Judy Campbell's MOSAIC
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Judy Campbell's MOSAIC

Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE

Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia | INDIE
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"2007 CD Review Colours of Kenya"

Beautifully packaged and comprehensively detailed, there is an historical intrigue behind each of these original pieces composed mainly by Judy Campbell, Bandika Ngao and Mark Ginsburg. Courtesy of the Kenyan master percussionist and craftsman, underlying primal and rhythmic patterns and chants weave a cohesive thread throughout that is now a resilient concept of fusing tribal African music and jazz. Much of the beauty lies in the traditional and contemporary lyrics. Jubilant and spiritual in its vocal harmonies and danceable in its grooves, this collaborative band is sounding as tight as the skin on the Kenyan Mijikenda drum and as synchronous as Bandika's handmade kayamba. - Limelight Magazine & Australian Jazzscene

"2008: Mosaic of Music"

Border jazz fans can't get enough of Judy Campbell's Mosaic.
Sydney's popular world jazz combo will return to the region for its fourth Border concert following two previous performances in Albury and one at The Jazz Basement in Wodonga.
Also returning with the band will be Kenyan percussionist Bandika Ngao, who has travelled to Australia to perform with Mosaic on each of the group's four previous national tours.
Ngao galvanises audiences with his infectious stage presence and musical expertise playing hand-made instruments such as the marimba, kayamba and Mijikenda hand drums.
Mosaic's line up includes top Sydney jazz musicians Judy Campbell, Mark Ginsburg, Justine Bradley, Greg Coffin, Karl Dunnicliff and Tim Firth.
Mosaic's joyous combination of world music and contemporary jazz has entertained audiences across Australia since the band formed in 2002. - The Border Mail

"2009: CD review "Waters of Kenya""

It's quite an accomplishment when music can simultaneously rest on its own established artistic merit and bring an acute awareness to a cause much greater than simply charitable purposes. That's what Campbell's group has achieved with this new EP, which contains five pieces at length and two brief solo interludes about the plight of Kenyans in their struggle for clean water. Using similar vocal textures and regional rhythms from their album "Colours", including Kenyan percussionist Bandika Ngao, Mosaic have been re-ignited by the undercurrent of bassist Karl Dunnicliff, the force of Tim Firth's drums and the nimble pianist Greg Coffin. - Limelight Magazine

"2009 Tour article"

Traditional African instruments and light, bright voices make for a unique blend of world music and contemporary jazz.
Since forming in 2002, MOSAIC has delighted listeners around Australia with a joyous, unique sound. Based upon a diverse range of musical styles from around the globe, including African, Jewish, Brazilian and American, they successfully blend vocals, saxophone and a fantastic jazz rhythm section with Ngao's percussion and voice. Bassist Karl Dunnicliff, a finalist at last year's Wangaratta Jazz Festival, will join MOSAIC on stage for the first time on this tour.

"Judy Campbell's MOSAIC shone brilliantly and brought a warmth and magic to their Dungeon Jazz concert that was sheer pleasure to experience" - Jill Fraser, Dungeon Review 2007 - Dungeon Jazz

"2007 review - Hippo Bar, Canberra"

Mosaic was touring to release their new CD, and in Canberra for several performances for the Multicultural Festival. They are another excellent band out of Sydney's Jazzgroove stable.
Mark Ginsburg opened the night with a quartet set. These were mostly originals by Mark. This was an earthy, rather than flashy set, and its authenticity was to set the scene for the rest of the night.
The whole band arrived the next, blissful two sets. There was authentic chant from Bandika, and complex African rhythms often supplemented by several other drummers, beautiful soaring voices, sometimes unison, sometimes three-part harmonies, great but never overstated solos all round. It was a marked change from the individualist approach of choruses and solos we usually hear at jazz clubs. I love that, of course, but this was communal, with complex rhythms growing out of multiple drum parts and rich vocals arising from simple but joyous melodies and equally happy and optimistic lyrics. The band was smiling, the vocalists glowing and Bandika beaming. I found it a night of bliss. To end, they travelled out of Africa with a variation on a Jewish new year tune which you are unlikely to hear in your local synagogue, and then a final Brazilian-style tune called Meeting Point. This was ecstatic and danceable, reminding me of Flora Purim and Airto. A fitting end to a joyous event. - Canberra Jazz Blog

"2007 review - Eastside Arts"

While the concept of fusing traditional African music and jazz is well worn, Mosaic has forged a compelling vocal harmonic approach which has breathed new life into the path paved originally by greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Ibrahim and Don Pullen.
Judy Campbell's exuberance in performance was infectious, but it's more than simply a performance, it's a a joyous celebration of community. So infectious was the celebration that you could feel the audience moving to the beat of Bandika's hand made drums.
This was the final concert of a tour that lasted six weeks and took in regions from Wangaratta to Brisbane. It was evident the band built a common bond over these weeks with the charts largely discarded, the sound so refined over weeks of one-nighters but flexible enough to allow an array of guest artists including former drummer/percussionist with the group Nick McBride from Shanghai, National Jazz Award winner Harrison Jackson and head of the jazz department at the Cape
Town University, Mike Campbell.
A backdrop of colourful African tapestries set the Eastside Arts stage for the "Colours of Kenya". A quartet of Bandika's own handmade Mijikenda drums suspended in readiness for Mosaic to commence their collage. What's this? The band is in striking 'colours' costume as well.
Bandika opened the performance with a solo using a kayamba that is shaken from side to side. Nick McBride, who studied with Bandika and was the conduit for the Kenyan/Australian connection, was then invited behind the kit for rendition of his "Bandika's Song" with lyrics by Judy Campbell. This is a danceable piece with plenty of space for solos and reminiscent of the Dollar Brand 'township' sound. A highpoint from the first set was the traditional Jewish New Year melody entitled "Avinu Malkeinu".
Mark Ginsburg's simmering solos sometimes wailed into a soulful Rn'B zone on both soprano and tenor, but never failed to remain in context with the arrangement and overall ensemble feel. The performance was cleverly balanced with some jazzier pieces such as "In Memory", Mark's tribute to the late Michael Brecker.
A highlight of the second set was "Time Will Not Wait", a song written by Mark Ginsburg and Bandika Ngao with lyrics by Judy Campbell.
For those who can't wait for the next Mosaic performance, it's satisfying to know that $5 from the sale of their current release "Colours of Kenya" goes directly to the Tweed Kenya Mentoring Program to support safe water projects in Kenya. - Jazz and Beyond

"2007 CD Review Colours of Kenya"

Australian collective, MOSAIC, connected with Kenyan master percussionist Bandika Ngao on a South African tour and here he joins them in the studio.
While African music is often thought of as bold and bright, there are as many shades as there are in the continent itself. Ngao's East African style is gentle and quite intricate, which suits the easy groove of MOSAIC. His playing is at the heart of tracks such as the three-part "Sengenya Suite". His solo element, "Kutsanganya", is hypnotically expressive, and about as far removed from the bash and crash of the standard frum solo as it is possible to get.
The underlying complexity in Ngao's playing has influenced Mosaic's direction, sometimes building a song around a drum or marimba motif, or weaving new songs around Kenyan stories. Soloists include Mark Ginsburg and James Muller, but the overall approach is always subtle, with the kind of lightness often associated with Brazilian jazz. - The Brisbane Courier-Mail

"2009 Singing for water in Kenya"

Judy Campbell knows well that where ther eis water, there is life. But it is contemplating the reverse - life without water - that has driven the musician's latest release "Waters of Kenya".
The new album by her band, Mosaic, is a fusion of traditional east Kenyan rhythms with contemporary jazz that grew out of her collaboration with Kenyan percussionist Bandika Ngao.
"This whole collection of music is very much along the lines of 'tikkun olam', Campbell enthuses. "It's furthering the message about the importance of clean water in areas of the world that don't have it".
The album developed through the band's association with the Tweed Shire Council of NSW, which runs a Kenya Mentoring Program to improve community and environmental health for Kenyan families by increasing access to safe water and sanitation.
After seeing the work of the program, which has provided two water treatment facilities in the troubled areas, Mosaic released its previous album, "Colours of Kenya".
"I hope this new collection of original music will continue to expand awareness of [the council's] work, which, in a very different way, addresses a deep need in Africa", Campbell says.
The group has recently returned from an Australia-wide tour, which included headlining the Tweed River Festival, performing at the opening of the Australian Water Association conference in Port Macquarie and delivering music workshops to primary and high school students during National Water Week.
The music director at North Shore Temple Emanuel, Campbell formed Mosaic in 2002 to celebrete musical diversity through the lens of contemporary jazz in Australia.
Having grown up in Cape Town, South Africa, in a privileged home, Campbell says since moving to Australia in 1982, she has felt compelled to use music to bridge boundaries.
Revisiting her birthplace in 2004 re-affirmed that desire.
"It's sad to say that was my first real exposure to that kind of poverty," Campbell admits. "that experience fed into this whole inerest in the tikkun olam aspect ofmusic, which resonates hugely with me as a Jewish person.
"It is a particular pleasure for me to be able to direct my music in this way. It adds a whole extra dimension to the process of creating and performing music. - Australian Jewish News


2010 EP: "Waters of Kenya"
2007 LP: "Colours of Kenya"
2006: Australian World & Jazz Annual (compilation)
2006 Eastside Arts Compilation
2005 AIR Jazz Compilation
2005 Jazzgroove Compilation 2
2004 LP: "Common Ground"



The philosophy of the band is to create music around the theme of ‘unity in diversity’, drawing on influences ranging from jazz to world music from a range of sources. Influences range from African to Jewish, Brazilian and American. MOSAIC reaches out to followers of contemporary jazz, vocal and world music, and has a particular interest in performance in multicultural situations. The remarkable jazz talents in the group take rhythms and melodic elements of world music to a new dimension, creating a unique and exciting fusion.
The band emerged in 2003 in Sydney, Australia, and by mid-2004 had released their first album "Common Ground" and toured in South Africa, performing at festivals and clubs. This is where they met Bandika Ngao, the Kenyan master percussionist who has collaborated with them extensively since then, culminating in the 2007 release "Colours of Kenya". The band has since done four major Australian tours. All MOSAIC tours to date have been supported by touring grants from the DEWHA Contemporary Music Touring Program and/or ArtsNSW. The most recent tour launched their new EP "Waters of Kenya", again featuring Bandika Ngao.