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