Bray Jazz Festival 2024

Zoe Rahman Quintet (UK)

One of Britain’s foremost jazz pianists, Zoe Rahman’s a multi-award winning composer and band leader whose work has been recognised by a dizzying array of awards, an Ivor Novello Impact Award, MOBO Award and Mercury Prize nomination included.

Rahman’s seventh album ‘Colour of Sound’ appeared on a host of ‘best of’ 2023 listings, received a four-star review from The Guardian, and was praised by London Jazz News as “a big, rich and nuanced musical statement that stands out amongst the year’s releases.”

Rahman is joined in her high calibre quintet by two women at the forefront of UK jazz – alto sax star Camilla George and tenor player Tori Freestone – and by a rhythm section of Mark Mondesir, best known for his work in John McLaughlin’ 4th Dimension Band, and bassist Alec Dankworth, son of British jazz royalty, John Dankworth and singer Cleo Lane.

A highly individual jazz artist with Bengali roots, she is known for her powerful technique and exuberant live performances. Zoe Rahman has recorded and toured with an array of music luminaries, including singer Martha Wainwright, former Specials founder Gerry Dammers and saxophonist Courtney Pine included.

‘an outstanding bravura performance from a remarkable pianist by any standard’

The Observer

OPENING:

MEILANA GILLARD QUARTET (US/UK/IRL)

Tenor saxophonist Meilana Gillard gutsy playing recalls jazz legends Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins, as well as modern masters such as Joe Lovano. Raised in the US but now living in Derry, Gillard joined forces with drummer Kevin Brady and bassist Dave Redmond in 2019, whose ‘RGB Trio’, release was one of the Irish jazz albums of last year. As band leader here, Meilana Gillard will be joined in a quartet by the great UK guitarist Phil Robson.

‘… a gutsy, inventive player with a forceful melodic sense and an open, old-school tenor sound.’

IRISH TIMES