Shez Raja 'Tales from the Punjab' Album Launch featuring Tony Kofi
Friday 4th June 2021 - 9:00 pm
Music Charge: £16.00
“Chic, contemporary and groove-laden”
From the Northwest of England, Shez Raja is a seriously talented electric bassist whose work in a fascinating mix of Indo-jazz, funk and groove styles has propelled him to the forefront of the UK jazz scene, drawing comparisons to electric bass legend Jaco Pastorius. The last four years have been a turning point for Raja - from the release of the critically- acclaimed albums Journey to Shambhala (ft guitar genius Wayne Krantz and Indian percussion guru Trilok Gurtu) and Gurutopia (ft global jazz legends Mike Stern and Randy Brecker), an ‘Inside The Mind’ feature on BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line-Up, to performing at the Royal Festival Hall for EFG London Jazz Festival and to a 800 capacity crowd at Islington Assembly Hall in London. For Shez’ latest record - “Tales from the Punjab’ released on prestige label Ubuntu Music - he digs deep into his rich South Asian heritage to create his most exquisite and heartfelt recording to date. Inspired by ancient ragas, traditional melodies and free improvisations, the music creates a bridge between cultures with beautiful, exotic and timeless sounds and it is the official launch of the album that we are celebrating tonight. The first set will consist of music from the album, while the second will include favourite tracks from Shez’ considerable back catalogue. This wouldn’t be possible without the talents of the two award-winning singers joining the band for this special show, Unnati Dasgupta and Japjit Kaur (both of whom have thriving careers as solo artists) and tabla player Gurdain Rayatt. And, in addition to Tomasz Bura (keyboards), Vasilis Xenopoulos (sax) & Sophie Alloway (drums), Shez has also asked internationally renowned, critically acclaimed saxophonist Tony Kofi to be his special guest. This performance promises to be a mesmerizing and unique experience – highly recommended.
“The hip-shaking mix of Eastern song lines and funky Western dance-beats never wavers” **** Evening Standard; “Mahavishnu Orchestra with Jaco Pastorius in charge” The Guardian; “Shez Raja personifies the modernisation of jazz. He is fearless as a musician.” All About Jazz ★★★★+; ;“There is so much respect in jazz circles for Tony Kofi” Jazzwise