"Thirteen Moons" is an original musical collaboration featuring New Orleans musician GrayHawk Perkins and Mezcal Jazz Unit, a French Jazz quartet.
GrayHawk Perkins is a Native American who belongs to the Muskogee Nation, (Choctaw and Houma tribes .) Vocalist, percussionist and storyteller, he was born in New Orleans, where he lives and performs with his group The Grayhawk Band
Mezcal Jazz Unit is a band based in Montpellier, France. The group is defined by its longevity ( 27 years !) and its international collaborations with musicians worldwide (www.mezcaljazzunit.com)
The members of the band are:
Christophe AZEMA, alto & baritone saxophones
Jean Marie FREDERIC, guitars
Emmanuel de GOUVELLO, electric bass
Vivian PERES, drums
At the heart of this collaboration is a unique collection of chants in the Mobilian trade language.
The compositions by GrayHawk Perkins, based on traditional songs refer to the thirteen moons of the Native American calendar. Emmanuel de Gouvello, bass player and composer added his own musical universe to the compositions which he arranged using harmonies and rhythms from the world of jazz.
To choose to put these songs at the center of the collaboration between musicians of different cultures and musical backgrounds in a language historically used to break down barriers and foster understanding is a deliberate move to restore and honor the language and the people that used it.
The Mobilian trade language was used as a lingua franca among Native American groups living along the Gulf of Mexico around the time of the European settlement of the region. Mobilian facilitated trade between tribes speaking different languages as well as with European settlers.
The "Thirteen Monns" project
This project began in June 2012 with a residency in New Orleans and a first series of concerts in Louisiana, and was followed by a tour in France in February 2013, including some recording sessions.
These recording sessions were held at the Studio Conti (Pézenas, France) with the indispensable Michel Denis, and to top that off, two surprise guest appearances (Lionel Martinez on percussions and Emmanuel Beer on the Hammond organ).
It is this recording, now mixed that we want to manufacture.
It will be an invaluable communication tool for our next concert tour in February 2014: a dozen concerts in Louisiana and New York. (USA)
June 2012: First rehearsals in New Orleans, featuring Mark St James on guitar
Live in LaFayette, LA
Live at the Dew Drop, Mandeville, LA
February 2013: The French Tour
At school, telling indian stories and singing songs together
The Thirteen Moons Live
With Michel Denis, the Soundman. Recording sessions at Studio Conti
On the TV ( FR3 Montpellier Network )