THE JAZZ CANNIBALS specialise in New Orleans jazz and Jimbino Vegan's original songs, but their wide repertoire also includes Caribbean and Creole numbers, French chanson, musettes and waltzes, Russian and Eastern European pieces, chorinho, blues, and ragtime all played with their unique style and elegant, joyous and wacky sense of fun.
Due to their shared passion for old jazz they are very popular with the swing dance community and well known for their unique repertoire, exciting arrangements, skilful playing and distinctive performance style. JAZZ CANNIBAL shows are joyful occasions full of passionate playing and animated fun. They have been known to play encores lasting from between 10 minutes and 2 hours! Over the last 4 years JIMBINO VEGAN AND THE JAZZ CANNIBALS have been invited to play at many international swing dance, jazz, street, arts and theatre festivals throughout Europe. They usually string their big shows together with smaller gigs in bars, cafes, clubs, on the streets and community centres. They simply love performing and sharing their music with people of all ages and backgrounds and especially performing to folks who have never heard old authentic jazz or even acoustic music! Each year they usually spend between 2 and 3 months touring.
The birth of the Jazz Cannibals can't really be pinpointed since the band is mostly made of friends who hung out having fun before starting playing music together. If you want to put a date and a place on it then maybe it would be 2011 in New Orleans. Jimbino lived there for 4 years working with several bands. To take a break from playing music, every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon he would tootle over to Washington square with a ball and press gang all the drunks, traveller kids, drug dealers and lounging musicians for a pick-up soccer game. Joey and Bardi were visiting New Orleans with their band from Toulouse and while they were in town were regular attendees for the weekly pile ups around the goal mouth.
Jimbino moved back to Europe in 2015 setting up in Paris. He contacted Bardi and Joey and asked if they wanted to come on some short tours in Finland and the Baltic States where Jimbino used to live and work and where he has many friends and artistic contacts. He also invited his old buddy Stephen Scharmin from Belgium who he first met playing on the streets of Barcelona in 2004. After toying with several bass players Joey and Bardi introduced Jimbino to Pablo 'Papa Chango' Bouchard and things just got even better!
Alm and Jimbino may never have met if they had not been roughly the same height. In 2007 Jimbino was invited to play at Faces festival in Finland. During a handstand workshop at the festival the instructor told everyone to team up with someone the same height. From holding each others ancles their friendship slowly blossomed over the years into a close ideological bonding including music and beyond... to infibity! Due to having three children Alm is not so able to tour but whenever Stephen can't make it, Alm comes along and brings his fantastic theatrical energy and his gentle but firm revolutionary political convictions to the show. Their friendship forms a major part of the philosophy behind the band and is one of the many reasons the band makes at least two annual tours to Finland. It was there that they chanced upon the one and only Tomi 'Kettamin' Kettunen, the Finnish virtuoso gypsy jazz guitarist. Tomi loved the silliness and fun of the Jazz Cannibals shows which was lacking in his regular serious gigs. Since Bardi is a passionate sailor and is sometimes unavailable due to crossing across the Atlantic or tootling around the Caribbean in a dinghy, Tomi has been a more regular fixture in the band recently. Other close friends, fun personalities and gifted artists like Bill Frampton, Tom Monahan and Sandra Lange have joined the group over the years and with better funding and more planning it would be great to expand to become a more than just a band - putting on variety shows with acts. But this is how they roll at the mo.
ALM is one of the driving forces in the performance aspect of Jazz Cannibals. He is always breaking barriers and getting the audience involved and shocking, amusing and delighting the band and the onlookers. His improvised singing, speeches and theatrics add alot of excitement to the shows and off the stage his presence makes everything fall in place. Maybe you have heard of Sod's Law: namely if something can go wrong it will; well whenever Alm is around things operate under the Alm's Law - if anything can go right it will go right. It is incredible how well he looks after us all and makes sure things happen in comfort and with smiles all round.
Alm is a Sweedish Finn born in Vasa on the coast of Bothnia. He plays washboard and pecussion, dances, groans, tell jokes and helps keep the band sweet on and off the stage. He believes very strongly in social justice and trying to dismantle the violence of capitalism and in liberating people from social oppression. He is extremely gentle, very intelligent and skillful and never looses his temper and he is enourmously inspiring and impressive as a person. He is the one non-professional musician in the band. His main income is work as a builder and forestry engineer and he can't do many tours because he is commited to looking after his wife and three small children. Despite his limited availabilty, his spirit and ideals heavily influence Jimmy and help push the politically revolutionary aspect of the show and give vision to the groups non-musical impact.
PABLO BUCHARD alias Papa Chango: "I'm French Chilean. I met Jazz Cannibals with my friends Joe and Bardi living in Toulouse, discovering at the same time early jazz music, Jimbino's compositions and a spontaneous way to play, mixing different kind of music and artistic disciplines, trying to find the right balance for play the same show for all people and contexts delivering our message of love and hope and messing around. I play bass with Jazz Cannibals since 2015. I started playing on that band with the Cello and move to Double Bass for more power. I love jazz, crazy music and adventures so it's a perfect band to play, with those fantastic musicians and friends."
Pablo is our main bass player. His parents were exiles from Chile - his mother had been tortured by Pinochet's police for her communist beliefs. He grew up in Paris then moved to Beziers, south west France and is studying a degree in classical ‘cello so we often need to find substitutes for him. He is a great musician with a fantastic ear and always positive. He never complains and can outrun most of the band with a double bass on his back. He loves to do marathons and animal running which involves leaping around the forest with Jimmy. He can run faster than all of us with his bass on his back! He is such a gentle person and so sweet and generous. He loves his reggae and jazz and is a lovely fun guy. He does not talk much but when he does he is often really funny and always positive.
BARDI is a very talented and dedicated banjo player from Toulouse, France. He is highly unpredictable but if something is dangerous or exciting or ridiculous he will probably be the first to try it. His playing and precision helps push the band to sound as professional as possible. He sings with a rough beauty and sleek energy and has a variety of interests outside music. He is a very well read and an intelligent self-educated dude and is a keen sailor and has crossed the Atlantic on a sailing boat and explored the Caribbean. He is a rollicking buccaneer with great musical taste.
JOË SANTONI: "My name is joë, I play guitar for 8 years and started trumpet in 2017. I’m 24 years old. I love traditional jazz and traditional music in general. My idea of music is try to play something beautiful. I've been playing with jazz cannibals since 2015 and I enjoy the way we share our adventures together. Also I’m really enthusiastic about the original songs we play, it's not just about music but creativity in different ways."
Joe likes sleeping, eating pasta, talking about Corsica, the ladies, playing guitar, playing trumpet, singing love songs, playing football and being fun and silly. He is a very talented guitarist and has picked up trumpet and made mad progress in under a year. He is a very professional musician who plays with style and grace and is very focused and loves his work. He is a lot of fun off stage - playing games with strangers and having fun with everyone and smiling and breaking all the rules. He is an aesthete and likes the good things in life. His happy go lucky attitude can counterbalance the punk energy of Jimmy!
JIMBINO VEGAN is the main organiser and instigator of the band. He is the agent, promoter, artist, clarinetist and composer of most of the original songs the band plays. As his name implies his love of music is partnered with a strong sense of social justice and animal welfare. He was born in London but has travelled for the best part of 18 years - 5 years with a cycling circus - and lived in several countries. He loves dancing, vigourous phisical activities, painting and studying languages and cultures.
He started playing clarinet 27 years ago at age 10 and loved playing it at a young age despite a horrible clarinet teacher at school. The teacher tried to make a profit selling second hand music books to the students and marking the price up. Jimbino did not have the money to pay for the books so at 11 years old, one day after school when the clarinet teacher had gone home, he carefully made a hole in the back of the teacher’s cupboard in the music practice room and every day after school he would practice the music and put it back without leaving any traces.
This raw passion to learn has crashed against several barriers in his early life including going to jail for crossing into the former Soviet Union illegally because he did not want to give the amount of money his friends in Ukraine would earn in a month to some greedy worker in the embassy for a visa.
He has tried to find more legitimate and less risky ways to protest the injustice in society and his passion for music and a desire to share and change society for the better gives his performances a powerful energy that in the right conditions can push the party to a uniquely high energy level. His original compositions are a variety of styles as wide as his musical interests and his desire to do something more than just play 'authentic' jazz arguably helps capture more of that wild exuberant energy of early jazz.
STEPHEN SCHARMIN is a Belgian musician active in different musical worlds. Born and raised close to the Belgian coast, already at a young age he started playing throughout Flanders as a child prodigy performing with improvised recycled materials. In 1999 he won the first prize at the TAZ street animation festival in Ostend with his improvisation act. At the age of 18 Stephen decided to study jazz drums, Latin American and Flamenco percussions in Catalunya, Spain with Armando Capote and Vincen Soler. He played and toured all over Europe with different bands based in Barcelona as Gadjo, Playing for Change Band and at the age of 24 he decided to study in Cuba, the birthplace of many Latin American genres such as Son and Salsa. He has been living and performing in the U.S. and in Australia at different festivals with various bands. He joined the Belgian band Mocambo in 2014 and with them he recorded drums and percussions on the album Aruanda.
Stephan is our Flemish demon. He is an incredible drummer and percussionist - a total artist! Jimbino and he met in Barcelona in 2002 when he was only 18 years old but already drawing huge crowds with his solo drumming act. They have remained friends and played music together around the world over the last 15 years. Stephan adds a lot of fire and incredible musical skill and energy to the Jazz Cannibals. He plays with finesse, strength and passion inspired by his many years studying flamenco in Spain. Often he will take solos that last between five and ten minutes or even more... and no-one gets bored! He loves swimming and nature and being Flemish he is a beer connoisseur. He has to be seen to be believed! A lovely guy and an unbelievable artist!
Due to being professional musicians, we all play in several other bands but luckily we have a gang of brilliant substitute musicians. Recently BILL FRAMPTON has been our main bass stand-in when Pablo has music college commitments. Bill is a fantastic young player from Bristol who also doubles as a wizard on the mouth organ. He is great fun and always full of positive energy and smiles laughing most of the time even when he says he is feeling terrible! A big cuddly blond beer angel! We have also been honoured to involve other world class bass players, among them: BEN FOX, MATT WEBB and WILI NOYA.
During our Finland tours we play regularly with TOMI KETTUNEN, a brilliant guitarist originally from Joensuu, Eastern Finland. He is one of Finland’s top gypsy jazz guitarists and has a fantastic sense of humour. Although his playing is reliably impressive he can be full of surprises. He also designed this website.
JACK CALLOWAY is a explosively jubilant and hugely entertaining pianist from Bristol. We have been delighted to play a few gigs with him. ADRIAN TARRAGA is a great French gypsy jazz guitarist, who has played a couple of tours with us. TOM MONAHAN has toured with us a fair bit on trombone bringing theatrical fun, wild costumes and his incredible scatting skills to the show. GARANCE LOUIS is an exceptional accordionist, singer and dramatic character and has toured with us on several occasions.
We collaborate with many fantastic non-musical artists whose energy inspires us. Among those we have performed with are:
Maarja Roolaht - a fantastic young Estonian circus performer.
Sandra Lange - a brilliant Estonia actress and puppeteer and theatre director
Erko Lill - a community organiser and instigator who gave Joey his trumpet and gets us wacky gigs in Estonia.
Martin Hopton - a comedian and dancer and side man who inspires us with his radical ideas.
Click on the playlist icon on the upper left corner to see other videos!
Since he wrote his first song 'Begging' in 2004, Jimbino vegan has written around 100 songs in a variety of styles and moods. Here is a selection of lyrics from his original songs. The full lyrics for his original songs can be found in Jimbino Vegan's three songs books - check merchandise for more info about them!
We don’t like to rule out any event purely on a financial basis. Who knows, maybe we are in the neighbourhood anyhow, or there is a nearby millionaire who wants us to do a private gig for his/her dinner guests for 3000 bucks on the next day! So please contact us if you want us to play and all offers will be considered. We don’t want to rule out any gig offers just because you live in a country that has been shafted by the current world economic situation but although we all love playing music this is also our only source of income - we are professional musicians who have dedicated their lives to making beautiful sounds and have to pay our rent and would perhaps like to be able to afford to have kids one day and have some money to retire on like any other skilled worker.
But there are some things that other than money that would make our life much easier. We really appreciate it if you can supply us with the following: a drum kit, a place to sleep and vegan food for the band. Care and consideration mean a lot to us! We can and love to play acoustic in large rooms with perhaps only a vocal microphone, but if we are performing a large space, or you know you have a noisy clientele, please supply a PA and amplification equipment.
If you have something to ask or you want to book us on a gig: