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Come aboard for an "explosive jazz" with the group OZMA!

© Bartosch Salmanski

The French Explosive Jazz Quintet OZMA led by drummer Stéphane Scharlé has toured the world, performing over 450 concerts in 39 different countries, and in 2021, they will be touring for the first time in the United States! This first tour will be supported by Jazz & New Musica program of the FACE Foundation in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. OZMA has already scheduled concerts in Sarasota, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City among others to present their latest album "Hyperlapse". The group also plans to give movie concerts and workshops for various audiences.

OZMA: a multi-faceted group

Do you remember NASA's first project to detect the signs of extraterrestrial life? The ancestor of the SETI project? If you do, then you know where the name « OZMA » comes from. As surprising as it may be, the name of the French Jazz Quintet takes its inspiration from this extraordinary project. But why? As bassist Édouard Séro-Guillaume explains in an interview, "it's another link to science fiction, the imaginary, dreams... We liked this side of looking towards the unknown...". Indeed, the group OZMA embraces this "imaginary" side with its unusual repertoires somewhere between exploratory jazz and electric rock, as well as with shows that combine image and music such as photo-concerts and movie-concerts. These interesting aspects of the group and its inspiration are what make it a renowned quintet.

OZMA is invited in 2010 to create a concert for the film "Vampyr" by C.T. Dreyer. Since this experience, the group has performed for the movies "The Three Ages" by Buster Keaton, "The Battleship Potemkin" by Sergei Eisenstein and "The Lost World" by Harry O. Hoyt among others. Today, this is one of the distinctive features of the OZMA group!

OZMA started at the Strasbourg Conservatory in 2001 with Adrien Dennefeld playing the guitar, Édouard Séro-Guillaume playing the bass, and Stéphane Scharlé playing the drums. This trio then evolved into a quintet with the arrival of Guillaume Nuss on trombone and David Florsch on saxophone in 2004. Since their album Welcome Home in 2016, the quintet has stabilized around drummer Stéphane Scharlé and bassist Edouard Séro-Guillaume, trombonist Guillaume Nuss (back after about ten years playing by himself), guitarist Tam de Villiers and saxophonist and keyboardist Julien Soro. This year, the group unveils their new album "Hyperlapse", dedicated to the ten cities crossed by the group during their international tour in 2018.

Hyperlapse: a musical album with cinematographic aspects

After being recognized as Export Success 2018 by the Export Office (3rd most exported French group with Youn Sun Nah and Tigran Hamasyan), OZMA is back with "Hyperlapse", a travel diary of their tour which takes us to Beijing, Hamburg, Marrakech, and even Mumbai. As a term used in the audiovisual field, "Hyperlapse" is an album entirely composed by Stéphane Scharlé with an electronic echo and a powerful rhythm that reminds us of movie soundtracks. This title is also a tribute to the film director Juliette Ulrich who followed the band on their world tour in 2018 and who filmed the music videos as well as a web series accompanying the release of the album.

The sound textures of the 10 songs each dedicated specifically to a city where the band played in 2018 are blended with bewitching visual accompaniment. An album that reflects cultural shocks as well as unforgettable encounters making this sensorial journey a surprising mix of melancholic ambiances with rock-n-roll energy. A true "explosive jazz" to discover soon in the US!

This tour of OZMA has been made possible through the Jazz & New Music, a program of FACE Foundation and Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with support from the Florence Gould Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture, Institut français-Paris, Bureau Export and Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique (SACEM).