Max Zaska and his band, a.k.a. ZASKA, was joined by collaborators Gemma Dunleavy, shiv, Melina Malone, and jarjarjr for an exclusive world premiere of new music. Their exciting new project was grounded in jazz and blended with soul, R&B, hip-hop, and pop. This once-in-a-lifetime live concert was recorded for audio and video release.
Collaboration is at the very heart of ZASKA’s music. This project began in writing sessions with Gemma Dunleavy, shiv and Melina Malone in Paris in 2022. The addition of jarjarjr to the project this year took ZASKA’s work in new directions, capturing the spark and sound of each of these up-and-coming artists.
“The WRITE RECORD PERFORM Award afforded me the time to write and arrange a whole new body of work and expand my network of collaborators too. Getting to perform that work in a magic space like the Triskel Arts Centre is an experience I’ll always cherish. It’s such a great initiative and I’m blessed to have been part of it.” – Max Zaska
Guitarist, songwriter, musical director, and producer, Max Zaska is best known for his band ZASKA’s feel-good blend of indie jazz, neo-soul, and modern funk featuring collaborations with Irish vocalists including Hozier. ZASKA has released two albums to critical acclaim and played high-profile headline sets at Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, The Button Factory Dublin, and the Mladí ladí jazz Open Air Festival in Prague.
Dublin’s Gemma Dunleavy’s breakout EP and single ‘Up De Flats’ tells of her love for her North Inner City Sherrif Street community. Gemma is a songwriter and producer who experiments with integrating harp and flute together with traditional storytelling and her love for pop & club music. She has headlined Other Voices, All Together Now, Forbidden Fruit, Electric Picnic, and Longitude festivals.
shiv is an Irish-Zimbawean DJ turned singer-songwriter & producer who blends R&B and low-fi hip-hop with elements of neo-soul. Her silky voice, soulful lyrics, and warm hazy instrumentals have won over a global audience with her song ‘Golden’ amassing over 10M Spotify streams. Her most recent singles ‘Heavy Water’ and ‘Late Now’ released with Warner Music Ireland are the beginning of a new shiv era and are sure to pull on your heartstrings. shiv has performed at Body & Soul, Sea Sessions, and Forbidden Fruit festivals.
Tipped as ‘one of the best voices in Ireland’ by GoldenPlec in 2021, Dublin-born alt R&B artist Melina Malone recently released ‘Lovers Sunday’, the sensual and dreamy first single from her upcoming debut album which was released in October 2023. Melina was part of Irish Women in Harmony’s 2020’s breakout charity single, ‘Dreams’ which amassed over €250,000 for SAFE Ireland. Her powerful voice can be heard on Mango X Mathman’s club hit ‘Heartbreaks & Promises’. Melina co-wrote and performed the 2022 ZASKA single, ‘Just For One Day’.
Cork-based beat-maker turned vocalist jarjajr amassed a huge online following as a pioneer in the SoundCloud beat scene. He mixes instrumental lo-fi hip-hop beats, spoken word, rap, and jazz elements to create a uniquely chilled sound. jarjarjr presented Soul Service in St. Luke’s Church as part of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, a curated gathering of the most exciting and experimental voices in hip-hop, jazz, and neo-soul. jarjarjr’s 2023 release ‘Song 50,000’ is a collaboration with Dublin jazz trio Five to Two. His debut album Catch the Dusk will be released later this year.