“A tailor-made festival band with a unique identity”
— The Guardian ★★★★
Virtuoso British-Asian bass player 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. Shez was recently voted one of the top 30 'Hottest Bass Players in the World' by readers of Bass Player magazine.
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 top UK venues including Ronnie Scott’s and Jazz Cafe as well as major international jazz 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 album Tales from the Punjab, released in 2021 on Ubuntu Music, Shez digs deep into his rich South Asian heritage to create his most exquisite and heartfelt recording to date. Early the previous year Raja travelled to the Punjab to explore his identity and immerse himself in the musical culture of his roots. Whilst in the vibrant city of Lahore he had a magical and enlightening experience collaborating with some of the most accomplished musicians of the subcontinent.
2019 saw the release of Shez's highly anticipated album Journey to Shambhala. Journey to Shambhala is inspired by Raja’s self-composed tale of a young man who embarks on an adventure to discover the mystical city of Shambhala. He has a wild experience of excitement, danger, friendships, love and deceit - told through a musical voyage of soundscapes from exhilarating jazz-funk to enchanting ballads. The search for happiness is something we can all relate to and this concept album holds the message that, as in life, the journey often holds as much wonder as the destination. The CD includes a story booklet that reveals how each scene inspired the compositions on the album. The album recording sees 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 EFG London Jazz Festival and to a 800 capacity crowd at Islington Assembly Hall in London.