Deceptive simplicity - Regional News | Connecting Wellington
 Issue 173

Deceptive simplicity by Harry Bartle

Jazz fans are in for an absolute treat when the Lucien Johnson Quartet takes centre stage at St Peter’s Village Hall in Paekākāriki on the 19th of June. Described by French radio network France Musique as “bewitching and astonishing”, the quartet will be fronted by Wellington-born, multi-award-winning composer and saxophonist Lucien Johnson. Joined by a powerhouse of Kiwi musical talent, this is one jazz fans won’t want to miss. 

“The style of jazz I play has been called either astral jazz or spiritual jazz”, Johnson says. “I try to make music that conveys a sense of wonder. It’s nocturnal music. My quartet are all virtuosos but they play with the utmost sensitivity. That’s why I like playing with them.”

These virtuosos are Kiwi jazz great Jonathan Crayford (piano), bassist for the Phoenix Foundation Tom Callwood, and local up-and-comer Cory Champion (drums). Having lived and played in Paris and New York for several years, the already-talented Johnson has now infused global cultural influences into his sublime musical mind. Winner of Best Jazz Composition at the 2021 Aotearoa Music Awards, his resumé truly speaks for itself.

“Audiences can expect to hear and see some music that’s out of the ordinary. It’s instrumental, contemporary jazz which has a deft and deceptive simplicity, a heady mix of passion and poise.”

With Aotearoa’s jazz elite coming together to deliver a show full of mesmerising tunes, join Johnson and his quartet for an unforgettable music experience.

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