James Muller teams up with Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra

James Muller Jazzgroove Mothership OrchestraOne of Australia’s most celebrated musicians, guitarist/composer James Muller teams up with Australia’s leading jazz orchestra, the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (JMO) for an exciting new collaboration.

Following their sold-out show at the Sydney Festival earlier this year, the Sydney-based JMO is embarking on an East Coast Australian tour with Muller this November, delivering a new program that promotes new Australian music played by cutting edge Australian musicians in collaboration with one of the worlds leading arrangers, Florian Ross.

Since its inception in 2003, the ARIA nominated and 2012 Australian Jazz Award winning Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra (JMO) has gained a reputation as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative independent jazz orchestras. ‘The Mothership’ represents many of Australia’s finest young improvisers and beams out a supernova of energy and sound. The JMO is on a mission to blur the boundaries between jazz, rock, classical delivered through the dynamic context of a jazz orchestra.

The collaboration between JMO, James Muller and Florian Ross has been a long time in the making. During September 2006 James Muller was playing guitar in the Mothership Orchestra during their first national tour. This tour featured German pianist & composer, Florian Ross.

Florian and James hit it off personally and musically so the discussions began about the Mothership one day commissioning an extended work that featured Muller. It taken almost 10 years to come to fruition but its been worth the wait as the new program promises to be spectacular.

There is also a long history between Muller and David Theak, JMO’s Musical Director – they have made 5 CD’s together, toured Europe twice and Australia 3 times and used to be neighbours in Sydney in the late 90s.

“It is with a great feeling of excitement that the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra is able to develop a collaboration of such innovation combining one of Australia’s most incredible improvisors, James Muller alongside one of with worlds most innovative jazz ensemble composers, Florian Ross,” says David Theak.

“The past 12 years have delivered an incredibly diverse range of musical experiences as we’ve developed the Mothership from a ‘dream’ into Australia’s most internationally recognised jazz orchestra.”

David Theak has been a tireless and powerful advocate for large ensemble jazz in Australia through his work with JMO, as a teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium and as guest artist with the West Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra. Theak created the ‘Mothership’ as a young member of Sydney’s Jazzgroove scene and is now mentor to scores of emerging musicians nationally and internationally.

Guitarist James Muller is one of the most exciting and innovative musicians on the Australian music scene today. His distinctive sound, coupled with masterful improvisation and breathtaking virtuosity, has made him one of the most respected and most significant young musicians in the country. Born in Adelaide in 1974, James began teaching himself the guitar at age 12.

James has recorded three critically acclaimed albums under his own name and made multiple tours to Europe, Asia and the US to critical acclaim. Few people have lit up the Australian music scene so brightly and so quickly. Muller is the recipient of numerous accolades including the coveted ARIA award, the highest acknowledgement in the Australian recording industry.

Always exciting, dynamic and highly original, the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra continues to push the boundaries of new Australian music through collaborations and performances with international musicians such as Maria Schneider, Miguel Zenon, Chris Potter, Darcy James Argue, and Maria Schneider. Their celebratory 10th anniversary in 2013 was a tour-de-force and their  sold-out concert at the Sydney Festival was received enthusiastically by the public and critics alike.

Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra featuring James Muller will play the following dates: The Street Theatre, Canberra (4 November); The Basement, Sydney (8 November); Brisbane Powerhouse (13 November); Unorthodox Church of Groove, Newcastle (26 November); and Bruce Gordon Theatre IPAC, Wollongong (27 November). For more information, visit: www.mothershiporchestra.com for details.

Image: James Muller