“I feel like I've won the lotto,” Evan Carydakis said of his spot playing at this year’s Mona Foma.
The Launceston-based jazz saxophonist will be performing Boaz and Jachin – the Shape of Things to Come, along with Brendon Siemsen on guitar, Andrew Dennis on drums, and Peter Waddle on bass, as part of the music and arts festival.
A tribute to jazz great John Coltrane through a rendition of his early album First Meditations, the show will be “jazz off the leash,” according to the Mona Foma program.
However, while Coltrane’s lesser-known early-career album will be the core of the performance, it will also include original music.
“I will feature two of my own tunes in the 45-minute set,” Carydakis said.
“They still pay homage to the Coltrane sound, however, there comes a time in your life where you almost have to play your own songs.
“That is the major difference between being a performer and an artist.”
Carydakis said he felt privileged to be working at a time when living where you wanted – outside of the major cities- was no barrier to reaching audiences like those coming for Mona Foma.
“As a regional artist living in northern Tasmania, I feel blessed to have the support of my wife Teena, and my long-time cohort Brendon Siemsen,” he said.
“They both have encouraged me to pursue my performing career and to seek a national and international platform alongside my more established contemporaries.”
Carydakis will also take the feature show on the road this year, aiming for festivals in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth, and with a view to performing on the Asiatic festival circuit in 2020.
"It's so amazing to get the opportunity to perform at festivals throughout the country, and then emerge on the international stage" he said.
“It won’t be possible without the assistance of Arts funding bodies, and Arts Tasmania have been very supportive and generous in that sense.”
- The Evan Carydakis Quartet will play at Mona Foma on Saturday, January 19, 4.15pm, at the Traverser Stage, Inveresk. Included in Three Day Festival Ticket or Day Pass, tickets through mofo.net.au.