An explosive fusion of jazz with authentic Middle Eastern, Balkan, West African, Celtic, Caribbean, South American, funk/R&B and classical influences.
The Larry Steen World Jazz Ensemble fuses Middle Eastern, Balkan, West African, Celtic, Caribbean and South American music concepts with a harmonic complexity not usually associated with music from these regions. With a deep respect for the various cultures throughout the world and with the intention of preserving each culture’s essence, they carefully emulate rhythms and textures as accurately as possible while injecting their own jazz, classical and funk/R&B influences.This melding of styles can be seen in their use of such exotic instruments as the oud (fretless lute), bouzouki (fretted lute), duduk (double reed, wind instrument), kawala (reed flute), cavaqhino (similar to ukulele), Uilleann pipes (Scottish bagpipe) and a multitude of percussion instruments along with standard Western instruments. The result is a rich melange of “world jazz” that is ethnically authentic yet interpreted and composed in an entirely new way.The ensemble has recorded two ASCAP award winning CDs, First Move and View From Afar. Jimmy Haslip (of the Yellowjackets) was the executive producer of First Move which features jazz luminaries Ernie Watts, Dave Weckl and Jeff Beal. The critically acclaimed View From Afar features Ernie Watts, Robben Ford and Russell Ferrante (of the Yellowjackets).