Dance to it, make love to it, stare at the clouds to it Iggy Pop
Vula Viel press photo

Bex Burch is percussionist and composer, specialising in the Dagaare xylophone or Gyil.

Following a series of chance encounters and a keen interest in groove based music / minimalism Burch was invited to be the apprentice to master Ghanaian xylophonist Thomas Segkura and lived in Dagaare Ghana making and playing Gyilli for 3 years. On passing out of the apprenticeship, she was given the name ‘Vula Viel’, meaning Good is Good and shared the name with her first group on returning to the UK where she continues to forge her own unique sound.

Forming Vula Viel in 2013, acclaimed releases ‘Good is Good’ 2015, ‘Do Not Be Afraid’ in 2019, ‘What’s Not Enough About That’ marked another major step in the evolution of Vula Viel. The album was recorded at London’s Fish Factory and was mixed by Dilip Harris (Sons Of Kemet, Joe Armon Jones). Vula Viel continues to build on that success with worldwide touring and a constant unique freshness: continuously stretching out the band’s sound, at times delicate and at others moving into raw post punk soundscapes. Expect an expansive, spacious album and live set which winds effortlessly from reassuring pulse, soaring melodies, to strident leftfield improvisations.

Burch has performed on Gilles Peterson's BBC6 Music show live and in London’s most revered alternative venues such as Café OTO, Total Refreshment Centre and Vortex Jazz Club. Touring further afield includes WOMAD, Moers Festival, Bezau Beatz, Willisau Jazz Festival and Artist in Focus at Music Meeting. She has hosted a number of shows on Worldwide FM including a guest mix for Steve Reed Foundation Day.

“My journey with the gyil began in the Dagaare traditions and Thomas Sekgura's teaching”, explains Burch, “but through playing live and developing my own sound and voice, I am pushing my own boundaries and drawing on all my influences to find out what it is about music, percussion and the voice that truly resonates with me.” The result is something new with every release.

Bex continues to develop her strong voice with collaborations in 2020 and beyond, including working with Hector Plimmer (2 minute switch Bex Burch remix featuring Max Hallett), and duo collaborations with Emanative in “Disrupt #4” (Shapes of Rhythm), Tamar Osborn and Leafcutter John. She is also developing a solo project, focused around going deeper into her own improvised and compositional voice.

New releases to follow.

★ ★ ★ ★ Evening Standard ★ ★ ★ ★ Jazzwise
★ ★ ★ ★ Financial Times ★ ★ ★ ★ Songlines
Hang on, this is really good! Gilles Peterson
One of the most exciting young UK groups I’ve heard this year, Vula Viel Jez Nelson BBC Radio 3
They were the unexpected stars of a glitzy show The Guardian (UK)
Funerals have never sounded so funky Songlines
Like Portico Quartet on steroids Jazzwise

Supported by

Thanks to Sound and Music’s New Voices and PRS Foundation for making this work possible. New Voices is supported by Arts Council England, PRS Foundation, RVW Trust, Garrick Charitable Trust, Cockayne and London Community Foundation.

Past gigs

WOMAD / Shambala / Latitude / Willisau Jazz Festival / Bezau Beatz / Moers Festival / Music Meeting (Artist in Focus) / Jazz in E. / Café OTO / Ronnie Scott’s / Purcell Room / Total Refreshment Centre / Bestival

Upcoming gigs / All past gigs


UK, USA & Canada: Peter Conway
GAS territories: Tobias
BeNeLux: Red Cat Artists
Live tech specs download

Press & promo
Vula Viel

Press release download
Promo photos download
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