Ak & Zuie - Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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June 9, 2003
Stephen Jay's "Ak & Zuie" National Tour
Takes Bass & Drum Funk To A New Level
LOS ANGELES, CA -- This summer, master parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic and his talented band embark on their national concert tour in support of the new album Poodle Hat. During this tour, Yankovic's longtime bassist, award-winning musician Stephen Jay, will be performing shows with his alternate group Ak & Zuie. An innovative bass and drum duo specializing in progressive funk, Ak & Zuie will be playing late night shows at separate venues on stops along the Yankovic tour as well as in other cities during tour breaks.
Jay is a world-traveled musician credited for bass and vocals on two Grammy® winners. His accomplishments include bass credits on 20 Gold and Platinum LPs, and 3 Peabody Awards for documentary film scores. His highly acclaimed Nonesuch Explorer Series LPs of traditional West African folk music was included in an earth time capsule launched into space on the Voyager shuttle in 1977 by the Carter administration. Pete Gallagher is well known throughout southern California for his impeccable natural rhythm.
Ak & Zuie showcases Jay's virtuosity in playing bass and his talent for improvisation and composition. Ak & Zuie blends expressive funk grooves with the craftsmanship of a symphony. It is jazz without the formulaic constraints; seemingly abstract jamming that never loses sight of a tight, powerful interplay between bass and percussion. As a two-man operation, Ak & Zuie shocks audiences with the amount of music emanating from a minimal setup, and involves them in the discovery of unprecedented musical concepts. This "polymetric funk" is a unique style that combines West African rhythms with elements of rock, jazz, and even Bach.
Performing "ethnofunk fortified" versions of Jay's songs from his three solo albums along with on-the-spot created compositions, Ak & Zuie on occasion may be joined by "Weird Al" Yankovic guitarist Jim West. As self-described "conjurers of divine temporal flow," Ak & Zuie uses eight- and twelve- string basses, a wide array of percussion instruments, and powerful vocal harmonies to create "overlapping layers of syncopation." Ak & Zuie is a combination of sounds and styles that blends beautifully to include audiences in a diverse and compelling musical venture.