Matt Steele Quartet

Matt Steele

Matt grew up in Lower Hutt and discovered a passion for jazz during high school, which he honed with studies at the University of Auckland under the tutelage of pianists Kevin Field and Stephen Small. He was the first jazz pianist to win the Lewis Eady Emerging Artists Series in 2013 and graduated with First Class Honours in Jazz Performance in 2014. This will be Matt’s last gig in Wellington for a while, as he is soon off ‘across the ditch’ to Melbourne. The quartet will be showcasing its member’s original music as well as one or two favourites from the repertoire.

“Steele is always an interesting pianist and always one to watch. It is his determination, his preparedness to take risks and his ability to learn on the bandstand that marks him out from many of his peers. He grows as an artist each time I see him.” – John Fenton, Jazz Journalists Association, 2015

Matt Steele Quartet
Featuring: 
Blair Latham (s), Johnny Lawrence (b), Cory Champion (d) and Matt Steele (p)
Date: Thursday 4 May 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Peter Koopman Trio

WJC - Peter Koopman Trio

Since leaving behind the lush, verdant countryside north of the mighty Waikato river in his native New Zealand in 2011, guitarist Peter Koopman has become a regular fixture on Australia’s music scene. In addition to (occasionally) leading his own trio, he also plays with Katie Noonan’s Vanguard, jazz-metalheads Scoredatura and jazz/apparel enthusiasts The Turtlenecks among various others. In 2014 Peter placed 3rd in the national jazz awards at the Wangaratta jazz festival. Brought together by a mutual love for genre-crossing, rhythmic interplay and Vietnamese pork rolls, this new band will feature deadset legends Max Alduca and Tim Geldens on bass and drums respectively.

Peter Koopman Trio
Featuring: Max Alduca (b), Tim Geldens (d) and Peter Koopman (g)
Date: Thurs 20 Apr 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Andy Sugg Group

Andy Sugg Group

Andy Sugg is a Melbourne–based tenor and soprano saxophonist. His music explores contemporary post-Trane improvisation in original compositions written for a small group setting. While firmly grounded in its stylistic time and place, the Andy Sugg Group plays music that has left home. It’s music in the moment, played by highly articulate musicians with something to say both as soloists and as members of a collective. The Group’s music embraces an eclectic range of compositional influences, which include contemporary jazz, funk, R&B and avant-pop. It’s Andy’s “blowing band”; a vehicle for extended improvisation in the best traditions of contemporary jazz.

Andy Sugg Group
Featuring: 
Matt Steele (p), Johnny Lawrence (b), Mark Lockett (d), Andy Sugg (s)
Date: Thurs 6 Apr 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Umar Zakaria’s ‘Jazz Melayu’

Umar ZakariaReturning from Boston after two years of research, practice and compositional work, bassist Umar Zakaria presents a program of Malay jazz from Malaysia and Singapore, featuring a mixture of traditional tunes, original compositions and arrangements of songs by the Malay composer P. Ramlee.

Umar Zakaria is a New Zealand bassist and composer filled with hope for the future. His music unites diverse musical traditions, in an effort to inspire communication and cooperation across ideological boundaries. His innovative compositions and arrangements finely tread traditional boundaries of genre and style. These have been performed and recorded variously by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, and the New Zealand School of Music Big Band.

In 2016 he graduated from the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston with a Master’s degree, having worked closely with jazz luminaries (and winners of the MacArthur ‘genius’ Grant) Miguel Zenon and Jason Moran. It was at the Conservatory that he began getting in touch with his Malay roots under the watchful eyes of Oud master Malcolm Barsamian, flautist Amir Milstein, vocalist Dominique Eade and Warren Senders, a master of Hindustani ‘Khyal’ vocal style.

Umar Zakaria’s ‘Jazz Melayu’
Featuring:
 Oscar Laven (s), Tyaan Singh (s), Fraser Walker (p), Luther Hunt (d) and Umar Zakaria (b)
Date: Thurs 23 Mar 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Brad Kang

Brad Kang

Guitarist Brad Kang has recently moved back home to Christchurch after a spell in the United States studying jazz guitar at the University of North Texas. The 2015 magna cum laude graduate was an active part of the jazz scene in Denton, Texas and the larger Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex as well as being a part of the world-renowned One O’Clock Lab Band.  The album ‘Lab 2015’, which Kang was a part of as a composer and player, received a Grammy nomination for one of the tracks ‘Neil’.

Brad Kang
Featuring:
Jake Baxendale (s), Matt Steele (p), Umar Zakaria (b), Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa (d) and Brad Kang (g)
Date: Thurs 9 Mar 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Jasmine Lovell-Smith

Jasmine Lovell-Smith

Jasmine Lovell-Smith is a kiwi soprano saxophonist and composer who has recently returned to Wellington after 7 years living in the USA and Mexico. Her music has been described as “arrestingly wry and lyrical” (New York City Jazz Record), “honest, intelligent chamber jazz” (Jazz Times) & “[an] unashamedly rich tapestry of sound” (Dominion Post, NZ).

Between 2010 and 2012 Jasmine was based in New York City, where she formed her quintet Towering Poppies, with whom she has released two albums. In 2012 she moved nearby to Connecticut to study towards an MA in composition with the experimentalist composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton. More recently she relocated to Morelia, Mexico, where she had the interesting experience of teaching jazz studies and the saxophone in Spanish. Jasmine has returned to Wellington to pursue a DMA in composition at the NZSM, and she is excited to be sharing her original compositions with a Wellington jazz audience once again

Jasmine Lovell-Smith
Featuring: Norman Meehan (p), Paul Dyne (b), Reuben Bradley (d), Jasmine Lovell-Smith (s)
Date: Thurs 23 Feb 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID

Jake Baxendale – Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why…

Jake Baxendale (saxophone) James Paul (guitar) and Cory Champion (drums, no relation) perform some free-flowing meditations on their own themes, and any others that might occur. Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Paul Motian or Radiohead might have a hand in proceedings, indirectly of course – or they may not. Songs and improvisations blur into one another and provide a springboard into the next soundscape.

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Breakfast of Champions
Featuring: 
 James Paul (g), Cory Champion (d) and Jake Baxendale (s)
Date: Thursday 9 Feb 2017
Venue: Pyramid Club, 272 Taranaki St.
Time: 8pm
Price: $10 General, $5 Members and Students with ID