ZOE SCHWARZ & ROB KORAL JAZZ & BLUES
Zoe Schwarz and Rob Koral are well known for their very popular and established band Blue Commotion; which, for the past five years has been one of the leading lights on the British Blues scene.
What some people may not be aware of is that they are equally at home in the more intimate duo format. Far from finding this stripped back line-up limiting, it is in fact very liberating in the hands of such consummate performers; and enables the audience to get to the very heart, and essence of their music.
Expect a mix of classic blues standards, some originals, plus few surprises all delivered with style and flair. The communication between these two fine musicians will be evident for all to hear as one might expect after fourteen years of intense gigging together.
Here are a couple of examples: Perfect day by Lou Reed, performed live by Zoe and Rob at Coolham live music club.
"Eye catching vocals meet sumptuous guitar”- Guitarist Magazine
"Schwarz takes all that is good from Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday and makes it uniquely her own... together they create an edgy intimacy and bittersweet melancholy all delivered with an expert flair while still possessing the wild hair necessary for true authenticity." – C.M. Bailey AAJ USA
Zoë was classically trained and a graduate in the ‘Performing Arts’ from Trent Park, Middlesex University.Zoë then performed in many guises over the following years, mostly in modern improvisational and classical music; including working with Keith Tippet, Scott Stromen, Harrison Birtwistle and Emma Kirkby.It soon became clear that her forte was far more suited to blues, expressive ballads and jazz.
Although from a self-taught, blues background, Rob made his name on the British jazz scene having performed with the likes of Jim Mullen, Django Bates, Bill Bruford, Tim Garland and many more.
As a duo, Zoe and Rob perform popular songs from the Great American songbook, from vibrant swinging standards, to smouldering Billie Holiday-esque bluesy ballads that have become Zoë’s trade mark.They zip effortlessly through any breakneck Beebop tune, then ease into a laid back funky groove, to a low down ‘n dirty blues... all backed simply by Rob's stylish and unmistakable touch and flow on guitar which provides the perfect vehicle for Zoe's yearning, passionate and commanding vocal style.
Their jazz performances also augments to trio, quartet, quintet etc., the stylish and unmistakable combination of Zoe and Rob cherry pick established jazz musicians to stamp their personality on not only Jazz standards, but blues flavoured tunes delving as far back as Willie Dixon, Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters, but always keeping a jazz sensibility; and then reaching forward with some originals penned by Zoë and Rob... expect subtlety and raunchiness side by side!The music occupies that interesting place where jazz meets blues, or is that where blues meets jazz!
These past dozen years Zoë and Rob’s musical partnership has made a considerable impact on the national jazz and blues scene. With past performances including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express-Dean Street, The 606, The Lighthouse-Poole, The Stables-Wavendon, and most of the flagship jazz and blues club venues and festivals in the UK.
Their CDs have received rave reviews and ‘air-time’ on the national airwaves, including several appearances on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-up, Jazz Record Requests, BBC Radio 2’s The Russell Davis show, and the Paul Jones Rhythm and Blues show.... Plus a feature broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Great Escapes.
Since 2012 Zoe and Rob have also come right to the fore of the British Blues Scene with their contemporary blues band ‘Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion, picking up a series of awards and nominations, including runner-Up for Zoe in the 2014 British Blues Awards, and further nominations in 2015 including Best Band.Their exciting live set is based around the band's rootsy originals; featuring strong catchy riffs, interesting arrangements and exciting grooves.