NEWS: Oily Cart Release Jamboree Album

Jamboree, the Album. Celebrating unheard voices through rhythms of the Balkans

Composer and BBC Radio presenter Max Reinhardt has brought together an ensemble of Balkan musicians and young people with complex disabilities to create a suite of melodies to inspire dancing and connection called Jamboree the Album.

Jamboree is the concept of a mythical travelling band who collect tunes and rhythms from those who rarely get listened to. Each track featured on the album was created through improvisations between professional musicians and young musicians, many of whom do not communicate through verbal language.

The Jamboree band is an ensemble of professional disabled and non-disabled musicians: vocalists Dunja Botic and Jovana Backovic, and instrumentalists Robyn Steward, Aaron Diaz and Daniel Gouly. Lyrics are written by spoken word artist and disability activist, Miss Jacqui.

Reinhardt brought all these elements together musically to craft a suite of melodies which provided the structure and musical dynamic for the original Jamboree show. The sensory nature of the tunes and soundscapes, including the deep tones of the sousaphone, produce an inclusive, immersive musical experience developed for everyone of all ages to enjoy together.

“Working with Balkan music was Artistic Director Ellie Griffiths’ notion from the start. Over the last two decades in particular, Oily Cart have worked with musicians from a diverse and authentic range of styles and cultures, which means that we have been able to avoid cultural appropriation and feature shows based in, for example, Syrian Maqams, Indian Raag, Senegalese Manding styles. This was our first attempt at Balkan music which has a uniquely passionate and demonstrative spirit, and while its rooted in fiery local styles, it has evolved over the last 50 years to fuse with music like reggae, funk and hip hop. It seemed, and seems, perfect for the kind of musical narrative we had in mind.”

Max Reinhardt

The Doorstep Jamboree travelling band travelled across London to the doorsteps and streets of families with young people labelled as having complex disabilities who are still shielding because of Covid-19 during September and October 2020.

A colourful and joyful celebration of resilience, the tour was also a protest and advocacy tool to make sure those shielding are not invisible.

Doorstep Jamboree is the first project in Oily Cart’s ‘Uncancellable Programme’, developed in response to the global health crisis. Over the next 18 months, the company will take work online, into homes and onto the streets to ensure they are serving their community throughout this difficult time.

Jamboree the Album The album is available to buy through CD Baby and digital distributors. Listen to samples and buy here: