Shez Raja 'Tales from the Punjab' featuring Vasilis Xenopoulos
Friday 21st January 2022 - 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. The first set will consist of music from the album, while the second will include favourite tracks from Shez’s considerable back catalogue. This wouldn’t be possible without the talents of award-winning singer Japjit Kaur and tabla maestro Gurdain Rayatt joining the band for this special show. And, in addition to Kieron Garrett (keyboards) & Sophie Alloway (drums), Shez has also asked internationally renowned, critically acclaimed saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos 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 ★★★★+; Vasilis Xenopoulos: “One of the most fiery young saxophonists around" The Times ★★★★; "Old-school warmth and modern day dynamism" Jazzwise