Justin Orok (Guitar) and Zakari Frantz (Saxophone)

Guitar and sax duo at Gaia Java this Friday

Gaia Java welcomes Justin Orok (Guitar) and Zakari Frantz (Saxophone) for a music night on January 2.

Regulars of Gaia Java will know both of these excellent musicians, each of whom has appeared in other ensemble configurations over the recent months.

In fact Justin was one of our inaugural artists, helping to kickoff the very idea of having a music night several years ago. I recall that back then his duo would play a few songs, have a break, and then play the same songs again (they were in the process of building up their repertoire!)

Things have evolved substantially since those days, and as well as jazz standards we hear lesser-known pieces and originals when Justin is playing. He has now migrated south to the sunny climes of Humber College in Toronto, which is a mecca for talented jazz youngsters from the Ottawa area – many of our ‘Gaia Java alumni’ are now gathered there, learning from some amazing mentors. I am delighted to have an opportunity to hear Justin’s well-constructed guitar style again, and particularly look forward to hearing how he connects with a gifted sax player.

Zakari Frantz has also graced us previously with his very interesting and enjoyable sax style. Although originally from Idaho, Zak is based around the Ottawa region where he hosts a Monday night jazz evening at Le Petit Chicago in Gatineau. He teaches at the Bells Corners Academy of Music as well as Shine Academy, and performs locally in a variety of ensemble configurations.

Zak has been very involved with the Souljazz Orchestra, and in 2013 they earned a second JUNO nomination for ‘World Music Album of the Year’. The band has just completed its 6th full-length album. Zak’s styles range from Jazz/Afro/Soul to Funk and Latin, and we can expect some very informed improvisation when his brain connects with Justin’s this coming Friday. Make time to come and hear the blending of these two talents as they help us kickoff the New Year in style.

We are closed New Year’s Day, but look forward to greeting you with optimistic wishes for another twelve months, so please drop by on Friday and come and hear this great music!


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