Way Out West is the brainchild of well-known Melbourne trumpeter and composer Peter Knight, who, after a move to the inner western suburbs of Melbourne, was influenced by the cultural mix and verve of his talented and experienced musicians had also made this move 'out west'. Over coffee with bassist Howard Cairns, at a local cafe, the idea of a group comprising of local performers drawing their musical inspiration from its local environs was hatched.
Since it's formation Way Out West has generated a strong following and interest with performances at Bennetts Lane for the Melbourne Jazz Co-Operative, the Yarraville Festival, Seddon Festival and the Ninth Ward. In August 2001 for the Big West Festival - which celebrated cultural diversity in the Maribyrnong area through music and performance - Way Out West acted as the core group accompanying Kavisha Mazella's Multicultural Choir, the Ethiopian Circus Band, the Sudanese Dancers and the Vietnamese Choir. Footscray Station is a journey of exploration and experimentation of the experiences, influences and rich and varied cultures of the group. Way Out West features: Peter Knight on trumpet and composer of much of the material.
He received national recognition with the release of Between Two Moments with his group the Peter Knight Quartet in August 2002. Since the groups has performed extensively nationally. Peter has also toured Canada, Hong Kong and Europe with various groups and is very active in the Melbourne Jazz scene performing with many diverse bands including Moody's Brood, The Moovin' & Groovin' Orchestra, The Ed York Quartet and Skazz. Peter also leads the 5+2 Brass Ensemble. Dung Nguyen performs on an amazing array of instruments in Way Out West including: dan tranh - traditional Vietnamese zither, dan bao - one stringed instrument, dan nhi - a kind of violin, and a modified electric guitar enabling him to producethe types of phrasing characteristic to Vietnamese music. Dung is one of Melbourne's leading Vietnamese musicians and is also a jazz guitarist. Born in Vietnam where he was taught music from his grandfather, continuing a family tradition. He studied Jazz at Monash University and incorporates his two musical passions in his music. He has also written extensively for theatre most recently working with the Melbourne Theatre Company. Ray Pereira, born in Sri Lanka, is one of Australia's premier Afro-Cuban percussionists. He is able to move with ease from African drumming traditions to Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, and is also a sought-after musician in jazz and popular music contexts.
This project highlights Ray's virtuosity and musical flexibility and also creates a musical space for many of the different instruments he plays. Ray has performed with a spectacular array of local and international artists including: Bongo Fury, Paul Grobowsky, Kate Ceberano, Christine Anu, Paul Kelly, Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach & Ruby Hunter, David Hirshfelder, Arthur Blyth, Nii Tettey Tette and the Kusun Ensemble, Ricky Martin, Isaac Hayes and the Africa Shaw Boys. Paul Williamson plays a very soulful saxophone, best known for his group the Paul Williamson Hammond Combo - playing 3 residencies a week in Melbourne, and having extensive national tours with the group. He and his group are well known at all major Australian Jazz festivals and venues, and the Combo has released 4 very popular albums.
Howard Cairns has been based in Melbourne for the last 15 years and his ability to play a wide range of styles has kept him a much-in-demand acoustic bassist. He has performed with a wide variety of artists from jazz, folk and blues genres including: the Michelle Nicolle Quartet, the James Sherlock Trio, Ross Hannaford, Allan Browne's Red Onions, Igor Oskolkov's Gypsy Swing and Andy Cowan. He has toured extensively in Australia, Europe and the USA., and has performed at all major national festivals.
PETER KNIGHT - trumpet, DUNG NGUYEN - dan franh, dan bao, dan nhi, electric guitar, RAY PEREIRA - percussion, PAUL WILLIAMSON - saxophone, HOWARD CAIRNS - acoustic bass...Special guests: MARTIN BREEZE - vocals, LEO DALE - flute, SCOTT LAMBIE - drums, TONY FLOYD - drums.