East of West trio plays original music that primarily draws from the rich musical influences of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. With experience in jazz and Middle Eastern classical music forms, the band’s compositional focus is on intricate melodies that tell new stories spoken over rich traditional rhythms, allowing space for open solos and improvisation. Oud, double bass and percussion blend to create a sound that will seem both strange and familiar.
Goran Gajić is an innovative and versatile musician and composer with his early musical roots in the Bosnian Alternative and Trad music scenes. He arrived in Australia in 2010 and graduated from Queensland Conservatorium as a jazz bass major in 2018. Brisbane based, he works in the jazz scene, as well as with the Queensland Music Award winning World music band Mzaza, with whom he has toured Australia and Europe. His latest project, East of West, aims to bring together traditional and jazz music influences through original compositions.
Malindi Morris is a percussionist and composer who has been working within the framework of traditional and new traditional music from the Balkans, Turkey and Iran for the last 14 years, specialising in Tapan, Darbuka and frame drums. During the last four years, she has been living in Sweden and Slovenia, studying folk music and composing for the five piece band, Lastovka, with performances at festivals such as Plavajoči Grad (Floating Castle) and other venues across Slovenia. Past projects in Australia include The Transbalkan Express, Dastan Sufi group and the Hikayat Ensemble, performing at folk and multicultural festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival, Scheherazade Festival, and the Queensland Multicultural Festival.
Philip Griffin is a musician, arranger and composer working across a wide range of styles. He has written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company; been a Young Artist for Opera Australia; directed the Fire Event Choir at Woodford Festival; played with Balkan bands including Makedonski Bop, Ssassa, Xenos and The Balkanics; toured and recorded with Ross Daly, Linsey Pollak, Frankie Armstrong and many others; created operatic roles in new opera performances; and played plucked strings with period instrument groups in New Zealand and Australia. In July 2018, he took the Senior New Zealand Ukulele Squad (a group he music directs comprising fifteen 14-17 year old musicians) to perform at the Hawaiian Ukulele Festival.
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