Growing up in Canberra, Julian Banks started enjoying music in high school. It was right here that he met band mate (and real life mate) James Hauptmann. With James on drums and Julian on tenor saxophone and writing the pieces, their friendship and musical connection grew. The duo joined with Christopher Hale, who performs 6-string semi-acoustic bass guitar to kind the Julian Banks Trio and released their first, self-titled, album in 2014.
In 2015, Julian Banks Trio was invited to play on the Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali. It was right here that Julian was introduced to Cepi Kusmiadi, a gifted Indonesian percussionist who joined the band for his or her Bali gigs. Enjoying the Kendang Sunda, a set of two-headed drums that’s traditionally played within Sundanese gamelan orchestra, Cepi brought a new sound to the group. “I immediately fell in love with the sound of those drums and I was blown away by Cepi’s sense of musicianship”, says Julian. Quickly after this gig Cepi officially joined the band, which grew from a trio to a quartet and have become the Julian Banks Group.
Julian was so inspired by the sounds of Cepi and his Kendang Sunda that on his return house he began to jot down music that incorporated guitars, saxophone and drums to highlight the traditional Indonesian percussion. Shying away from any rigid labels, the Julian strives to “write tunes that have an nearly ‘tune’ like feel to them”. Comprising of strong melodies and groove as well as some folky sounds, their eclectic and distinctive ‘Indie-Jazz’ sound is actually distinctive to the group. The Julian Banks Group has expanded once more to incorporate James Gilligan on bass guitar, who brings even more depth to the band’s sound.
Although the purpose of Julian Banks Groups wasn’t to create cross-cultural exchange or turn out to be an emblem of successful bilateral relationships, the friendships they have shaped and their collective passion for music is undeniably that. Despite their totally different mother international locations and cultural backgrounds, Julian says “Cepi and I are basically doing exactly the identical thing with our lives”. He attributes their profitable collaborations as a result of real associateship and the band’s robust musical partnerships.
Last yr Julian Banks Group returned to Ubud Village Jazz Competition, the place additionally they recorded their current album. Julian describes the album as a “lovely blend of all of the instruments and Cepi’s bubbling magic on this stunning traditional Indonesian instrument creates the perfect bed for the trendy grooves and melodic sensibility of the compositions”. Recording the album the day after completing a grueling hike up Gunung Agung in East Bali. The boys decided to name their album AGUNG, in “tribute to our adventure on the nice volcano”.
With assist from the Australia Council for the Arts, Julian Banks Group is returning to Ubud Village Jazz Pageant and taking part in a number of gigs in Ubud and Candidasa in Bali this month. The band is worked up to be back and taking part in for the various and multicultural viewers that’s drawn to Bali. Together with these appearances, Julian Banks Group will probably be hitting the road for a number of gigs in Australia in addition to recording new music.
When you didn’t think the band was working hard enough, on top of these gigs and recording, the band will probably be giving workshops at Yayasan Pendidikan Dria-Raba, a not-for-profit school for blind children in Bali. The Australian Consulate in Bali arrange YPDR and has provided instruments to the students to learn and practice enjoying music. Julian hopes that the band can quickly expand their interaction with Indonesian audiences, particularly with festivals in Sumatra, Lombok and Java.