Shez Raja, Gurutopia
Featuring Jazz Legends Randy Brecker and Mike Stern
“He personifies the modernization of jazz,…. Though personally seeking a path of self- expression and awareness, Raja is fearless as a musician, therefore, his music should be played at optimum volume levels for greater appreciation.” – James Nadal, All About Jazz
We are pleased to announce the release of Shez Raja’s highly anticipated all-star album Gurutopia. Featuring the cream of the British jazz scene as well as global jazz legends, Mike Stern and Randy Brecker, the recording captures the raw energy of the band’s spectacular live show – a sonic kaleidoscope of Indo-jazz, thundering funk, tuneful ragas and euphoric grooves.
Raja, a dynamic electric bass virtuoso and groove aficionado, with his band the Shez Raja Collective has previously released four highly-acclaimed albums, as well as performed headline dates across the UK and festival appearances around the globe, amassing a dedicated following and forging a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts on the scene today.
“Collaborating with Randy and Mike has been an incredible and enlightening experience. I’m so grateful for the passion and sensitivity that they’ve so generously contributed to this album.” said Raja. “This recording represents a major milestone on my journey as a musician and I’m overjoyed with what we’ve created together as a band.”
Shez Raja was born to an Indian father and English mother in Liverpool, England. Classically trained on the violin from the age of 9, he traded the instrument in for the electric bass aged 13 and hasn’t looked back since. Educated at Leeds College of Music, Raja toured the UK with groups such as Elephant Talk and Loka (signed to renowned label Ninja Tune), before becoming a highly sought after session musician, touring with platinum selling hip-hop artist MC Lyte.
Shez regularly collaborates with many of the stars of the UK and international jazz world including John Etheridge, Gilad Atzmon, Denys Baptiste, Oren Marshall and Arun Ghosh. The new record follows hot on the heels of live release Soho Live (ft Soweto Kinch, Shabaka Hutchings and Jay Phelps) and studio album Mystic Radikal (ft Andy Sheppard, Monika Lidke and Claude Deppa), both released on 33 Jazz Records.