Winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Media, 2019

by Ian Mann

June 21, 2020


The compositions, already strong in terms of melody and sophistication, take on an added dynamism in the live environment to produce music that is technically dazzling and genuinely exciting.

Nicolas Meier World Group


(MGP Records – Digital Release Only)

Nicolas Meier – nylon fretted & fretless six string guitars, acoustic twelve string guitar, glissentar
Kevin Glasgow – six string electric bass
Richard Jones – violin
Demi Garcia - percussion

As a long term admirer of the work of the Swiss born, London based guitarist and composer Nicolas Meier I’d like to take the opportunity of bringing this recently released live recording to your attention.

Like so many other musicians in this time of Covid-19 all of Meier’s scheduled gigs have been cancelled, but one of his last shows before lockdown has been documented and is now available as a live album, complete with audio and visuals.

The event took place in February 2020 at the Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club, domiciled at Colchester Arts Centre,  a converted church, and a venue that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting myself on a number of occasions in days past.

The performance featured Meier’s current working band, his World Group featuring violinist Richard Jones, percussionist Demi Garcia and six string electric bass specialist Kevin Glasgow.

This is the line up that made the 2019 album “Peaceful”, a recording that I described as “an engaging musical voyage around the Mediterranean and beyond”.

My review of “Peaceful” can be viewed here;

Initially influenced by Pat Metheny Meier is a skilled and intelligent composer who has diverged from this initial inspiration to absorb a broad variety of musical influences, often sourced from the Middle East, North Africa, Iberia and other areas around the Mediterranean.

Meier’s fascination with the music of the Middle East is inspired by his Turkish wife, Songul, who acts as his muse and who also provides the distinctive artwork that has graced the covers of many of the guitarist’s recordings.

His musical journey has been documented on such excellent albums as “Orient” (2006), “Journey” and “Breeze” (both 2010) and “From Istanbul to Cueta with a Smile” (2013), all of which have been reviewed elsewhere on the Jazzmann.

Meier describes the World Group as “an acoustic world jazz group”  and occasionally the “Peaceful” recording, as good as it is, can sometimes come over as a little bloodless, living up to its title a little too literally.

Indeed the music from that album, which forms the bulk of the material on this new live recording,  is probably best appreciated in the crucible of the live environment.

I took the opportunity of doing just this at the 2019 EFG London Jazz Festival. Meier and the World Group played a free lunchtime show in the Culford Room (i.e. the foyer) at Cadogan Hall to a packed and highly supportive audience.  In this atmosphere the material from “Peaceful” appeared to grow in stature, the compositions, already strong in terms of melody and sophistication, taking on an added dynamism in the live environment to produce music that was technically dazzling and genuinely exciting.

Seeing this music being played in the flesh heightened one’s appreciation of the skills of the musicians, four genuine virtuosos, led by Meier on a dizzying array of guitars, as listed above.

My review of the Cadogan Hall show can be found as part of my Festival coverage here;

The new live album mainly features material sourced from the “Peaceful”  album and has a track listing as follows, the individual pieces originally appearing on “Peaceful”  unless otherwise stated;

1. Manzanita Samba

2. Besiktas Café

3. Caravan of Anatolia

4. City of The 3 Rivers

5. Riversides (from “Infinity” 2016)

6. Princes’ Islands

7. Water Lilies

8. Tales (from “Infinity”)

9. Adiguzel (from “Orient”, 2006)

This is essentially the same set that I saw at Cadogan Hall, although that show also included an arrangement of Luiz Bonfa’s Brazilian standard “Samba Orfeu”.

Youtube footage of Meier and the World Group at Colchester Arts Centre Jazz Club can be enjoyed here;

Manzanita Samba

Besiktas Café


During lockdown Nicolas Meier is also hosting weekly jazz club sessions in his studio garden. Following the easing of restrictions these are now able to feature other musicians – suitably socially distanced.

Meier writes;
 “It’s great fun, with a lovely audience, and with their donations I can pay the musicians properly”.

The forthcoming schedule for the garden concerts is as follows;


Thursday June 25th - Grappelli and more
Session 1) at 2pm. Session 2) at 5pm
Richard Jones on violin
Demi Garcia on percussion
Nicolas Meier on guitar

Wednesday July 1st - Beatles and Jazz
Session 1) at 2pm. Session 2) at 5pm
Mario Castronari on acoustic bass
Nicolas Meier on guitar

Wednesday July 8th - with Lizzie Ball
Session 1) at 2pm. Session 2) at 5pm
Lizzie Ball on violin
Marianne Windham on acoustic bass
Nicolas Meier on guitar

Thursday July 17th - Music at the Château
Session 1) 8.30pm (TBC)
Solo guitar Nicolas Meier

Thursday July 23rd - Jazz, Funk and World
Session 1) at 2pm. Session 2) at 5pm
Raph Mizraki on bass (TBC)
Paul Cavaciuti on drums
Nicolas Meier on guitar

Thursday July 30th - Oxley Meier Guitar Project
Session 1) at 2pm. Session 2) at 5pm 
The Oxley Meier Guitar Project
Pete Oxley on guitar
Nicolas Meier on guitar

More to come…

To enjoy these concerts please go to;



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