Curious Paradise

Curious Paradise, a British band that explores the interplay between strong melodic-based compositions, improvisation and deeply satisfying grooves is unique. This programme features five of the UK’s most acclaimed jazz musicians. However, it is not intended for jazz connoisseurs. It is 21st-century music that is of great appeal to anyone with an open mind. Curious Paradise’s third album, “Now!,” is a continuation of the musical concept that was captured on English Elements Live! This album, like the last, was masterfully recorded and mixed by Adrian Zolotuhin, allowing listeners to absorb the rich, varied, and groovesome sounds the band has created. Curious Paradise was founded in September 2003. It has had a lot of success. The band has recorded 2 CDs and 1 DVD in a year. They have also toured the UK, including the May/June 2004 Arts Council of England tour. There have been numerous broadcasts on BBC Radio and appearances at festivals. The group’s first album, titled ‘Curious Paradise,’ was recorded in September 2003. This was before any gigs had taken place. With the intent of creating a new sound for the group, I had written the material with a cohesive theme throughout. “… In retrospect, I can see how my stubborn optimism obscured any notions that this might have been a strange way to go about things: Most bands tour their material thoroughly before committing the material to disc. However, the plan worked and the album received genuine critical acclaim (see the reviews page). After Curious Paradise’s debut tour (Nov ’03), I decided to change the personnel and bring in Steve Hamilton (see links), and Steve Watts (see pages). The group was awarded an Arts Council of England award for supporting a large UK tour in May/June ’04. The album and DVD English Elements (Live!) were recorded during this tour. The album and DVD English Elements (Live!) were recorded during this tour. Despite the huge success of “English Elements (Live! Steve Watts and Steve Hamilton were both unable to tour with us after the album’s release. It was a great blessing to be able replace them with Phil Peskett, the brilliant and inventive pianist and keyboardist, and Oli Hayhurst, the bassist. These two players are perfectly in tune with the group’s concept. Mark Lockheart quit the group following the 5th UK tour 2005. This was due to increasing commitments with Polar Bear. Mark is an exceptional player, with his own sound and approach. There was only one person I could think that would fill the vacancy – in his own manner. Julian Nicholas was the perfect replacement for He proved to be a great player from the very first rehearsal.

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