. The between this rich world and the more experimental temperaments of Poulsen, Ex, and Sanders gives a fresh and grooving music on the edge between tradition and invention.
If one word could pin-point Langston Hughes' poems, it would be “desire”: Desire for artistic expression, desire for writing, desire for justice and equality, the ambition and desire of people, the desire for dignity and above all the desire of love, for love, in love. Desire.
Born in Denmark Hasse Poulsen studied at Berklee College in Boston and in the Conservatory for Improvised Rhythmic Music in Copenhagen.
As a free improviser he has worked with Mark Sanders, John Butcher, Phil Minton and Joelle Leandre, Sidsel Endresen and many others. Founded his own group Sound of Choice in 1991, founding member of Das Kapital since 2001.
In 1990 he founded the AV-ART gallery (exhibitions, concerts and poetry readings) with four friends. In 1995 AV-ART became a collective of musicians and a label. In 1997 Hasse Poulsen moved to Paris.
In 2002, Louis Sclavis included Poulsen in Napolis Walls with Vincent Courtois and Mederic Collignon. The same year, the trio Das Kapital played its first concert. Napolis Walls was a decisive experience leading Poulsen to return to a more jazzy style mixing compositions and improvisations. This is clearly heard on the recordings of Sound of Choice, Das Kapital and The Progressive Patriots.
He also plays in Labarrière Hélène Quartet. Hasse Poulsen is co-founder of Quark records in 2005 and Das Kapital Records in 2011. He was artist in residence in Champagne-Ardenne in 2008-2010 and Banlieues Bleues-the Dynamo in 2009-2010.
Debbie Cameron is an American singer of Bahamian descent who has spent most of her career in Denmark. This career began in 1976 when she received the award for "Most promising student" at the Music School of the University of Miami. She arrived in Copenhagen in 1978 to join her mother Etta who lived for several years.
Cameron represented Denmark in the Eurovision Grand Prix 1981 duet with Tommy Seebach with the song Krøller eller Ej. She is the leader of her own soul-funk group Debbie Cameron Group and is involved as soloist in many projects specializing in jazz and gospel.
Born in 1958 in the Netherlands, Luc Klaasen, aka Luc Ex, occupied the most diverse activities before fully dedicating himself to music. He is a founding member of the famous punk band The Ex, an experience which set him in contact with many artists from the European and international scene. In 1995, he formed the quartet ROOF with Tom Cora, while ever more intensely devoting himself to his solo projects. After the death of Tom Cora Roof became Four Walls featuring Varyan Weston. The last 15 years Luc has created several new groups, the most recent being the free-pop group Rubatong and with several young musicians based in Amsterdam called Naked Wolf.
Luc Ex continuous collaborations and played alongside many artists including Hasse Poulsen, Franz Hautzinger, Otomo Yoshihide, Mark Sanders, Tristan Honsinger, Phil Minton or Isabelle Duthoit.
Since the beginning of his career, Mark Sanders has played with many famous musicians such as John Butcher, Wadada Leo Smith, Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Sylvie Courvoursier, Sirone, Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Jah Wobble, Harold Budd, Bill Laswell, Sidsel Endresen, Charles Gayle, Peter Evans, and William Parker.
He is featured by Christian Marclay on "Everyday" He also composes for some of the projects he is involved in, like those of Brian Irvine or Alex Hawkins. Impossible to list all the musicians with whom he worked: Paul Rodgers, Paul Dunmall ...
Poet, journalist and American playwright.
Born in Joplin, Missouri, on February 1, 1902. His parents divorced when he was very young and his father moved to Mexico. He was raised by his grandmother until the age of thirteenn when he went to live with his mother and new husband in Lincoln (Illinois). It was at this time that he composed his first poems. Some time later, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
Upon graduation, Hughes spent a year in Mexico and one year at Columbia University. During this période he held several disparate jobs: assistant cook, launderer, server, and even on ships bound for Europe and Africa.
Langston Hughes wrote several collections of poems (the first, The Weary Blues, was published in 1926), collections of short stories (Laughing to Keep From Crying, 1930), plays and an autobiography (I Wonder as I Wander, 1956). Coming from the "Harlem Renaissance" of the 1920s, Langston Hughes incorporated the rhythms of jazz and those of the African oral tradition to an often caustic prose. He was a leading activist in the black community.
Hughes is one of the literary influences that have most marked Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Carl Sandburg and Whitman. He wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as a broad corpus of poetry. He is also known for his relationship with jazz, and the influence the music had on his literary work. His life and work were crucial in the development of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s Unlike other black writers of this period, Hughes refused to differentiate his personal experience of the common life of black Americans. He wanted to tell the stories of his community in ways that reflected their culture, including their suffering and love of music, their humor in their own language.
Langston Hughes died in New York in may 1967. To commemorate his memory, the city of New York has designated his residence from 20 East 127th Street in Harlem as a historical monument and was renamed "Langston Hughes Place."