François Moutin & Kavitah Shah
A self taught virtuoso bassist, François was born in Paris and received a doctorate in physics at the age of 24 before choosing to become a professional musician. He was a member of the legendary Martial Solal Trio, and at 29 began co-leading the Quintet Moutin with his twin brother Louis, a project which later evolved into the Moutin Reunion Quartet. He regularly composes and tours extensively with this group around Europe & the United States; he has performed in every important European Jazz Festival, and toured in over 30 countries around the world. In addition, François has worked with such musicians as: Antoine Hervé, André Ceccarelli, Jean-Michel Pilc, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Toots Thielemans, James Moody, Terry Lyne Carrington, Michel Legrand, Birele Lagrene, Jimmy Heath, Monty Alexander, Lew Soloff, Billy Hart, Jeff Tain Watts, Ari Hoenig, Dave Binney, Adam Rogers, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Vijay Iyer, and Amir El Saffar. He was awarded the “Django Reinhardt Prize” by the French Jazz Academy (it’s their top award) in 2005, was nominated in the category Best Album of the Year at the “Victoires du Jazz” (French Grammy equivalent) in 2007; and was ranked in the category “Best Acoustic Bass Players” of the Downbeat poll in 2010.
Vocalist and composer Kavita Shah is deeply engaged in the jazz tradition, while also addressing and advancing its global sensibilities. A lifelong New Yorker of Indian origin hailed for possessing an “amazing dexterity for musical languages” (NPR), Kavita incorporates her ethnographic research on Brazilian, West African, and Indian musical traditions into her original repertoire. She was named Downbeat’s Best Graduate Jazz Vocalist in 2012 and won the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award in 2013. In 2017, her interdisciplinary work “Folk Songs of Naboréa,” a contemporary song-cycle for seven voices, was premiered at the Park Avenue Armory and named by Nate Chinen (NPR) as one of the Top 10 Jazz Performances of the year. Her second album Interplay, a program of standards and originals in duet with bassist François Moutin – has special appearances by pianist Martial Solal and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, who has been her artistic and professional mentor. From her formal training, Kavita draws a keen interest in complex arrangements and adventurous approaches to the voice as an instrument, leading her to collaborate with contemporary composers like Steve Newcomb and Miho Hazama in settings ranging from chamber groups to jazz philharmonic.