The July edition of the Dunedin Jazz Club features Wellington bassist Umar Zakaria in trio format with George Maclaurin (piano) and Abe Baillie (drums) at Hanover Hall. Umar has considerable international experience as a composer, bandleader and bass soloist, having performed in Europe, Asia and the USA, as well as winning the Best Jazz Artist by Recorded Music New Zealand in 2018 for his album “Fearless Music”.
Umar Zakaria is visiting Dunedin in July to adjudicate the band competitions and deliver a workshop at the Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival (DYJF). His trio will be supported at the DYJF showcase concert by the winners of the Big Band and Small Combo competitions at the festival. Audiences will also be treated to a short set from the Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra, who will continue their exploration of the music of Florian Ross in 2021.
Umar is ably joined by local pianist George Maclaurin, who has recently completed a three year degree in jazz performance at the NZ School of Music, having received a number of awards for his playing and touring nationally with Umar Zakaria in 2020. Local drummer Abe Baillie is a former winner of the Best Drummer at the Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival and is currently working towards a degree in jazz performance at the NZ School of Music. The performance of the Umar Zakaria Trio at the DYJF showcase concert highlights the pathways for young jazz musicians from Dunedin and the future possibilities of their craft at a professional level.
DUNEDIN YOUTH JAZZ FESTIVAL SHOWCASE CONCERT
Saturday 31 July, Hanover Hall, 7:30pm
Featuring the Umar Zakaria Trio
Award Winning Youth Ensembles
The Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra, directed by Bill Martin
Umar Zakaria (double bass)
George Maclaurin (piano)
Abe Baillie (drums)
7:15 doors open
7:45 Winner of the Big Band Competition
8:15 Winner of the Small Combo Competition
8:30 The Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra
9:00 The Umar Zakaria Trio
Umar Zakaria is a New Zealand bassist, composer and bandleader filled with hope for the future. His music unites diverse musical traditions to inspire communication and cooperation across boundaries. In 2018 he was named Best Jazz Artist by Recorded Music New Zealand for his album ‘Fearless Music’.
He has given performances across Europe, Asia and the USA alongside Myele Manzanza, Norio Maeda, Snorre Kirk, Fabia Mantwill and Ben Wendel among others. He is a student of legendary jazz bassists Cecil McBee and Lynn Seaton as well as NZ’s own Paul Dyne, and was awarded 2nd prize at the BASS2014 International Jazz Bass Competition. Umar also represented New Zealand as one of 3 bassists selected from around the world to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program for jazz performer-composers at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, and attended the renowned Banff International Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music in 2019.
As well as performing original tunes in his own groups internationally over more than a decade of experience as a bandleader, Umar’s compositions have been heard on Radio New Zealand, at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington and in the Christchurch Town Hall. His orchestral scores were recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for the NZSO/Todd Corporation Young Composer Awards in 2008 and 2010, and were performed by the NZSO and Royal New Zealand Ballet in a collaborative concert in 2012, while his jazz orchestra arrangement of ‘E.S.P.’ by Miles Davis was recorded by the New Zealand School of Music Big Band in 2014. In 2020 he formed and directed ‘Beacons’ Jazz Orchestra in Wellington, conducting his own compositions and arrangements to a sold-out audience at their debut concert in the Wellington Jazz Festival.