VaNa MaZi was born through a mutual interest in culture and a love for the music of the People (Folk). With a song bank collected through Ian J. Everett and Corinne Zappler's years of travel, they fuse together the music of Greece, Italy, Central Asia, and the Balkans with Gypsy Jazz, Turkish beats, and a pinch of their own American heritage. They strive to perform, arrange, and compose music that challenges the listener to open their ears and experience something new, something ancient, something contradictory even, yet something that is most definitely moving forward through space at a speed that cannot be measured merely in 4/4 time.
In a brief synopsis, VaNa MaZi is a band that, however you slice it, is ultimately an original organism that transcends the sum of its parts.
VaNa MaZi began in the early summer of 2009 when Ian and Corinne met and discovered a serendipitous mutual interest in learning Greek music. Within a few months of traveling and learning tunes together they flew out from New York to Athens, Greece on a one way open-ended adventure that took them half way around the world and back. Little did they know the trip would have lasted almost 2 years and taken them as far as Japan and then back to Europe again for another season over there. They traveled through the Balkans and in and out of Italy as well as up to Berlin, and finally made it back home to Austin, TX in 2011 and (again serendipitously) discovered that Ian's band mate Amanda and her partner Tim happened to be living 2 doors down in the same artist complex in S. Austin and had been engaged for 2 years playing with the Inheritance, learning (how strangely parallel) all those odd time Balkan rhythms and melodies and performing constantly in the area around town. They have been composing ever since, mostly as a quartet, and still seek out the ever inspiring traditional songs from those regions as well.. yet the music is taking a peculiar direction in the domain of the unknown, that infinite abyss that is creative possibilities.
VaNa MaZi had the privilege in the fall of 2011 to be part of the backing band for Theodosii Spassov, a world-class kaval player from Bulgaria. In the ensemble they performed almost flawlessly, having had only one rehearsal with Spassov. They also had a chance to perform to a packed theater of Bulgarians, the most they had ever played for. This was a true honor and a testament to their love and proficiency in that traditional style.
Throwing everything but the kitchen sink at what was to become their first record together, Nostro Tokoro( OUR HOUSE) was recorded that summer by Matt Burnett and featured Italian, Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, and Japanese languages with multiple traditional pieces as well as original compositions. There are Japanese pentatonic scales, Turkish beats, and Italian lyrics all thrown together in a collage of a song that finalizes the record. They are very pleased to be releasing the album to the public, both on the West coast and abroad in the summer of 2012.
Ian J. Everett has been impassioned by traditional music since he traveled to Italy and Bulgaria the first time back in 04'. At the time, he was playing exclusively original material with his 7 piece band (Grazz) in Austin. He realized: A. his interest in seeking fluency in a foreign language. and B. that Austin and the U.S. was already saturated with new, upcoming, (Original) artists that somehow mostly sounded like everyone else. Recognizing that the beauty and power that had become the American sound was born from immigrant parents of countless nationalities, traditions and backgrounds and had blossomed for a good solid Century becoming Blues, Jazz, Rock, Country, Bluegrass, Hip-Hop, etc, etc. Without that initial fusion of styles and cultures, none of that praised music would have made it out of the ether at all... So in hopes of participating in the reinvigorating of culture clash and what creative blossoms bloom from such, He transplanted himself to Europe and has been spending more time on the whole back in the old world studying gypsy jazz, Italian folk, Greek Rebetika, Nisiotika, and most recently Macedonian and Bulgarian traditional pieces and then mixin' em up in a big soup with the rest of his American pop, jazz, rock , influences and is holding the proverbial spoon out to all of you to taste what peculiar and delicious flavors there are to be sampled.... $3.99 a cup or $5. 99 a bowl... add a salad for only $2.25 more.. Available soon on the homepage.!