Bogdan Vacarescu – International Romanian concert violinist, winning his first competition aged 5. Equally comfortable performing rock, Balkan, traditional as he is on the classical stage. Collaborations include Nigel Kennedy, Paprika and She’Koyokh. Spent some time with his band ‘Paprika’ playing in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan in May 2015.
And the UK musicians
Our journey had only just begun and was in stark contrast to the perilous, arduous and harrowing ones of the residents of the Calais 'jungle'. We came in an act of solidarity for our fellow musicians, they came in search of a future away from war and persecution. If loud voices would have us believe that the 'jungle' was home to swarms of marauding, dangerous young men in search of an easy life of benefits in the UK, then the likelihood of finding accomplished, trained musicians would be pretty unlikely.
It was mid September 2015 and half an hour was all it took to find us in the company of two accomplished musicians. 24 hours later we took to the makeshift recording studio we set up in the jungle and recorded a song written and performed by Mohealdeen and three other Syrian musicians. The Calais Sessions was born and together musicians from the UK and musicians in the jungle come together to share songs, music, ideas, to chat, jam, rehearse and record. We release tracks under the name 'The Jungle Collective' on bandcamp and will ultimately release an album under the name 'The Calais Sessions'. All proceeds from the sale of the music goes directly to the camp.
Whilst on our first sessions in the 'jungle' the muscians from the UK grabbed ten minutes to lay down a track. Led by Bogdan and based on Deskovo Oro by Blagoja Deskoski it was a one take kind of job and pretty pleasing at that.