The Trickster Orchestra unites superb soloists in a collective of trans-traditional avant-garde music. Under the direction of Cymin Samawatie and Ketan Bhatti, the orchestra incorporates traditional instruments from Europe, Western, Central-, and East Asia as well as younger electronic instruments in a shared contemporary musical language. With their secret knowledge and intellectual talent, tricksters are shapeshifters that disrupt conventional orders. Similarly, the ensemble works with improvisation, composition, and experimental concepts in order to open up pathways that allow for the exploration of new musical languages that transcend categories and demarcations of genres.
The Trickster Orchestra was founded in 2013. It performed in Europe and West Asia at the Festival for Modern Listening and asphalt Festival Düsseldorf, at Kontraklang, at the Komischen Oper und at Jazzfest Berlin, at Tonlagen Festival Hellerau, Silk Road Festival Baku, at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, at Radialsystem and at the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn. The ensemble also created residency programs, new collaboration like the one with Junge Norddeutsche Philharmonie, and new formats like their radio play for SWR2 Jetztmusik. In 2021, the ensemble released its first album recording with ECM Records. In 2022, the Trickster Orchestra received the German Jazz Award as Best Large Ensemble and the Tonali Award “Courage for Utopia,” and one year later the German Composers’ Award.