Summer sounds at wineries

JAZZ NOTES: Singer/songwriter Naamah Cheiban performs at two Gisborne locations from Sunday. Picture supplied

Jazz inflected notes bring ear-catching moments to young singer/songwriter Naamah Cheiban’s acoustic guitar accompanied songs she will perform at two Gisborne locations over this fortnight.

In fact, a mixture of jazz, funk, and R&B is what took the recent school-leaver’s band Rural Delivery to the Smokefree Rockquest finals last year.

“We didn’t place but just getting there was massive,” says Naamah.

The band did get the opportunity to record a song at Neil Finn’s recording studio, Roundhead though. As a Play It Strange songwriting competition finalist the then-15-year-old’s song Speak also made the cut for Play it Strange’s annual CD.

“I also had my lyrics selected along with twelve others to feature in the Play It Strange lyric book in 2017 — and I was one of three who were selected to have their song lyrics critiqued in a master class with the professor of poetry at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Pat Pattison.”

As a soloist in this year’s Rockquest, Naamah won the Waikato regional final, and she produced a demo EP this year.

“I wrote all of the songs myself, learned how to use a recording studio and recorded and mixed my own songs. I learned how to use photoshop and produced my own album graphics which include my own drawings, and a full booklet with handwritten lyrics.”

Her songs explore themes such as the feeling of exclusion, change, and relationships but she brings to her compositions a musical texture that is outside most folk-pop songs.

Jazz chords are extensions of regular chords, she says.

“It’s like a painting. You look up close and it’s got all this detail, it’s subtle. For me, jazz chords make a song a bit more interesting.”

Born in Pukekohe and raised in the Franklin area, Naamah was seven when she picked up the guitar.

“I started learning it because my older brother did. I started taking songwriting more seriously when I was around 13- years-old.

Having learned to play music by ear she learned largely from trial and error but a music teacher got her started on using different chords, she says.

“I have been formally taught music theory for two to three years, but most of the learning that I have done recently has been more arbitrary.”

Along with her original songs, covers on her playlist for her Gisborne appearances include jazz standards All of Me, I’m in the Mood For Love, Autumn Leaves, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Girl from Ipanema, and Fly Me to the Moon.

Elvis, Maroon 5, and Amy Winehouse songs also feature in her repertoire.

  • Naamah Cheiban plays at Matawhero Wines, 189 Riverpoint Road on Sunday, 1pm (bookings essential), and at Wrights Vineyard and Winery, 1093 Wharerata Road, Manutuke, on Saturday, January 5 from 1.30pm. Both events are free of charge.

Jazz inflected notes bring ear-catching moments to young singer/songwriter Naamah Cheiban’s acoustic guitar accompanied songs she will perform at two Gisborne locations over this fortnight.

In fact, a mixture of jazz, funk, and R&B is what took the recent school-leaver’s band Rural Delivery to the Smokefree Rockquest finals last year.

“We didn’t place but just getting there was massive,” says Naamah.

The band did get the opportunity to record a song at Neil Finn’s recording studio, Roundhead though. As a Play It Strange songwriting competition finalist the then-15-year-old’s song Speak also made the cut for Play it Strange’s annual CD.

“I also had my lyrics selected along with twelve others to feature in the Play It Strange lyric book in 2017 — and I was one of three who were selected to have their song lyrics critiqued in a master class with the professor of poetry at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Pat Pattison.”

As a soloist in this year’s Rockquest, Naamah won the Waikato regional final, and she produced a demo EP this year.

“I wrote all of the songs myself, learned how to use a recording studio and recorded and mixed my own songs. I learned how to use photoshop and produced my own album graphics which include my own drawings, and a full booklet with handwritten lyrics.”

Her songs explore themes such as the feeling of exclusion, change, and relationships but she brings to her compositions a musical texture that is outside most folk-pop songs.

Jazz chords are extensions of regular chords, she says.

“It’s like a painting. You look up close and it’s got all this detail, it’s subtle. For me, jazz chords make a song a bit more interesting.”

Born in Pukekohe and raised in the Franklin area, Naamah was seven when she picked up the guitar.

“I started learning it because my older brother did. I started taking songwriting more seriously when I was around 13- years-old.

Having learned to play music by ear she learned largely from trial and error but a music teacher got her started on using different chords, she says.

“I have been formally taught music theory for two to three years, but most of the learning that I have done recently has been more arbitrary.”

Along with her original songs, covers on her playlist for her Gisborne appearances include jazz standards All of Me, I’m in the Mood For Love, Autumn Leaves, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Girl from Ipanema, and Fly Me to the Moon.

Elvis, Maroon 5, and Amy Winehouse songs also feature in her repertoire.

  • Naamah Cheiban plays at Matawhero Wines, 189 Riverpoint Road on Sunday, 1pm (bookings essential), and at Wrights Vineyard and Winery, 1093 Wharerata Road, Manutuke, on Saturday, January 5 from 1.30pm. Both events are free of charge.

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