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Jason Isaac's Tundra Ensemble


Drummer, Conductor & Composer Jason Isaac reunites 11 standout musicians to show Sydney what emerges when Mahler, Brahms and Debussy find their way into large-scale works written for Jazz ensemble. 


Says Jason; “This suite of music was composed during the period that I was given the opportunity of conducting professional orchestras in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program. I spent 4 years studying the masterworks of the symphonic literature and was amazed by how these composers are able to create music of such intensity and weight, yet present their ideas logically and develop them organically. I wanted to explore the depth of how a composer like Brahms can extract an entire Sonata form movement out of the distance between 2 notes; or the virtuosic way that Mahler manipulates one idea after another and connects them into such an obvious narrative. Great improvisers do this in solos – I wanted to try to extend this into the broader architecture of the pieces; to include the solos; and then to develop even further in the way that a Symphony or Suite would. I guess that’s why I need 11 musicians!” 


The music weaves and gallops through key areas; catapulted between the instrumental colours of the ensemble; with space for improvisation in, over and around the ever-changing treatment of thematic material. Three saxophones plus brass quintet will be strapped in for this eclectic writing, with a killer rhythm section to cling to. This will be a night of great music with a different angle – Jazz from a different perspective.


Drums – Jason Isaac
Piano – Greg Coffin
Bass – Peter Kolhoff
Trumpets Simon Ferenci & Matthew Collins
French horn Kara Hahn
Saxophones - James Loughnan & Nick Bowd
Trombones – Alex Silver & Mark Barnsley

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