Lucien Johnson iconoclastic musical style is distinctive for its defiance of genre categorisation. Although rooted in free Jazz of 60’s and 70’s, through European Free improvisation scene to research into various African musical genres.
Lucien is an award winning musician who has been described as “a saxophonist and composer of rare excellence and mettle” (Wellington Jazz Festival), as “a miraculous musician” (Radio NZ) and as “a composer and arranger of supreme skill” (Dominion Post).
He is joined in this quartet by some of New Zealand’s finest musicians: celebrated pianist Jonathan Crayford; and Tom Callwood, eminent double bassist for groups such as The Phoenix Foundation and Little Bushman; and rising star Cory Champion on the drums.
The Quartet will perform original compositions from Lucien’s 2017 album West of the Sun (nominated for a Tui award for Jazz Artist of the Year) as well as new material from his upcoming album Kairangi. The music is reflective of some of the places that he has lived in and travelled to: France, Haiti, Ethiopia and of course, some reflections on our own wonderful country and musical heritage.
Included in the set are two traditional waiata which Lucien will reinterpret. As a recent recipient of the Harriet Friedlander Residency he has returned from New York for the tour and looks forward to sharing how this experience has influences the music!