Upcoming public performances
- Sunday September 29, 2013, 69 Colebrooke Row (www.69colebrookerow.com)
- Sunday October 20, 2013, Bloomsbury Festival (www.bloomsburyfestival.org.uk)
With musicians hailing from three corners of the world (almost), the Maria Chen Ensemble is a hotbed of far-flung influences, specialising in 1930s – 1960s jazz, blues & soul in their signature playful yet intimate style. New Zealand pianist John-Paul Muir is an international award-winning classical pianist who has a not-so-secret illicit love for jazz. British bassist Thomas ‘In The Lab’ Bartlett has performed professionally for many years around the London area. Canadian vocalist Maria Chen, like Snow White, whistles while she works, directing a jazz choir (not dwarves) and plotting new music and projects for her ensemble.
The Maria Chen Ensemble hosts a weekly Sunday jazz jam in Bloomsbury. They are regulars at ‘The Bar With No Name’ a.k.a. 69 Colebrooke Row, where they have enjoyed a bi-monthly residency for two years. Performance highlights include the Good Fashion Show (the largest off-site London Fashion Week event in February 2012), hosting the jazz stage at the annual Bloomsbury Festival, a sold-out show at Nightjar, and a performance for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in summer 2010.
The Maria Chen Ensemble is the final line to this: ‘A historian-singer, a classical-but-secretly-jazz pianist, and a mathematical-biologist-double-bassist walk into several jazz, blues, and soul bars.’ But they don’t joke around. They take themselves seriously. Very seriously, indeed.