THE JURY’S NOT OUT ON EXPAT GUITARIST

Eleventh reason
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11. STUART’S ON A TOUR DOWN UNDER

Expatriate Australian musicians are a constant source of interest at Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival because their fans here are keen to hear how they have changed or developed while living abroad, and what new material they bring to audiences at home.

Among expats returning for a visit this year are, from New York,  bassist Sam Anning, drummer Rajiv Jayaweera and, from Ireland, guitarist Ian Date.

Guitarist Alex Stuart, originally from Canberra and now living in France, will return for a national tour that will include his first performance at Wangaratta.

In July 2011 Stuart won the Jury Prize at the Jazz A Juan Revelation in southern France. He’ll play with Julien Wilson on saxophone, Brendan Clarke on bass and Ben Vanderwal on drums.

Stuart lives in Paris, where he moved after completing his degree at the ANU in 2005. He has won praise for his performances of original music at jazz clubs and festivals in France, and for his debut CD Around.

Among his influences Stuart cites the usual jazz influences, but also Radiohead, Bjork and Jeff Buckley as well as music from Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The festival website quotes Stuart as  saying, “My music is a real mix. I’ve always loved listening to and playing many different genres, and you can hear that in my compositions. Some of my diverse influences are modern jazz, African and Latin American music, Hindustani classical music and indie rock. When I compose I don’t calculate how things are going to blend, I just try to let it come out organically.

“Audiences at Wangaratta can expect some high energy performances. We’ll be playing a lot of music from my last album Around, and some new compositions I plan to record early next year.”

Alex Stuart’s performances at Wangaratta:
Saturday, November 3 at 5pm, Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway
Sunday, November 4 at 8pm WPAC Memorial Hall

On tour:
Melbourne:

Tuesday, November 6, at 9pm, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Price: $15/12

Canberra:

Alex Stuart Quartet at the ANU Band Room (Peter Karmel Building), ‎12 November at 7.30pm at ANU School of Music

ROGER MITCHELL

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