Hailing from Boulder, CO, with a career that now spans nine albums over nearly a quarter of a century – Lao Tizer was a teenage prodigy. He is the son of hippies with a Russian-Jewish background, and the mix of that ethnic family heritage, parental new age influence and growing up with the sights and sounds of ’80s and ’90s pop culture (alongside the music of the ’60s and ’70s he heard from his parents) have brought him to a place in his artistic life where he was ready to embrace a wider range of influences.
The evolution of the Lao Tizer Band is revealed joyously in their new album, Songs From The Swinghouse. Now incorporating a vocalist into the recording and touring band, the road ahead is enthralling to the group’s founder. “I spent my whole life writing instrumental music, and now I’m working on original material for the group including vocals.” Ultimately, Lao Tizer eschews being formulaic. “I try and just stay true to my muse and to use every bit of my facility to create great music that hopefully has its own voice and continues to evolve as I continue to evolve as a person. It’s very reflective of me, it’s all I’ve done all my life.”
Award-winning instrumentalist extraordinaire, composer, instructor and global performer, Nachito has been exciting audiences from around the world for decades. “Nachito has always been an artist I’ve wanted to perform at JazzFest…we’re really happy to have him! Special thanks to Ordway Center for the Performing Arts for their support in making Nachito’s performance a reality.”
Back in Africa, Siama Matuzungidi recorded his signature Congolese guitar on hundreds of songs and toured the world with popular soukous artists. Now based in Minneapolis, Siama’s known for his intricate guitar, spirited vocals, entrancing mbira, catchy songs and for his collaborations with accomplished musicians of many genres. For their JazzFest performance, Siama has assembled a lush jazz-funk band as he gets attendees to journey to his beloved rural Congo and beyond.