Composition and diversity look to be the buzz words around the three 2018 Jazz Tui finalists.
Wellington-based saxophonist and composer Lucien Johnson has been nominated for the 2018 Best Jazz Artist for his 2017 album ‘West Of The Sun’, recorded by Mike Fabulous. Alongside composing and performing with his six-piece jazz ensemble Johnson is a regular collaborator with Wellington performing arts collective Borderline Arts Ensemble, has toured internationally with The Black Seeds and Lord Echo, and worked on compositions for film, television, dance, theatre and installations.
Umar Zakaria is another new name for the jazz Tui finals line up. Zakaria’s career has already taken him around the globe, performing with a number of international jazz legends, and his NZ School of Music recorded album ‘Fearless Music’ embraces his own diverse musical traditions in collaboration with Roger Manins, Leonardo Coghini and Luther Hunt.
Hayden Chisholm, Norman Meehan, and Paul Dyne, three more familiar names, have been nominated for their combined album ‘Unwind’. While these well-recognised composers and music educators have worked with each other in various contexts before, the album recorded at the end of 2016 is their first outing as a trio.
Finalists for the Best Jazz Composition award are last year’s winner Callum Allardice with A Gathering, Anita Schwabe for Springtide, and Wellington-based alto saxophonist Jake Baxendale for Beyond The Palace.