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John Rae Trio

Thu Feb 22nd, 2024

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John Rae Trio Scots/New Zealand drummer John Rae, a top flight composer, musician and band leader, will join forces with vaunted saxophonist, flutist, and composer Lucien Johnson and double bass player Patrick Bleakley for an evening of top-class kiwi jazz.

Rae, Johnson, and Bleakley were leaders and composers of The Troubles, a premier Kiwi jazz nonet that initially had been an earlier incarnation of the present trio. Rae recorded his first album at 16 alongside acclaimed saxophonist Tommy Smith and has since recorded over 80 albums as a leader and sideman, including the 2003 and 2004 BBC Jazz Album of the Year.

Lucien Johnson, a saxophonist and composer from Wellington, lived in Paris for six years where he formed a trio with veteran American free jazz bass player Alan Silva and Japanese drummer Makoto Sato. He composed music for plays and short films, toured India with a clown troop, wrote music for a theatre show in Haiti, and in New Zealand played with The Black Seeds, The Yoots, Lord Echo, Jonathan Crayford Quartet, Hollie Smith, Leila Adu, Norman Meehan and Natalia Mann, as well as leading various groups under his own name.

Patrick Bleakley has been one of the most sought-after bass players in New Zealand since the 1970s. His baptism of fire came through meeting iconic musician and actor Bruno Lawrence who soon inducted Bleakley into his band Blerta. During the 70s he played with several other well-known groups such as Mammal, Rough Justice, and Spatz and was for a time in the quartet of leading Australian saxophonist Bernie McGann. Bleakley took a break from music before he returned to playing bass in the 1990s, touring with Lawrence and pianist Jonathan Crayford in the band Jazzmin. He has also played as part of The Razorblades, Sanctus and Village of the Idiots.


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