Thursday, June 21, 2018

Kamasi Washington Debuts 'Street Fighter Mas' video

“Lavish, portentous, aware of its political significance, Heaven and Earth also swings like crazy, and the seriousness of the endeavour never detracts from the warm-hearted way in which Washington reframes jazz history for both neophytes and connoisseurs” - MOJO



Groundbreaking artist Kamasi Washington debuts the A.G. Rojas-directed video for “Street Fighter Mas” today—watch it here. The video includes cameos by famed Street Fighter legends Gootecks and Combofiend and one of Washington’s Los Angles heroes—Kevin Gilliam a.k.a. BattleCat, a longtime collaborator of Dr. Dre, Snoop and Tupac Shakur. The video was inspired by Washington’s love of the Street Fighter video game and depicts Washington’s adventure through Los Angeles en route to an epic battle to claim the title of champion against Combofiend. Rojas and Washington previously collaborated on a short film titled “Truth” for Washington’s 2017 EP Harmony of Difference.

Talking about the “Street Fighter Mas” video, A.G. Rojas says:

“I love inhabiting Kamasi's world, and Street Fighter Mas was an opportunity to take a left turn and explore the surreal qualities of that world. When Kamasi told me the background of the song, how Street Fighter was a safe space for him - it took me back to the supermarket down the street from my childhood home where my brother and I would try and get in as many games before our mother was finished shopping. It was a true labor of love for everyone involved, coming from a desire to interpret the cinematic qualities of the track into something equally unpredictable, familiar, absurd, and ultimately triumphant."

Washington’s immensely anticipated second album Heaven and Earth is out this Friday, June 22 via Young Turks (Records).

In celebration of the release, Washington will play a very intimate hometown show at The World Stage in Los Angeles—the historic Leimert Park venue where he has been performing since his teens—this Thursday, June 21.

The show will be streamed through Kamasi’s Facebook and on Boiler Room.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Album Release - DOG - No Dogs Allowed (Rattle Records)



Dog - aka Roger Manins (sax), Kevin Field (Piano) Olivier Holland (Bass) and Ron Samson (Drums) have released their second album of contemporary jazz.  In a haphazard display of performance and humour, they played some of the new tunes at Wellington's Rogue & Vagabond this morning to a full lunchtime crowd.  Photos by Tim Gruar.





Saturday, June 09, 2018

ROGUE CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE: I’M MOVIN’ ON


Rogue Classic Albums Live: I’m Movin’ On

A Homage to Jimmy Smith's 1963 Blue Note classic

Organist Chris Yeabsley (Twinset) and his band present Jimmy Smith's I’m Movin’ On live as Rogue & Vagabond hosts four nights of classic albums played live by top local musicians.

Tonight from 10PM

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Jazz at the Rogue & Vagabond

Once again Rogue coming atcha with our classic album series for Wellington Jazz Festival, featuring some of our favourite local musicians playing some of their favourite classic Jazz albums in their entirety (as well as a couple of very special late night and early morning performances thrown in)
Wednesday 6th:
Early Jazz at 5pm with Bruce Forman, Larry Koonse and Tom Warrington
Rogue Piano Lounge with Dayle Jellyman from 7
Thursday 7th:
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Question and Answer w/ Callum Jephson Allardice
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Black Saint and the Sinner Lady w/ Jake Baxendale Music
Friday 8th:
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Boss Tenors w/ Baron Oscar Lavën
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Karma w/ Blair Latham
Saturday 9th:
Roger Manins GRG67 Album Launch 'The Thing'
Rogue Classic Albums Live - I'm Movin' On w/ Christopher Yeabsley
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Thrust w/ Daniel Hayles
Sunday 10th:
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Crescent w/Rick Cranson
Rogue Classic Albums Live - Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley w/ Bryn van Vliet
#welljazzfest

TOP JAZZ TALENT RECOGNISED AT NZ JAZZ AWARDS



The winners of the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist and the APRA Best Jazz Composition were announced tonight at an awards event ahead of the opening of the Wellington Jazz Festival.

Umar Zakaria was awarded Best Jazz Artist for Fearless Music and the Best Jazz Composition was awarded to Anita Schwabe for ‘Springtide’.

Umar’s career is exciting to follow.  At just 25-years-old, Umar has already performed internationally with jazz legends like Bob Moses (US), Hagai Bilitzky (Israel), Rob van Bavel (Netherlands), Snorre Kirk (Denmark), Magnus Hjorth (Sweden), Steve Barry, and Mark Lockett, among others.

The album Fearless Music is a strong collection of tracks recorded in collaboration with some of New Zealand’s top jazz musicians.

Recorded Music NZ CEO Damian Vaughan says Fearless Music is an exceptional record, and Umar is well deserving of the Best Jazz Artist Tui.

“It will be fascinating to see where his career takes him – both here in New Zealand and overseas. I feel like he’s just getting started.”

The APRA Best Jazz Composition was awarded to Anita Schwabe for ‘Springtide’ off her 2018 album Eat Your Greens.

Anita is a jazz pianist and composer who has been a lecturer at the jazz school in Wellington since 1995, who has an impressive resume of live shows including major New Zealand festivals and international venues such as Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

APRA AMCOS Head of New Zealand Operations Ant Healey says: “It’s important for us to be able to celebrate the wonderful work of jazz composers in New Zealand, and to witness the strength and breadth of talent in this community as we come together for the NZ Jazz Awards. Anita has been a well-respected jazz musician and composer for many years, and we’re delighted to see this award go to ‘Springtide’, which is a great reflection of her artistry.”

Anita will be performing her new album at the Wellington Jazz Festival on 8 June as part of the free Jazz at St Peter’s programme.

Other finalists for the Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist were Hayden Chisholm, Norman Meehan, and Paul Dyne for Unwind and Lucien Johnson for West of the Sun.

Callum Allardice for ‘A Gathering’, and Jake Baxendale for ‘Beyond The Palace’ were the other finalists for the APRA Best Jazz Composition.

The awards were announced at the opening night of the Wellington Jazz Festival, which runs from Wednesday 6 through to Sunday 10 June, and features around 150 gigs with local and international jazz performers throughout the week.

Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Best Jazz Artist

Winner: Umar Zakaria – Fearless Music
Hayden Chisholm, Norman Meehan and Paul Dyne – Unwind
Lucien Johnson – West of the Sun
Finalists for APRA Best Jazz Composition

Winner: Anita Schwabe – ‘Springtide’
Callum Allardice – ‘A Gathering’
Jake Baxendale – ‘Beyond The Palace’

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The 2018 Wellington Jazz Festival is on!


The Wellington Jazz Festival kicks off today, with an impressive array of international stars and home-grown jazz talent bringing their smooth grooves and cool beats to the city’s streets, bars and venues. 

Shelagh Magadza, Artistic Director of Wellington Jazz Festival, says that with around 150 gigs packed into the next five days, music lovers will be spoilt for choice - with many gigs that are either free or under $20 in the mix.
“Whether you’re seeing international stars Christian McBride, Chris Daveor Gretchen Parlato at the Opera House or enjoying some of the free gigs at Rogue & Vagabond, Te Papa or St Peter’s on Willis, the Jazz Festival is a mid-winter treat. Book tickets now to ensure you get to see some of the best acts on offer - but also make time for spontaneous late-night fun over the next week.” Shelagh said.
Performing with his ensemble New Jawn, Newport Jazz Festival director and renowned bassist Christian McBride will open the Jazz Festival with his anticipated one-off show at the Opera House tonight. Also on opening night, Ed Zuccollo will perform his magical soundscapes at Meow, while saxophonist Oscar Lavën takes to the stage at Moon in Newtown with his trio. Night owls in need of a post-show jazz fix should head to Meow to enjoy Jake Baxendale and the Jam for their late-night session. 
Thursday brings five-time Grammy Award nominee, guitarist Robben Ford to the Opera House stage, where he’ll be joined by American rock-soul singer Lydia Pense. Over at Civic Square, City Gallery will hold a special jazz-flavored edition of their Tuatara Open Late series, where Nigel Patterson (Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties) will play artist Michael Parekowhai’s stunning piano sculpture He Kōrero Pūrākau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: Story of a New Zealand River before Bella Kalolo takes to the gallery stage performing with a full band. Local drummer Myele Manzanza has brought pianist Mathew Sheens all the way from New York for their two shows at Meow on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Sultry songstress Gretchen Parlato presents her superb vocal range to the Opera House on Friday night, while Caroline bar hosts award-winning composer Callum Allardice with his Quintet. Saturday features one of biggest highlights of the Festival, John Beasley’s MONK’estra, a15-piece big band inspired by the musical spirit of jazz giant, Thelonious Monk. A handful of New Zealand musicians will join MONK’estra for the concert.
Free events include the family-friendly Royal New Zealand Air Force Jazz Orchestra performing takes on the Great American Songbook at Te Papa at 12pm Saturday, the Wellington Mingus Ensemble at the Southern Cross on Saturday evening, a round table discussion about gender and jazz in Aotearoa at The Third Eye on Friday, a pop-up jazz band at Wellington Airport, and a late-night DJ session with Martyn Pepperell at Meow on Saturday.
A collaborator with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, D’Angelo and Adele to name a few, Chris “Daddy” Dave has been called the “most dangerous drummer alive”, and audiences will find out why when Chris and The Drumhedz take over the Opera House on Sunday night to conclude the Wellington Jazz Festival in style. 
About the 2018 Wellington Jazz Festival
The Wellington Jazz Festival runs 6–10 June 2018
Around 150 gigs take place over five days at 45 venues
The Jazz Festival draws a national audience of around 30,000 music fans
The Jazz Festival is home to the New Zealand Jazz Awards, with the winners announced tonight, Wednesday 6 June