Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq

In the beginning was the word...and the word was OM!

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about the project
Horticulture means setting the framework for optimised growth. That is exactly what we set out to do for our life long love - music. So what is this project? Well, to start it's a record, one that runs counter to the industry standards of jazz and gives artists true freedom to evolve their own sound – free of academic concepts but full of personal expression and soul. 

It's also a philosophy about music and music production. It has its roots in a prolonged conversation, and through that conversation the urgent desire to actively create something grew. We created Horticulture Records out of a deep respect for the artists, activists, social and musical virtuosos whose integrity prohibited them from bowing down to the industry.

Horace Tapscott and his approach are the condensation nucleus for this project. Tapscott brought the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra to life in 1961 in Los Angeles. Sixty years later and right here in Berlin, we are building a contemporary project with a spiritual energy for the 21st century and the challenges we face today. Headed by Arkestra member Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq, the octet brings together the largest number of Tapscott´s disciples living abroad, in addition to the heir to Horace himself, the current conductor and manager of the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, Mekala Sessions, direct from Los Angeles!

Just reading about the octet you will see that we are in for a rare treat. Next to Fuasi and Mekala there's Sabir Mateen, the most recorded tenor sax with Horace for Nimbus Records and a landmark in the land of the free (jazz); Ghasem Batamuntu, who carried the tradition of the Arkestra to Europe with the renowned Rotterdam based Nu Nova Compound; Havanna, Cuba native alto sax prodigy, Regis Molina; Joel Holmes, the four-time grammy nominated pianist and composer; the innovative bassist Charles Sammons; and Nirankar Khalsa, an outstanding percussionist and drummer who has played alongside Alice Coltrane among others and will give the project a beat you´ve never heard before.

It will be a night to remember!

Looking forward seeing you at the Schlot,
Your Horticulturalists
Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq
Composer, Arranger and musican, Fuasi is the driving force and anchor behind the project.

Fuasi began performing professionally in 1972 after graduating from college while during his post graduate studies with the late great African-American pianist, Horace Tapscott and his institution called, "UGMAA" (Union of God's Musicians and Artist Ascension) in Los Angeles, California. This led to a lifetime relationship with Tapscott's Pan-African People's Arkestra ("PAPA"), during which time he served as assistant conductor, arranger, composer, copyist and player of saxophone, clarinet and flute during his tenure.

He has performed from coast to coast in the U.S. and in 1992 he relocated to Berlin where he became well known in the city's music scene. During the last 30 years abroad in Germany he as toured throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the South Pacific as well as South and Central America.

Fuasi's career continues on. He is a leader of his own ensembles which include, Fuasi and Ensemble, The Ebony Big Band, Fuasi's Latin Jazz Connection, the Horace Tapscott Tribute Ensemble, Fumatikelo, and The Jazz Crusaders Tribute Project & Beyond. He has shared the stage with such greats as Walter Bishop Jr., Jimmy Garrison, Sam Rivers, Benny Golson, Hal Singer, Rudy Stevenson, Ed Blackwell, Arthur Blythe, Joe Bowie, Sugar Blue, Abdu Salim, Dick de Graaf, Abraham Burton, Omar Sosa, Kelvin Sholar and Winard Harper to name a few.
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Sabir Mateen
Sabir Mateen - Alto & Tenor Saxophones, Flute, Piccolo, Bb & Alto Clarinets Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Poet The name Sabir Mateen has been one to deal with and listen to. Originally from Philadelphia (b. April 16th 1951), he moved to Los Angeles and played with Horace Tapscott and his Pan- Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and other bands. He moved back to Philadelphia in the '80's and played with two musicians he still collaborates with today, Sunny Murray and Raymond A. King, and also with Monette Sudler, Bill Lewis and many others. He also pursued studies with Byard Lancaster. Having moved to New York in 1989, Sabir became a world renowned artist and has performed with the greats such as Cecil Taylor, William Parker Ensembles (Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra & The Inside Songs Of Curtis Mayfield), Alan Silva, Wilber Morris, Jemeel Moondoc, Charles Downs (Rashid Bakr), Marc Edwards, Mark Whitecage, Raphe Malik, Dave Burrell, Butch Morris, Henry Grimes, Kali Z. Tom Bruno, Roy Campbell, Daniel Carter, Steve Swell The Sun Ra Arkestra, Frode Gjerstad, William Hooker and many others. Mateen has performed in Europe, Japan, and Africa. He is also involved in Collective bands such as TEST (w/ D. Carter, Matthew Heyner and T. Bruno), The Downtown Horns (w/ R. Campbell & D. Carter), The East 3rd St. Ensemble (w/ Matt Lavelle, Clif Jackson and David Gould). Sabir leads his own bands as well: The Sabir Mateen Ensemble, Omni-Sound, Trio Sabir, and Juxtapositions.
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Regis Molina
Regis is a musician and composer from Havana and Berlin. Since the age of nine, when he began his classical training, his primary instrument has been the alto saxophone. Now a multi-instrumentalist, he plays the baritone saxophone, flute, clarinet and Afro-Cuban percussion as well. Based on Cuban traditional rhythms and Jazz, his playing style is flexible, with strong improvisation skills in any genre, be it World Music, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Soul or Pop. “My musical vision combines elements of many sacred musics of all world cultures. When I’m playing and composing I mix the flavour of different music traditions and melt them into other sounds and vibes.“ Molina is an energetic saxophonist and band-leader. With his bands he also is on a quest for the spiritual values within the music. In the Cuban culture music, dance and spirituality are interconnected to each other, principles that Molina translates to thru his music: ”You can´t really separate them from each other and I think about this in my playing and writing. I first learned how to dance rather than to play music, so I guess that’s why I love to have a sense of ’dancing’ in my body while I’m playing. It helps me to connect and interact more with other subtle elements in the music. Then I try to make them all sound like mine.“ His passion and dedication to music has seen him receive several awards as well as share the stage and the studio worldwide with several renowned musicians and bands, such as Ojos de Brujo, Aloe Blacc, Jimi Tenor, Tony Allen, Chucho Valdez, Stars of Buena Vista Social Club, Afrocuban Allstars, Helene Fischer and Samy DeLuxe.
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Ghasem Batamuntu

Los Angeles native Ghasem Batamuntu has a long history of musical collaborations and associations which include Jackie Mclean, Julius Hemphill, Sam Rivers, Bobby Hutcherson, Horace Tapscot, Eddie Henderson, Sonship Theus, Tootie Heath, Eddie Moore , Eddie Marshall, Rasul Siddik, David Murray, Omar Sosa, Pharoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Sonny Simmons, Julian Priester to mention but a few.

World stage performance credits include: The InJazz Festival 2018 (nl), The North Sea Jazz Festival (nl), The Bimhuis (nl), Lantaren Venster(nl), The North Sea Jazz Festival Around Town (nl), Rotterdam Jazz Festival (nl), Womack Music Festival (sp), The Jerish International Festival of Art and Culture (Amman, Jordan), Jazz Club Minsk Belaruse, Berlin Performance Podiums, San Fancisco Jazz Festival (Ca), Oakland Jazz Festival (ca), The San Jose Jazz Festival(Ca), The World Stage (Ca) and a wide variety of international clubs, theaters, radio broadcast.
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Mekala Session
Mekala Session is a drummer and musical polymath raised in the fold of the multi-generational Los Angeles jazz band The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. He now guides the outfit into the future while keeping the light of its founder Horace Tapscott shining bright. Mekala graduated in 2017 with a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. He plays drums/percussion on albums with Zeroh, Qur'an Shaheed, Kenny Segal, Jamael Dean, and others.
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Charles Sammons

Charles Sammons is an American instrumentalist, composer, and instructor world renowned for his innovative techniques and approach. Equally at home behind the double bass, electric bass, and cello, Sammons pushes the outer boundaries of the idiom and the instruments while retaining firm footing in tradition. A consummate collaborator, Sammons has been featured on dozens of recordings from jazz through electronica, rock through pop. As a performer and sideman, Sammons has played and toured with a host of the worlds most excellent artists including members Parliament Funkadelic and touring in support of the Indigo Girls.

Ever inquisitive and curious, Sammons’ musical journey has visited vast terrain and he may be found performing Contrabass or Cello with an exciting variety of ensembles ranging broadly through classical, jazz, Americana, Latin, Caribbean, and a spectrum of genres. This endeavour has taken him to far corners of the globe where he has performed for stadium audiences and art enthusiasts including at “documenta(13)” in Kassel, Germany where he recorded his current album in conjunction with a student residency.

Currently Sammons resides in Berlin where he contributes his unique voice to this hotbed of creativity. 
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Nirankar Khalsa
Nirankar Khalsa - drummer, percussionist and singer - is a native of Chicago, Illinois - coming from a family of African American musicians (Jazz, Blues, Gospel etc.) which traces back generations before the "known" beginnings of Jazz. His first teacher and great inspiration is his father, William Henderson Jr., a professional drummer and percussionist (now retired). His family inspiration is shared by his brother William III (drummer, guitarist), Uncle Jake Johnson (Delta Blues man), Aunt Mary (Gospel pianist & singer), John McCorkle - formerly Johnson ( guitarist), and others. With the desire to continue this family tradition and honor to cultural legacy, Nirankar percieves this "connection" with Gnawa tradition in rhythm with a natural progression, continuance and expression of common shared roots, and moreover a manifestation of world cultural sollidarity, now and beyond. It's also a "continuance"of other great collaborations, such as in the works of the great Randy Weston and many others. Khalsa has performed with such artists as Horace Tapscott, Billy Higgins, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Jeanne Lee and Juno Lewis.
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Joel Holmes
Joel Holmes is a four time Grammy nominated concert pianist, composer, producer and arranger. Over the last 15 years, Joel has toured the world with Grammy winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vocalist Nnenna Freelon and saxophonist Javon Jackson who is an ex Jazz Messenger with Art Blakey. He is currently in Detroit Techno's Ambassador Carl Craig and his Synthesizer Ensemble. Joel has performed in such places as Italy, France, Taiwan, Japan,Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Holland, England, Spain, Chile,Ecuador, Uruguay, Canada and his home country the USA. Joel Holmes has played with Curtis Fuller,Terrace Blanchard, Gary Thomas, Jimmy Cobb, Victor Lewis, Roberta Gambarini, Azar Lawrence, Tim Warfield, Greg Osby, Tim Green, Butch Warren, Reggie Workman, Cecil Mcbee and many more. With such a diverse educational and performing background, it is no surprise that his music blends so many styles and influences. 
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