“A tailor-made festival band with a unique identity”
— The Guardian
“Vivid and highly engaging” – BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
“Shez Raja personifies the modernisation of jazz. He is fearless as a musician” – All About Jazz ★★★★+
Voted one of the ‘hottest bass players in the world’ by readers of Bass Player magazine, Shez Raja is renowned for his high energy live shows, unique Indojazzfunk sound and global star collaborations with Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Trilok Gurtu and Wayne Krantz.
His band's live show is an eclectic headcharge of raw energy, always leaving audiences uplifted, inspired and asking for more! Following spectacular performances at leading UK venues including Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz Cafe as well as major international festivals from Russia to New Zealand, Shez and his band have amassed a devoted following and forged a reputation as one of the most entertaining live acts on the scene today.
For his latest release Tales from the Punjab (Ubuntu Music), Shez digs deep into his rich South Asian heritage to create his most exquisite and heartfelt album to date, recorded whilst on an adventure to the Punjab to immerse himself in the musical culture of his roots.
Prior to this, Shez released highly anticipated album Journey to Shambhala inspired by his self-composed tale of a young man’s adventure to discover the mystical city of Shambhala. The album recording saw award-winning Indian percussion guru Trilok Gurtu and US guitar genius Wayne Krantz joining Shez on his journey.
The last five years have been a turning point for Raja – from the release of the critically-acclaimed album Gurutopia (on US label Dot Time Records) featuring global jazz legends Mike Stern and Randy Brecker, an ‘Inside The Mind’ feature on BBC Radio 3‘s Jazz Line-Up, to performing at the Royal Festival Hall for EFG London Jazz Festival and to a capacity crowd at Islington Assembly Hall in London.
Shez regularly collaborates with stars of the British and international jazz world. Stellar line-ups on his albums and live shows also include John Etheridge, Dennis Rollins and Arun Ghosh.
Previous releases include the vibrant live album Soho Live (33 Jazz), featuring Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings and studio album Mystic Radikal featuring Andy Sheppard.
The varied line-ups create fascinating musical interactions, keeping the music both exciting and fresh so that each live show is different.
Inspired by travels with his father to the Punjab region of the Indian sub-continent as a boy, Shez merges his rich musical heritage with a hugely diverse playing experience to create dynamic and passionate music that blends East with West.