Trumpeter Lex French’s Matariki Suite (2015) was inspired by the themes that embody Matariki: loss, remembrance, planting and harvest, tradition, joy, and the richness of legend. Especially for this show, he has rearranged it to be played by his jazz quartet (featuring himself on trumpet, Jake Baxendale on saxophones, Johnny Lawrence on double bass and Cory Champion on drums) alongside the Ken Ichinose String Quartet (featuring Ken on cello, Malavika Gopal and Alan Molina on violins and Andrew Thomson on viola). Lex performs and tours regularly with his original quartet, quintet and sextet, New Orleans-style brass band Richter City Rebels, throwback trio The Bayou Brothersand hard-bop quartet The Boogaloos. As a sideman, he plays lead trumpet forthe RNZAF Jazz Orchestra, trumpet with contemporary Jazz octet The Jac, as well as appearing as a soloist with Jonathan Crayford, Lucien Johnson, Norman Meehan,John Rae and The Rodger Fox Big Band. Lex is Artist Teacher in jazz trumpet and small ensembles at the New Zealand School of Music, and maintains a busy private teaching studio. In 2014, he released his debut album on Rattle Records. Entitled The Cut, it was recorded in Montreal with his Canadian quintet.