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Bio

Drummer/percussionist Alastair McGrath-Kerr is recognised as one of Australia's leading exponents of Brazilian percussion and jazz drumming.  He studied under legendary teacher Col Hoorweg at the Canberra School of Music, and is currently a PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts.  In addition to a busy performance schedule, Alastair has given masterclasses and workshops across Australia, and teaches at some of Melbourne's leading institutions, including Monash University and Melbourne Polytechnic (NMIT).

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ENSEMBLES ALASTAIR IS INVOLVED IN

DdV3 sound check at Salon 2-6-12Well known as a jazz drummer, over the past decade Alastair has been heavily involved in Australia’s vibrant Brazilian music scene.  He is a member of the Doug de Vries Trio, and has worked extensively with the guitar virtuoso, including in Sexteto Zona Sul and Panorama Brasil. The Doug de Vries Trio has played to full houses at the Melbourne International and Wangaratta Jazz Festivals, and opened for legendary Brazilian musician Hermeto Pascoal at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

In recent years Al has added the pandeiro to the extensive list of percussion instruments he carries around, and he is now one of Australia's most in-demand pandeiristas.  He peforms regularly in a number of choro and samba groups, including TamanduaSexteto Zona Sul and Trio Agogo.

Twice Acting Director of Australia’s premier bateria, MelSamba (‘04&’09), Alastair was a bateria member for five years, and in 2009 he traveled to Brazil and played with the bateria at Estácio de Sá. Al travelled to Brazil again in 2012, studying and performing with many of São Paulo's finest musicians.

Al has long been admired for his driving swing feel in a number of jazz groups. His grooves are central to Leigh Barker’s Bell Award winning album The New Sheiks. He appears on the follow-up (The Sales Tax), as well as Barker’s three quintet albums. His compositions are featured on the quintet albums, and on pianist Matt Boden's 2011 release MB4.


Ial walking awayn 2009 Alastair formed his own jazz group, The Alastair Kerr Quartet, primarily as a vehicle for his own jazz compositions. In 2010 the Quartet released their debut album (The Ultimate Fate of...) and opened for Chucho Valdes at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Following that, Al formed Panorama Brasil, a group focusing on Kerr's Brazilian influenced compositions and works by a range of Brazilian composers.  Panorama Brasil peformed the premiere of a new suite by Kerr, The Archer and the Dancer, at the 2013 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.  The recording of the suite was released as the groups debut album in June 2013.  Panorama Brasil released their second album, Flor de Pedra, in 2015, as well as featuring at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with Vince Jones & Alda Rezende, performing a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim.

As a freelance player he has worked with many of Australia’s best jazz musicians, including Julien Wilson, Sarah McKenzie, Bernie McGann, Eamon McNelis, Diana Clark, Gordon Brisker, Marc Hannaford, Dave Rex, Mark Fitzgibbon, Craig Fermanis and James Annesley. He has also appeared on a number of jazz, blues and rock recordings

As an educator, Kerr is sought out for his excellent pedagogical knowledge. His students benefit from his extensive research, and from his own experiences as a student with some of the best drummers in Australia and overseas. He has studied with John Riley, Ari Hoenig, and Scott Kettner (USA), Marcio Bahia, Roberta Valente, Jorge Alabe, Celso de Almeida and Edu Ribeiro (Brazil), and many Australian drummers, including Simon Barker, David Jones and Hamish Stuart. Kerr completed his Master of Philosophy thesis Improvisation in Brazilian Drum Kit: Performance and Practice Techniques in Choro, Samba and Bossa Nova, and is undertaking PhD studies at the Victorian College of the Arts.

 

Upcoming Gigs
March 22 - Alastair Kerr Quartet at the Paris Cat
Trio Agogo at the Brunswick Green
Apr 20 & 21 - Afro Sambas with Alda Rezende

Upcoming Gigs

Please click through the tabs for information on our upcoming gigs.

March 22 - Alastair Kerr Quartet at the Paris Cat

Thursday March 22, 8:30pm

Alastair Kerr Quartet at the Paris Cat Jazz Club

featuring Paul Williamson (trumpet)

After spending the last few years deep in the world of Afro-Brazilian ceremonial drumming, drummer/composer Alastair Kerr launches a new edition of his jazz quartet. With former colleagues Marc Hannaford and Sam Zerna firmly entrenched in NYC, Al has put together a new band including brilliant trumpeter Paul Williamson, and the exciting young talents of Daniel Mougerman (piano), and Jordan Tarento (bass). With a focus on Kerr's compositions, this group blends strong melodies with hints of Cuban and Brazilian rhythms into a highly rhythmic group sound.  Bookings here.

 

Trio Agogo at the Brunswick Green

Second Sunday of each month

Trio Agogo at the Brunswick Green

In the garden, 4-6pm

Trio Agogo and friends are back at the Brunswick Green for a summer of great music in the garden.  Choro on the second Sunday of each month.  313 Sydney Rd, Brunswick.

6 sharpened med

 

 

 

Apr 20 & 21 - Afro Sambas with Alda Rezende

Panorama Brasil presents:

The Afro Sambas

Featuring Alda Rezende

Following sold-out performances with Panorama Brasil in 2017, Alda Rezende returns to Australia in 2018 to perform Baden Powell & Vinicius de Moraes' Afro Sambas with Panorama Brasil at the Paris Cat. From the Brazilian state of Belo Horizonte, Alda is one of the most distinctive and captivating voices to emerge from Brazil in recent years.

 

A virtuosic guitarist and genius composer, Baden Powell combined classical techniques with popular harmony and swing, performing in many different styles, including bossa nova, samba, Brazilian jazz, Latin jazz and música popular brasileira. His album Os Afro-sambas is a masterpiece of post-Bossa Nova Brazil. Written with poet/lyricist Vinícius de Moraes, these compositions represent the breadth and beauty of Afro-Brazilian music — music central to the Brazilian identity.Melbourne-based ensemble Panorama Brasil draws on the diverse musical landscape of Brazil: music with influences from the arid interior, the Amazonian basin, and the streets of Rio and Salvador. Lead by drummer/composer Alastair Kerr (a long-time student of Brazilian music, and one of Australia’s leading exponents of Brazilian percussion) Panorama Brasil explores the Afro roots that inspired Powell, bringing Afro-Brazilian drumming to the centre of this suite.

 

Tickets April 20

Tickets April 21

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