Following in the footsteps of UK jazz heavyweights, London-based, Berklee-trained drummer/composer and Jazz FM’s Breakthrough Act of last year, Jas Kayser unveils her much anticipated debut album this April 2022, for Jazz Re:Freshed’s iconic 5ive series.
Over three short years, the trajectory of 26-year old, Dorset-raised Kayser has been quietly exponential. She has performed in bands led by a who’s who of leading UK talent, from Alfa Mist, Poppy Ajudha, Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings, to Jorja Smith, and has presented her band at Boiler Room Festival and at this year’s SXSW Festival. Even Lenny Kravitz invited her to perform a drum duet and cameo in one of his music videos.
But it’s Jas’s latest solo work, packed with a suitcase full of influences ranging from Michael Olatuja, Richard Bona, Terri Lyne Carrington to Chris Dave and Pedrito Martinez, that provides the most detailed account of her complete abilities as drummer, bandleader and composer.
Expanding on the strong West African foundation of her Fela-inspired, 2020 three-track EP, Unforced Rhythm Of Grace, Jas’s 5ive deduces the similarities between afrobeat and jazz, with a technical precision and social/cultural framing unique and unlike much to have come before. Its mellow, pop-infused production, and catchy arrangements echo the many hours Jas has spent with the UK’s latest chart-bound talent.
Meditative jazz arrangements, finessed afrobeat fusions, and energising studio production, Jas’s 5ive reveals a glimpse into the future of one of UK’s most exciting young artists/instrumentalists. As ruminating as it is danceable, this new album offers a sincere and candid reflection on themes of identity, self-discovery and family, exploring Jas’ dual heritage during time spent in the US, Panama & UK, and posing questions surrounding migration, tolerance and identity.
Whether it’s drum theory or the social function of art, talking with Jas, you sense how resolute and clear she is in her musical vision, and where her future is focused. Outside of releasing albums and touring, Jas is focused on shifting perceptions around women in jazz, citing underrepresentation amongst other factors as to why there are so few female drummers working in music today.
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