American Jazz Quartet visits Kazakhstan

November 2. U.S. Embassy to Kazakhstan

American Jazz Quartet visits KazakhstanFrom November 5 – November 13, the Ari Roland Jazz Quartet, a group of American jazz musicians, will be touring through Kazakhstan.  The visit and performances of the American jazz quartet are sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan.  Performances will be held in the cities of Aktau, Karaganda and Astana.

The concerts will take place:

in Aktau – on November 6 at the Zhantorin Regional Music and Drama Theater at 7 P.M;

in Karaganda – on November 8 at Shalkyma Concert Hall (7 Kostenko Str.) at 7 P.M.;

in Astana – on November 10 at Tilep Kobyz Saray (18 Kerey and Zhanybek Street) at 5 P.M.

The Ari Roland Jazz Quartet includes Alexander Hoffman (tenor saxophone), Zaid Nasser (alto saxophone), and Keith Balla (drums). Kazakhstani music students will have an opportunity to learn more about the band and jazz music during master classes that Ari Roland Jazz Quartet will give in Aktau, Karaganda and Astana. 

Ari Roland was born in Greenwich Village, New York City.  He was trained at the Juilliard School.  He has worked with many of the most significant names in jazz, including Barry Harris, Betty Carter, and Lou Donaldson, and has also accompanied Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Marcus Roberts and Harry Connick, Jr. In the last two years, he has traveled extensively for the U.S. State Department as a “Jazz Ambassador,” having performed in 23 different countries throughout the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa. Zaid Nasser was born and raised in New York.  He is the son of jazz and blues master Jamil Nasser.  In New York, he was a featured soloist with Panama Frances’ Savoy Sultans, one of the last of the legendary big bands, and worked with pioneering organist Bill Doggett.  He has also toured in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and the Far East.

Keith Balla was born in Austin, Texas.  Keith moved to New York City in 2004.  A student of master drummer and teacher Kenny Washington, Keith began working professionally in New York at the age of 17.  He has toured in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and works regularly in New York with many of the city’s dynamic young jazz artists. 

Alexander Hoffman was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to New York in 2005. Since moving to New York he has performed with many leading names in jazz and has worked in major motion pitures.  Alex first started playing saxophone when he was nine years old.  By the time he was twelve, he was passionate about the instrument and about jazz.  In 2008 Alex was selected as one of twelve semi-finalists for the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.