Celebrate the success of Kiwi Jazz with the announcement of the best artist and composition

As the local scene continues to develop and grow, today we celebrate the talented Recorded Music New Zealand finalists Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | APRA Best Jazz Artist and Best Jazz Composition Award.

Aotearoa-born, London-based jazz musician Myele Manzanza
leads the nominations as a finalist for both awards for his album Crisis and Opportunity Vol.1 and composition ‘Brixton Blues’.

Joining Myele as finalists for Best Jazz Artist is a Pōneke-based septet Devil’s Gate Outfit for Jazz from Aotearoa Underground Nightclubs Volume 5 and duo Kiwi
Jake Baxendale and Jasmine Lovell-Smith
for Sanctuary.

And for the APRA Best Jazz Composition Awards, the drummer and composer Lauren Ellis for his composition ‘Papatūānuku’ and
Darren Pickering for its composition ‘TA2’ completes the 2022 finalists.

Recorded Music New Zealand Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Artist

As a drummer and composer, Myele Manzanza has earned a reputation as a visionary musician who is not afraid to experiment.

his album Crisis and Opportunity Vol.1 was born out of the need to direct his creative energy in a productive direction and sustain his growth as an artist during the 2020 Covid 19 lockdown – a reflection of the times.

For the past three years, Devil’s Gate Outfit has thrilled audiences with their unique blend of jazz composition, sonic exploration, improvisation and deep grooves.

The band’s album Jazz from Aotearoa Underground Nightclubs Volume 5 was recorded live at Meow in September 2021, directly after New Zealand’s second Covid lockdown and features compositions inspired by Wellington’s rugged and unstable south coast.

To finish, Sanctuary is a collaborative album featuring works by New Zealand jazz composers Jake Baxendale and Jasmine Lovell-Smith. Developed for an eleven-piece ensemble, the musicians featured on the album are a multi-generational cast of favorite collaborators from the Wellington jazz scene.

With the inclusion of flute and bass clarinet along with traditional wind, brass and rhythm, the ensemble has a rich, chamber-like texture while retaining the typical fluidity and agility jazz in small groups, leaving room for everyone’s improvised voices. musician.

Recorded Music NZ Kaiwhakahaere or Ngā Tohu Puoro or Aotearoa Sarah Owen said this year’s Tūī finalists all deserved to be celebrated for their craft.

“It is undeniable that the last few years have been a challenge for our musicians, but from these challenges have emerged experimental and exceptional recordings. The caliber of the 2022 Te Kaipuroro Tautito Toa finalists makes me very excited for the future”

APRA Best Jazz Composition

Prior to moving to the United States, Lauren Ellis made her mark on Wellington’s jazz scene, conducting and playing for a number of well-known bands including Richter City Rebels, The Presidents of Funk and Gold Nugget Pawn Shop.

Now a finalist for Best Jazz Composition for ‘Papatūānuku’, Lauren is an active and busy member of the Los Angeles music community as an educator, performer and composer – working on scores for films and documentaries, as well as creating works commissioned for ensembles in both the United States and Aotearoa.

Darren is a Christchurch-based jazz pianist, composer, educator, modular synthesizer and session musician who is nominated for Best Jazz Composition this year for his composition ‘TA2’.

His quartet – Darren Pickering Small Worlds – focuses on Darren’s original compositions and reimagined covers of selected works from other genres. He has also recorded several solo electronic ambient works and performs with Bits of Beck, Swim Against the Tide and Wulfie.

And after being nominated for Best Jazz Composition of 2020, Myele Myzanza is once again a finalist for the award with her composition ‘Brixton Blues’. Alongside collaborators Ashley Henry, Mark de Clive-Lowe, James Copus, Benjamin Muralt, George Crowley, Myele takes us on a sonic journey of people watching on a journey around Brixton.

Anthony Healey, APRA’s New Zealand operations manager, said: “The music is exciting, fresh and reflective of everything going on in the world at the moment. These composers are each on the world stage but are strongly support the uniqueness of Aotearoa’s place in it, and we are delighted to celebrate them all.

The winners of each award will be announced live on Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 on Saturday August 13, 2022.

Finalists for Recorded Music NZ Te Kaipuoro Tautito Toa | Best Jazz Music Artist

  • Devil’s Gate Outfit – Jazz from Aotearoa Underground Nightclubs Volume 5
  • Jake Baxendale and Jasmine Lovell-Smith –
  • Myele Manzanza – Crisis and Opportunity Vol.1

APRA Best Jazz Composition Finalists

– Lauren Ellis – ‘Papatūānuku’

– Myele Manzanza – ‘Brixton Blues’

– Darren Pickering – ‘TA2’

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