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Saturday, January 16, 2021
Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts

Stuart returns jazzed up

The number of artistically gifted Canberrans who spread their wings and flourish in their fields to global acclaim is remarkable.

A musician who without doubt fits that mould is Canberra-born, Paris-based jazz guitarist Alex Stuart, who will bring his quintet to Canberra for the first time later this month.

Over the last 13 years Stuart has spent in Paris, he has released three critically acclaimed albums and has performed with his group at countless festivals and venues around the world.

His national tour coincides with the release of his fourth album, Aftermath.

Stuart said his time in the city of love, renowned for its thriving world music scene, has influenced his sound significantly.

“Thanks to my time there I’ve been able to collaborate with wonderful musicians from France, of course, but also from India, Congo, Haiti, Congo, Cameroun, Cuba and Brazil.”

He described his sound as cross-cultural music that tries to dissolve boundaries.

“There are elements of jazz, obviously, but also rock, some of the world’s traditional music, minimalist music, pop and groove.

“I check out a lot of different music and I’ve also played in many different groups from different cultural horizons whether that be jazz, Hindusthani music, Camerounian music, post rock, etc.

“When I compose, I try to let the different influences come together organically within my own voice. It’s a fairly natural process.”

Stuart said he’s excited to perform in his hometown again, adding that Canberra was a great place to grow up, particularly for its blend of city life and natural lifestyle.

“I have great memories of being able to pop away on the weekends to the Brindabellas for a bushwalk, a trout fishing expedition or even cross-country skiing.”

He said his time studying guitar at the ANU School of Music was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

“It was such a huge pool of talent and the teachers were amazing. At the time I was there, there was a great spirit of emulation,” he said.

The Alex Stuart Quintet will perform Aftermath at The Street Theatre on Saturday 20 October 8pm; thestreet.org.au

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