He was introduced to traditional African rhythms before he could talk by his father, musician Sam Manzanza. His current band, Electric Wire Hustle, have been the beneficiaries of this early introduction to beats, as they tour the world to growing acclaim. Now drummer, composer and producer Myele Manzanza has just his released his first solo album titled One. Nick Atkinson spoke to Myele in his home town of Wellington.
Myele Manzanza. Photo courtesy of Every Waking Hour
He’s an accomplished local jazz pianist who’s latest record began life as a response to a near-death experience. “I’d been in a major car accident after I was hit head-on by a drunk driver who fell asleep at the wheel. There was a huge impact and I thought - oh my god I survived this - I had to spend eight days in hospital” says Field. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d spent over a week without playing or listening to music of any kind. When Field got out he headed over to Nathan Haines’ house and laid down the bones of new song called Cousin Morphine. It was the first composition of a series that would become an album called Field Of Vision. The composer and teacher talks about his love of Herbie Hancock who, like Field, began playing classical repertoire before disappearing down the jazz rabbit hole.