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Jade Ensemble

Live Performance: Fusion-Ensemble
Jade Ensemble | Sounds Across Oceans

Established in 2019 JADE is an Asia-Australian fusion ensemble that explores the length and breadth of our evolving cultural landscape through an eclectic repertoire of original music, free improvisation and rare arrangements. Featuring Indigenous didgeridoo musician David Williams, Japanese koto master Takako Haggarty Nishibori, Nepalese tabla virtuoso Dheeraj Shrestha and Australian guitarist/composer Anthony Garcia, the groups debut show Crystal Moonlight was premiered at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre as part of BrisAsia Festival 2019. A live album version of the concert is due for release in 2024.

Since its inception JADE has developed a unique exploratory approach to sound-making through stylistic experimentation and collaboration with diverse artists and groups. The Ground Beneath Us Festival 2022 featured a rare collaboration between JADE and MZAZA and for BrisAsia 2023 the ensemble performed with the renowned Mongolian horse-hair fiddle virtuoso Bukhu. JADE has also given group lectures at universities and recorded for Queensland Music Festival’s City Sounds project in 2021.

JADE Live – Testimonial Reflections

“JADE has created a captivating musical response to the evolving landscape of our city,” said John Kotzas (Chief Executive QPAC)

“An inspiring evening… not only was the music interesting but there was a strong element of cultural unity through celebrating diversity. It felt very modern Australian! Joyful and uplifting. Thank you to the JADE Collective!” Greg Cossar (audience reflection)

“Congratulations on this magnificent performance. We were taken aback by the complimenting musical cultures and amazing expertise of the musicians. It was a pleasure to meet some of the musicians after the performance, including Dr Anthony Garcia, who in our opinion led the ensemble brilliantly.” Greg O’Rourke (Senior Mission Coordinator, Trade and Investment Queensland)

“This was one of the most inspiring concerts I have ever seen. I left the theatre in tears. The visual backdrop was stunning and the music flowed across so many styles. It was mesmerising. I can’t wait to see another JADE performance. Brilliant.” Jenny Witton (audience member)

Jade Ensemble 1 | Sounds Across Oceans

About the Artists

Takako Nishibori (Koto)
QLD’s eminent Koto performer, Takako Nishibori brings the classic sounds of Japan alive through her mastery of the Koto. Takako was born in Otsu, Shiga Japan. She started playing the koto at the age of six. Takako studied the Koto with Grand Master Shizu Fujino (a student of Michio Miyagi) from Ikuta Ryu Miyagi school. She commenced her studies of the Shamisen, at the age of 16. In 2000, Takako received her teaching license from the Miyagi school of Tokyo. She was placed in the top ten for all of Japan. Takako’s first visit to Australia was in 2001 as an exchange teacher. During this time, she performed for various venues in NSW and ACT and began to explore new ways of playing the Koto. After returning to Japan, Takako moved to Newcastle in order to commence a Masters of Educational Studies. After her completing study, she moved to Brisbane in 2005. As a language teacher back ground, Takako has developed practical language teaching method through music teaching that still some schools employ.

Dheeraj Shrestha (Tabla)
Internationally acclaimed Nepalese born Dheeraj Shrestha is recognised as the foremost tabla player in Australia. An irrepressible creativity, tremendous clarity and exciting rhythmic improvisation are his stylistic hallmarks and this has established him, worldwide, as one of the finest exponents of tabla in classical and world music. Dheeraj Shrestha’s hometown, Kathmandu, Nepal stands on the ancient route leading from the Himalayan Mountains down into the valley of Kathmandu. His real relationship with music began when his was five years old listening to classical music by his father. Later he started formal training on tabla with his guru Pt. Hom Nath Upadhyaya. His father use to take him to play traditional temple music near his home. He use to be only the child among all the master musicians who be performing at the courtyard temple music.

David Williams (Didgeridoo | Piano)
A proud Wakka Wakka man born in Rockhampton, David is an internationally renowned didgeridoo performer having spent the last 15 years performing locally, nationally and internationally. Classically trained from an early age in Piano and Trombone, David had chosen a career path later in life that was reflective of his upbringing, learning traditional songs from his grandmother and a strong influence from his uncles and aunties, of sharing and celebrating the culture of his people. David’s skills as a didgeridoo player have taken him around the world performing in various markets in Europe, North and South America, and Asia with a highlight performing at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to an estimated audience of 4 billion people and the Gallipoli ANZAC Dawn service opening in 2016. Through David’s didgeridoo performances, he aims to further educate and encourage a wider understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture.

Anthony Garcia (JADE Artistic Director | Guitars)
Dr. Anthony Garcia is an acclaimed guitarist, composer and educator based in Brisbane, Australia. Born in the United States and raised and educated in South East Asia, Australia and Mexico Garcia has recorded, toured and performed extensively throughout the world collaborating with creatives across a diverse range of artistic disciplines. Dr. Garcia’s exploratory philosophy of music-making and teaching has generated a highly personal creative approach that embraces both ancient and contemporary forms, world and ethnic musics and improvisational practice. Dr. Garcia’s PhD research into improvisation, conducted University of Tasmania between 2012-2015, has informed ongoing research into intercultural and collaborative learning, teaching artistry, interdisciplinary practice and mindfulness meditation and music. His passion for unifying the interlocking fields of musical performance, composition and education has informed ongoing pedagogical experimentation in schools, universities and the broader community and led to the establishment in 2014, in partnership with his wife Jennifer Garcia, of Sounds Across Oceans, a new music organisation dedicated to exploring ‘the multidimensional capacity of music and the arts to create and share new ideas, uplift, heal, shift energies and ignite new perspectives.’