MAZAJ

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  • Biography

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    MAZAJ

    MAZAJ are predominately a trio of musicians who have a passionate interest in music from across the Middle East. Their repertoire is broad and varied ranging from classical instrumental compositions through to regional folk traditions and the ever popular Arabic and Turkish dance melodies of the 1940's - 1960's. They have considerable knowledge about the various genres and have many years of experience playing their respective instruments. They have been playing together since 2007 and have played at many notable venues and events. Mazaj can also provide dancers for any event if required, please enquire if you would like a dance element.

    BOOKING

    MAZAJ can be booked in the following formats:

    MAZAJ TRIO - ( Russell, Chas and Maren ) This is the main core band. You can see videos below and hear tracks in the SET LIST section. Please note the Trio can play the full set list.

    MAZAJ DUO - ( Chas and Maren ) You can see videos below and hear tracks in the SET LIST section. Please note the Duo play only some of the full set list.

    MAZAJ QUARTET - ( Russell, Chas , Maren and Jo ) For an expanded sound Jo Levine on Accordion can join the trio - You can see videos below and hear tracks in the SET LIST section. Please note the Quartet play only some of the full set list.

    To enquire about rates please CONTACT HERE

  • Band Members

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    RUSSELL HARRIS

    OUD, SAZ, REBAB, MIDDLE EASTERN PERCUSSION

    Russell has been involved in the study and performance of Middle Eastern music since the mid 1980's  - After a initial period of study in Konya,Turkey specialising in Anatolian folk traditions with Ustat Ahmet Ozdemir, a renowned player of Oud and Saz ( long necked lute ) he broadened the scope of his study to include Arabic instrumental styles, specialising in Oud and Percussion. Russell has performed extensively throughout the UK  with groups Bazigah, Taaliqa and Panacea and with a range of international artists including Adel Salameh and Naziha Azzouz. 

    MAREN LUEG

    TRADITIONAL MIDDLE EASTERN WIND INSTRUMENTS - NEY, TURKISH CLARINET, ZURNA AND SAXOPHONE, SILVER AND WOODEN FLUTES.

    Maren was born and raised in Germany and is now resident in the UK. Inspired by the sounds she heard from the Turkish and East European communities. She began studying these styles as well as Jazz, Blues and Latin on the saxophone and flute. She performs regularly with British and Middle Eastern musicians around the UK and has studied such traditional Middle Eastern wind instruments as the Nay (bamboo flute) and Zurna (double reed pipe) in Turkey and Egypt. She has a Masters on the Nay at the London School of African and Oriental Studies.

    CHAS WHITAKER

    DARABUKA / DOUF / RIQ / ZILLS.

    Chas has been playing Middle Eastern and North African percussion for over 25 years. Predominately self-taught he has travelled extensively across Egypt, Turkey and Morocco where he also studied.

    CARMEN JONES

    MIDDLE EASTERN DANCE.

    Carmen began her love affair with Arabic dance in the early 1990's. In that time she has acquired knowledge from many great teachers along the way from far and wide. She now shares her joy and experience of the dance with audiences and students nationwide; from the bright lights of a theatre to the grassy fields of a festival, Carmen takes much pleasure in celebrating the occasion with you through her dance.

  • Set List

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    Please find below the list of songs we play as the Mazaj Trio, they are divided into Arabic and Turkish sections. On the left are the names of the songs and any which are coloured RED please click on to see a video clip of the band playing that particular song. Any song in GOLD can be played in the mp3 player on the right hand side. Any track in silver indicates we have not recorded this song yet.

    TURKISH

    ÇEÇEN KIZI
    CHIFTITELLI
    GUNES TOPLA BENIM ICI
    HICAZ ILLAHI
    HICAZ MANDRA
    HÜSEYNI ILAHI
    KADIFEDEN KESESI
    NIHAVENT OYUN HAVASI
    RAMPI RAMPI - ÇADIRIMIN ÜSTÜNE
    SEBASDIA BAR
    SISELER
    TELGRAFIN TELLERINE
    USKUDARA GIDERIKEN

  • Past Events

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    MAZAJ have played at many notable events, here are some selected highlights:

    MAZAJ TRIO:

    FESTIVALS

    GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL - Avalon Cafe Stage, Tadpole Stage, Mandala Stage, Small World Stage, Ancient Futures Stage, West Holts Backstage Stage. Clapped Out Stage. - 2007, 2010.
    WOMAD - Supporting Chas and Carmen's Introduction To Arabic Drumming and Dance Workshops - 2009 - 2012.
    BIG GREEN GATHERING - Small World Stage - 2007.
    BATH FRINGE FESTIVAL -2009, 2010 and 2012.
    EXETER RESPECT FESTIVAL - Main Stage, Big Top - 2010.
    MIDDLE EASTERN MUSIC, DRUM & DANCE FESTIVAL - 2009 - 2012.
    BATH FOLK FESTIVAL - 2012.
    AEON FESTIVAL - 2010.
    FROME FESTIVAL - Cafe La Strada -2009.
    LEAMINGTON PEACE FESTIVAL - 2007, 2011.
    KINGSTON GREEN FAYRE - 2008.
    MIDDLE EASTERN FESTIVAL - Findhorn - 2007.
    TRIBE OF DORIS - Intercultural Summer School -2010.

    UNIVERSITIES

    EXETER UNIVERSITY - Arabic Society Cultural Event - 2009.
    OXFORD UNIVERSITY UNION BALL - 2008.
    OXFORD BROOKES STUDENT UNION ARABIAN NIGHT - 2008.
    OXFORD UNIVERSITY CASABLANCA BALL - 2010.

    OTHERS


    BRADFORD AND BINGLEY AWARDS CEREMONY - Elstree Film Studios - 2008.
    BRADFORD AND BINGLEY AWARDS CEREMONY - Bradford - 2008 .
    ELECTROSTATIC Dreams From The East - Colston Hall, Bristol - 2011.
    PRIVATE EVENT - Royal Institute Of Charted Surveyors - 2011.
    CLUB CAIRO - Bath - 2010, 2012.
    BIKE SHED - Exeter - 2012.

    INTERNATIONAL

    NORWAY - BERGENFEST - Festivalbaren, Hotel Norge Nedre Ole Bulls plass 4,, Bergen, Hordaland - 2010.

    "One of the most exciting and exotic parts of Bergenfest ever: Mazaj, who were guests during Friday PILS! "
    Official Festival Review.
    .Photo: Jørn Gjersøe / NRK

    MAZAJ DUO:

    FESTIVALS


    GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL - MAZAJ DUO and Carmen performed live for a live broadcast on BBC 2 - 2008. With Phil Jupitus and Lauren Leverne. You can watch it HERE.
    GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL - Tadpole Stage -2008.
    DRUM CAMP - 2006 - 2012. TRIBE OF DORIS - Intercultural Summer School - 2006 - 2011.
    THE BIG CHILL - 2009.
    BATH FRINGE FESTIVAL With El Uzza Dance Co. - 2007
    MAJMA - Middle Eastern Dance Festival - Glastonbury - 2007.
    SCIROCCO DANCE FESTIVAL - With Karine Butchard - 2009.
    BEST OF THE WEST DANCE SPECTACULAR. Bristol - 2007.
    AVALONCAN - Glastonbury - 100 Monkeys - 2007.
    HOPFEST - 2012.
    ROYAL OAK FESTIVAL - 2008.

    OTHERS


    PLANET EGYPT - London - 2009.
    ORIENTAL DESTINY THEATRE PRODUCTION - Kingswood Theatre - Bath - 2008.
    CHESTER ROMAN RE-ENACTMENT FESTIVAL - 2009 - 2012.
    ORIENTAL RUGS OF BATH - Residency - 2012 - 2013.
    NEWTON MILL CAMPSITE RESIDENCY - April to Oct. 2011.
    SECRET WORLD ARABIAN BALL - 2010.
    OXFORD REGENTS COLLAGE - 2009.
    CAMDEN LOCK MARKET - Performance Walkabout - 2007.

    INTERNATIONAL

    GERMANY - Liquid Sound Festival -2012.
    IBIZA. Mazaj Duo and Carmen with Yaron Marko and Nur Banu.. - Namaste Club, Las Dalios Hippy Market, San Carlos, Sant Eulalia,- Kumaharas Restaurant, On The Beach Reastaurant, Cala San Vicente. 2011, 2012.
    TURKEY - Butterfly Valley, Uzunyurt. 2009.
    GERMANY - Hagen -Dreifaltigkeits Kirche, Cafe Dialog, -2010 - 2011.

    SOME FLYERS FROM PREVIOUS EVENTS
    Use arrows to scroll through and click any image to enlarge.

MAZAJ VIDEOS

To see videos for either the Trio, Duo or Quartet please click on the YouTube playlists below. Please click on the "Playlist" icon to navigate and don't forget to set the video quality to the best possible as most of these videos are in HD.