New York’s Jazz Quartet spice up Samoan Jazz and Arts Festival

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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ANTICIPATING GOOD VIBES FOR FESTIVAL: The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet performing after their press conference Chris Byars on tenor saxophone Keith Balla on drums Ari Roland the bassist and Zaid Nasser on the alto saxophone

ANTICIPATING GOOD VIBES FOR FESTIVAL: The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet performing after their press conference Chris Byars on tenor saxophone Keith Balla on drums Ari Roland the bassist and Zaid Nasser on the alto saxophone

Jazz is classical musical that you can dance to.

This is according to the members of the internationally renowned jazz group, The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet, who arrived in Samoa on Tuesday from New York. 

The group will feature in this year’s Samoan Jazz and Arts Festival which will take place this weekend November 10th – 12th. 

Ari Roland, the jazz bassist whom the band is named after, said he was excited to receive the invitation from the U.S. embassy in Samoa to participate in this year’s Samoana Jazz and Arts festival.

“We have travelled a lot. We have played in over 60 countries and when I told the guys that we were going to Samoa, you can’t imagine how excited we are – it’s something you’ll never forget.”

Although the group is only here for a week, they hope to have the chance to collaborate with other jazz enthusiasts during the festival. 

Jazz is typically a style of music that involves a collaboration of many different styles and levels of experience which makes it very appealing to a wide range of musicians who thrive on a more creative and spontaneous approach to playing music.

The Ari Roland Jazz quartet is also looking forward to performing some classic Samoan tunes for audiences while they are here.

“We’re learning some songs from Samoa and we’re going to try and play them while we are here. We love them, they are really beautiful songs and I hope we do a great job in performing them in the festival and hopefully some people will join us.”

According to the Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival, the Quartet members learned to play under the guidance of the living legends of Jazz in New York and perform songs from the Golden Age of Jazz (1930s -1950s) and their own original compositions are celebrated by the international jazz press. 

The tour to Samoa is supported by the United States Embassy in Apia.

“The United States Embassy tries to bring at least one American musical group to Samoa once a year and when we got the chance to get a jazz quartet, we went for it,” said U.S. Embassy Apia Charge d’Affaires Tony Greubel. 

“The U.S. State Department is pleased to support the 2017 Samoana Jazz festival and very excited to be bringing a group that is as talented as the Ari Roland Jazz quartet to share this truly American art form with Samoa.”

Leading up to the jazz festival this weekend, the jazz quartet will include community performances at the L.D.S. Church college of Pesega, at Poutasi Village and there will be a meet and greet at the Home café on Thursday 6.30pm which is open to the public.

The festival will also feature other international acts such as Juice on the Loose featuring lead vocalist Petra Rhijnbeek (NZ) and Trumpeter Edwina Thorne (NZ) as well as participants from Australia, American Samoa and Samoa.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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