Shez Raja ft Dennis Rollins and Anastasia Volkomorova

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Last Show: Wednesday 18 th September 2019

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

British-Asian electric bass player Shez Raja and his world-class band will be performing their unique brand of Indo-jazz funk. Shez leads a stunning and surprising line-up tonight that features trombone star Dennis Rollins (Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, Maceo Parker) and enchanting Russian harp prodigy Anastasia Volkomorova. This concert includes material from their brand new album 'Journey to Shambhala', which tells the tale of a young man who embarks on an adventure to discover the mystical city of Shambhala. The album was recorded with US guitar genius Wayne Krantz and Indian percussion guru Trilok Gurtu (whose unique vocal percussion samples are included in the concert production). The group will also be performing music from their previous highly acclaimed album ‘Gurutopia’, recorded with global jazz legends Randy Brecker and Mike Stern. The band's live show is an eclectic headcharge of raw energy and always leaves audiences uplifted, inspired and asking for more. Expect exciting music that’s full of surprises – a sonic kaleidoscope of euphoric jazz, thundering funk, tuneful ragas and intoxicating grooves!

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"A tailor-made festival band with a unique identity"

The Guardian

Shez Raja

Shez Raja was born to an Asian father and English mother in the North-West of England. Classically trained on the violin from the age of 9, a few years later he traded the instrument for electric bass and hasn’t looked back since.

Educated at Leeds College of Music, Raja toured the UK with groups such as Elephant Talk and Loka (signed to renowned label Ninja Tune) before becoming a highly sought-after session musician.

He then went on to perform at Glastonbury Festival, the prestigious Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Shepherd's Bush Empire and the London Forum, as well as touring Europe with platinum-selling hip-hop artist MC Lyte.

Inspired by travels with his father to the Punjab region of the Indian sub-continent as a young boy, Shez immersed himself in the musical culture of his South Asian roots. He now merges his rich musical heritage with a hugely diverse playing experience to create dynamic and passionate music that blends East with West.

Dennis Rollins

A passionate performer and educator, British trombone player Dennis Rollins MBE has established a reputation as an artist of excellence, and has lent his unique and stylish talents to some of this country's, and indeed the world's, top jazz and pop personalities such as Courtney Pine, Maceo Parker, Jamiroquai, The Brand New Heavies, Blur and Pee Wee Ellis.

Anastasia Volkomorova

Born in Russia, now residing in Italy, Anastasia Volkomorova is a harp prodigy with a jazz attitude. Since her early years, she's been blending her outstanding classical harp technique with contemporary world jazz, winning multiple accolades including:

1st prize with Excellency at Rencontres Internationales de la Harpe en Île-de-France, Moret-sur-Loing, 2017

Laureate of International Classic Music contest, Moscow 2014

2nd prize at Suoni d'Arpa, Saluzzo, Italy, 2017

"Breakthrough artist of the Year" on Radio Jazz 89.1FM, Moscow, 2017

Monika Lidke

Polish-born singer Monika Lidke’s artistry cuts through worldly clamour with lucid freshness, entwining contemporary jazz, European folk, pop and Latin – a vocal warmth drawing comparison with Stacey Kent and Norah Jones. Lidke’s vocal agility is part of the vibrant Shez Raja sound and her exuberance floods the music with colour.

Band Lineup

Shez Raja (electric bass guitar)

Dennis Rollins (trombone)

Anastasia Volkomorova (harp)

Pascal Roggen (violin)

Monika Lidke (vocals)

Vasilis Xenopoulos (saxophone)

Alex Stanford (keyboards)

Chris Nickolls (drums)