Thursday 29th October
@ The Venue, John St, PERTH
8pm £10 on the door or in the bar
The reigning Scottish Jazz Awards Instrumentalist of the Year, Konrad Wiszniewski brings the group he co-leads with pianist Euan Stevenson, New Focus, the second Java Music concert at The Venue on John Street on Thursday 22nd November
Cumbernauld-born Wiszniewski, who is also a regular member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, formed New Focus with Stevenson in 2011 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of saxophone legend Stan Getz’s 1961 orchestral album, Focus, and the group has since taken on a life of its own, in a variety of line-ups.
“Euan and I love to go out as a duo, still under the New Focus name. In bigger venues we’ve played concerts with a string quartet and pedal harp augmenting the jazz quartet but the duo format really lets the audience engage with the music and gives Euan and myself space to play.
Their first album, simply titled New Focus, was shortlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year award in 2012 and they have since released a follow-up, New Focus on Song, which reflected their engagement with both pop and folk music.
As well as appearing at Glasgow and Edinburgh jazz festivals, they have also played at a number of other prestigious events, including BBC Radio 3’s 70th Birthday celebrations at the South Bank in London in 2016, in a concert that was broadcast live.
Last summer they made their debut at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in Soho and in January they were invited to open a concert at Celtic Connections in Glasgow for the Cuban music legend Juan de Marcos González’s Afro-Cuban All-Stars, a spin-off from the Buena Vista Social Club.
In duo performances, as here, Wiszniewski and Stevenson have an understanding that makes the saxophone and keyboard instrumentation sound and feel like a bigger ensemble. They’ll feature music from their recently released second album, New Focus On Song, as well as its Scottish Album of the Year-shortlisted predecessor and a few refreshed jazz standards, creating superbly accessible, hauntingly memorable jazz for the 21st century.