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The Jazzfirefly Tropical Jazz Quartet

Thu Sep 8th, 2016
Havana Bar,

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The Jazzfirefly Tropical Jazz Quartet create explorations in jazz that are inspired by pivotal Jamaican jazz guitarist, Ernest Ranglin. Delving into Ranglin's archives and the many original classic reggae sessions he recorded on is the inspiration for the grooves and feel of Jazzfirefly. The quartet also blends various stylistic influences and mixes of progressive jazz harmonies and rootsy vibes in with a tropical attitude.

Myele Manzanza: drumkit
The son of Congolese master percussionist, Myele was introduced to the language of the drum and traditional African rhythms from an early age. As a child he performed on hand drums with his father who was also one of the first Africans to perform traditional African Afrobeat and high life music in New Zealand, but it wasnít until Myele was 14 that he started playing a kit. Upon completion of high school Myele was awarded a scholarship to continue his music studies and went on to graduate from the New Zealand School Of Music with a Degree in Jazz performance in 2008. Since then Myele has gone on to become one of New Zealandís leading exponentís in his field. His dexterity and extensive skill as a drummer see him able to traverse styles seamlessly and his performances are always brilliantly captivating.

Guitar: Justin Firefly Clarke
Justin is a guitarist and composer who has won awards at festivals in Europe and collaborated with world-class performers from all over the globe. Locally he is known for producing the Woolshed Sessions and Jess Chambers as well as featuring with Fly My Pretties, Fat Freddyís Drop and with the NZSO. He is a masters graduate of the New Zealand School of Music and has degrees in jazz guitar and classical composition.

Bass: Patrick Bleakley
Patrick is a local bass legend known for playing with Blerta in the 1970s and 80s and being the rock to many of Jonathan Crayford's jazz trios as well as The Troubles.

James Illingworth: keyboards.
James is a pianist and composer known for his emotive improvisational jazz performances. He studied piano from an early age and it was apparent he would follow a career in music. James graduated with a BMus from the Wellington Conservatorium and has gone on to work with many artists and musicians at home and abroad. Recently, he has collaborated and toured with Australian hip hop group Bliss N Eso; has composed and produced eclectic Māori music on the album Āiotanga alongside his wife and singer Kirsten Te Rito; played and performed on Mantis: The Music of Drew Menzies - a fusion of jazz and string quartets and guested on the latest Trinity Roots album Citizen. James resides in Wellington, New Zealand.

acoustic/solo, blues, hip hop/rnb, jazz, reggae/dub, soul/funk, world, Myele Manzanza, Patrick Bleakley, James Illingworth, Justin Firefly Clarke


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