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Jasmine Lovell Smith/Jake Baxendale: Sanctuary Album Release

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Sanctuary is a collaboration between two leading composers from Wellington, Aotearoa: Jasmine Lovell-Smith and Jake Baxendale.

The music for the album was conceived as part of Arthur Street Loft Orchestra, a concert series established by a number of Wellington composers to serve as a performance opportunity for creative large ensemble projects. The 11-piece group led by Baxendale and Lovell-Smith was influenced by the medium-sized jazz orchestras of Charles Mingus and Gil Evans. With a wide range and textural weight, it is more of a fleet than a traditional big band, with lots of room to feature the specific talents of each musician.

The album is dominated by by two suites: “Sanctuary", composed by Lovell-Smith, follows the composer’s emotional journey through returning to New Zealand after several years overseas, and reconnecting with Wellington’s vibrant music scene. “Sanctuary” directly reflects the influence of each of its performers and owes its development to the safe creative space provided by the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra concert series.

"Leaves of Grass", composed by Jake Baxendale, was inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman. It celebrates the phenomenal musical influences from the American continent, and as it moves from pastoralism through free jazz to the blues, stands as an expression of the aspirational, humanist and egalitarian ideals of both the poet and the composer.


Jasmine Lovell-Smith – Soprano Saxophone
Rachelle Eastwood – Flute
Ben Hunt – Trumpet
Jake Baxendale – Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Louisa Williamson – Tenor Saxophone
Kaito Walley – Trombone
Blair Latham – Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Aleister James Campbell – Guitar
Anita Schwabe – Piano
Chris Beernink – Bass
Hikurangi Schaverien-Kaa – Drums

Many thanks to City Gallery and Creative New Zealand for their generous support.

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