Jazz fusion; indie jazz; jazz pop… however you want to label it, pioneering artists who are taking jazz to brand new audiences have been among the UK’s recent media success stories. Juhan Ongbrian looks to be among the latest prospects.
A guitarist with not only great technical skill but also a writer with a stunning ear for combining blues, jazz, washy reverbs and ambient beats, Juhan is creating his own modern take on guitar-led music. Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, B. B. King and Steely Dan, Juhan’s guitar playing is both thoughtful and exciting, all with a sense of absolute ease. Echoing the likes of Jeff Beck, Juhan strives to push the genre to its limits, all with only a three-piece band and very minimal production.
Juhan’s new single, the title track from his upcoming Mood Swings EP, is a demonstration of the above – playing that’s beautiful, experimental, raw. Driving, swinging beats and bass lines underlie the ultra-cool sampled speech at the start of the track before kicking into a guitar line which instantly transports you to a neon-lit cocktail bar; sipping a Martini, while gently nodding your head as the track builds towards Ongbrian’s rip-roaring solo.
Entering the arena alongside the likes of Tom Misch and Alfa Mist, Juhan brings his guitar and composition skills to a life. Deemed an outsider on the LA music scene, he is bringing his new EP to the UK for its launch, eager to show that his combination of blues, jazz and atmospheric beats can comfortably compete with the best on the scene.
The upcoming Mood Swings EP features the talents of Juhan on guitar, Adrian “Ech0” Michael on drums and Austin “Sly Chong” Smith on bass, released in full 15 November.
This article was produced with the assistance of the promoter.