Friday 6th April 2018
- Saturday 7th April 2018
£20.00 - £50.00
OMAR HAKIM drums, RACHEL Z piano/keys, LINLEY MARTHE bass, KURT ROSENWINKEL guitar
Legendary drummer Omar Hakim from Weather Report, Sting, Miles Davis and David Bowie has teamed up with pianist extraordinaire Rachel Z; whose work with such artists as Wayne Shorter, Steps Ahead, and Peter Gabriel has earned her international recognition and acclaim from her peers and fans alike.
Following years of successful touring and recording as “The Trio of OZ”, master drummer Omar Hakim and critically acclaimed, Grammy winning keyboardist/pianist Rachel Z, embark upon a new project and dive into new territory on a project named the "OZ Experience". The OZ Experience is a groove centered, spontaneous compositional project, enlisting exciting new (and old) musical partners.
First to join the band is electric bassist Linley Marthe (from Mauritius) who was a member of the “Joe Zawinul Syndicate” for the last 5 years of the legendary keyboardists & bandleaders life. On guitar will be Kurt Rosenwinkel (USA) who is, simply put, the guitar voice of a generation.
Other friends and special guests from Omar & Rachel's storied 30+ years of touring and recording may join them on stage from time to time, allowing them to build on the magic that comes from the experience of performing with such legendary names as Weather Report, Miles Davis, David Bowie, Wayne Shorter, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Daft Punk - and many, many others - may join them on stage from time to time. Each night & combination will take the OZ Experience to a new place.
Omar Hakim (The Chair of the Percussion Department at Berklee College of Music) is endorsed by: Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth, Roland, QSC, Earthworks Microphones and Evans Drum heads and Rachel Z is endorsed by Roland Keyboards, Fazioli Pianos, QSC, Earthworks and Ableton Live.
Widely acclaimed for his versatility, technological prowess and groove, Omar Hakim is one of the most successful drummers and session men of the past thirty-five years. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Miles Davis to Madonna, and has left his imprint on hundreds recordings including several under his own name.
Born in New York City to a musical family, Omar began playing the drums at age 5. At the age of ten, he was performing publicly with his father Hasan Hakim, a trombone veteran of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie bands. His father‘s friendship with John Coltrane enabled young Omar to spend time with Elvin Jones and Art Blakey. And at age 11 he studied with (then Count Basie big band drummer and master technician) Clyde Lucas. This expertise in the Jazz tradition is what attracted band leader Mike Manieri to hire Omar and Music & Art HS classmate and future bass star, Marcus Miller for the Band Steps Ahead in 1980.
He went on to record and tour with Gil Evans Big Band, David Sanborn, Patti Labelle and many others. Soon after, he filled in for a tour of the groundbreaking fusion band “Weather Report”, a job he would keep permanently until the band‘s breakup in 1985. In addition to the three albums he recorded with Weather Report, he also landed a gig playing on David Bowie‘s 1983 return to the American pop charts, “Let‘s Dance”.
His early successes led to many more high profile engagements and by the end of the 1980s, Omar had performed on landmark recordings with artists such as Miles Davis (Tutu, Music from Siesta), Dire Straits (Brother in Arms, Money for Nothing) and Sting (Dream of the Blue Turtles, and the popular “Rockumentary” movie Bring on the Night). His drum solo in Sting‘s movie on the song “I Burn For You” is considered by many fans and critics alike to be one of the greatest drum solos to be documented on film. It was a powerful and virtuosic jazz drum solo in the middle of a rock show that took fans by surprise and excited them to respond with standing ovations every night of the tour.
Building on these successes, in 1989 he even found time to produce and release his first solo album, Rhythm Deep, which earned him his first Grammy nomination. In the Nineties he toured with Lionel Ritchie and International Pop Superstar Madonna for 8 years. He was also a founding member of the Jazz Super Band “Urban Knights” along with Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington Jr. and bassist Victor Bailey. The band featured his songwriting and vocal skills.
Omar was also exploring the latest advances in electronic drums and keeping up with the newest recording and percussion technologies. He was so excited about the Roland Musical Instruments Co. development of the “V-Drums” that he became the first international spokesman and adopter of that technology. His versatility put him in even greater demand, and his eclectic interests kept him busy in the pop, jazz, rock, fusion and R&B worlds.
Using V-Drums with Madonna on one hand and recording and performing on acoustic drums with Hank Jones Great Jazz Trio, he further established himself as a major innovator on his instrument.
Omar has collaborated with dozens of prominent artists including George Benson, Lionel Richie, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Urban Knight‘s, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Jewel, J-Lo, D‘Angelo, Mariah Carey, and Madonna to name a few.
Manhattan-born and raised Rachel Nicolazzo (aka Rachel Z) had music practically ingrained in her genetic code. Groomed to follow in her mother‘s operatic footsteps, she began voice lessons at two, started classical piano lessons at seven and attended the opera by age nine. “My first dollhouse was a Metropolitan Opera House complete with the stage and dolls which were the performers,” she recalls. “Then I heard Miles Smiles when I was 15, started rebelling against the classical by improvising, and played with a band that covered Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan songs.”
Listening to Herbie Hancock‘s harmonies over Wayne Shorter‘s compositions helped her bridge the gap from her classical training to jazz.”The way my jazz chops developed was twofold. I developed acoustic straight ahead and electronic fusion playing equally over time,” she says. After launching a quintet called Nardis, she studied with Joanne Brackeen and Richie Beirach.
Rachel Z graduated from the New England Conservatory with a ‘Distinction in Performance‘ award while working professionally in the Boston area with performers like Bob Moses, Miroslav Vitous and George Garzone. Returning to New York in 1988, she toured with New England Conservatory schoolmate turned rhythm & jazz superstar saxman Najee and later co-wrote album Tokyo Blue. While performing and recording steadily with the classic fusion band Steps Ahead from 1988 through 1996, she also worked with Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, Special EFX, and Angela Bofill, and began a fruitful association with producer/vibraphonist Mike Mainieri. Mainieri produced her Columbia Records debut Trust the Universe in 1993. Reflecting the influence of Corea, Hancock, and even Pat Metheny, the CD featured the jazz radio hit “Nardis.”
Her connection to saxophone great Wayne Shorter grew from major influence to full-blown collaborator over the two years she worked on his hit comeback album High Life, for which she built a synthesized orchestral framework to crystallize his musical vision. Rachel Z also played acoustic piano on the album and was musical director for the tour that followed. The CD won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. 1996 also saw the release of her NYC Records debut A Room of One‘s Own, which she dedicated to the many women artists who have played an influential role in her life. Two years later Rachel released an album on GRP, Love is the Power, an album that featured hip-hop grooves with melodic piano flourishes and poems about the search for eternal love and wisdom through music.
Rachel returned to acoustic music, in an all-female trio setting, with On the Milky Way Express, her well-received tribute to Wayne Shorter, in 2000.
Tell us what you think of Omar Hakim & Rachel Z OZ Experience feat. Linley Marthe & Kurt Rosenwinkel below..