Tony Lewis

Satsuki Odamura's koto, Sandy Evans's saxophone and Tony Lewis's percussion created a collective sound of marvellous transparency.
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald
The members of Waratah..[are] players of such innate musicality that they can wing their way between continents, drawing inspiration where they will, and make it sound not only cohesive, but wondrous.
John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

Waratah is an Australian music trio which unites jazz, world music and contemporary Australian music into a remarkable fusion. This exciting adventure brings together three acclaimed musicians and their instruments, from different stylistic and cultural traditions, into a new and challenging context. The ensemble is rich in talents and experience, diverse in styles and backgrounds, and is innovative and rewarding in its musical output.
Sandy Evans is one of Australia's leading jazz saxophone players, whose melodic inventions range far beyond the stylistic confines normally reserved for jazz. Sandy evokes new worlds of sound equally from sweet flowing sonorous lines, and from rich deep timbres and multiphonics.
Sandy's saxophone is complimented by the exquisite textures and explosive passion of Satsuki Odamura's koto. An acclaimed virtuoso on her instrument, Satsuki brings to the ensemble musical qualities that range from traditional Japanese tonalities and textures, to the avant-garde. Satsuki has truly revolutionised the koto in the context of contemporary Australian music.
The ensemble is tied together by Tony Lewis's unique world of percussion. From a diverse armoury of instruments ranging from traditional non-western hand drums to pieces of found metal, Tony creates both sophisticated rhythmic structures and distinctive temperaments and timbres, upon which Sandy and Satsuki invent their own magic.
Sandy Evans, Satsuki Odamura & Tony Lewis each contribute compositions, and their performance incorporates liberal doses of improvisation. This is an ensemble which guarantees its audiences a new experience.
Waratah is a name from the creation stories of the Dharawal Aboriginal people of New South Wales. According to the Dharawal history, the spirit woman Kurrabaree came to Earth from a star, and created the first two people from the mud on the banks of the river Bargo. Those first two people were Wirid-Jiribin (the lyrebird, the communicator) and Waratah (the flower, the beautiful one). All the Dharawal people are descendants of Wirid-Jiribin and Waratah. In contemporary Australian, Waratah is the name of a brilliant red flower (Telopea speciossima), which is also the floral emblem of New South Wales. Sandy Evans, Satsuki Odamura and Tony Lewis use the name Waratah in this spirit, and with the greatest respect to the Dharawal people - and, importantly, with the full consent and approval of the Dharawal community.
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Masthead photo (Waratah) by Peter Sams.
Courtesy of the Australian 2005 Aichi Expo Unit