INTRODUCING THE EXPANSIVE SEVEN PIECE ENSEMBLE TUNES OF I, FROM NEW ZEALAND'S CAPITAL CITY.
Born out of the famed New Zealand School of Music in 2011, the then three piece band has spent the last five and a half years expanding their repertoire (and members) into a full seven piece ensemble. Featuring a solid backbone of drums, bass, vocals and guitars, and complemented by some of Wellington's finest horn players, Tunes of I - or TOI as they are also known - is renowned around the country for their original, tight and refreshingly dynamic live performances.
Having recently celebrated six years as a band, TOI have been working hard to cement their place in the New Zealand music scene. Most notably, the past three years has seen the award-winning band advance in leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings. During 2014 they were recipients of funding from theaudience.co.nz, resulting in their music video Give In, which enjoyed more than six weeks on rotation on Edge TV. They then pursued more than 25 shows around the country in summer 2014-15, rivalled only by a tour of slightly more magnitude the following summer, which celebrated the release of their debut album Restless at the end of 2015.
Restless - the result of a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $13 000 - was recorded in Surgery Studios by Lee Prebble, mastered by Mike Gibson of Munki Studios, and produced by Barnaby Weir of the Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. Its release at the end of November 2015 was celebrated with performances at Rhythm & Vines and Soundsplash, as well as more than 25 shows around the country as support and headlining acts alike.
Tunes of I opened for The Original Wailers on Bob Marley's 70th Birthday in early 2015, and have twice opened the Wellington leg of two Sticky Fingers tours, to sold out audiences. They have also twice performed with Ali Campbell's UB40 in Summer 2016-17. Other performances include alongside The Black Seeds at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, and touring with Australian bands Ocean Alley and Manalion.
The band is known for their on-stage dynamic, where their touring experience and Jazz School credentials force you to take notice. Not only is their musicianship and skill remarkable, but the solid musical and personal friendships between the members is obvious from the first note. Music isn't a product for Tunes of I, it's an experience; let them take you on a musical journey through a varied set performing their special blend of dub, roots, soul and psychedelic flavours, and watch as they unexpectedly swell into a single, resonating entity where all seven members blend into one collective presence.
Conway Jeune: Vocals/Guitar
Jules Blewman: Guitar
Makura Tomoana: Bass
Luther Hunt: Drums
Michael Costeloe: Trumpet
Bryn van Vliet: Saxophone
Kaito Walley: Trombone
"I can attest that Restless... is worth the anticipation. Fleshed out as a seven-piece and helmed by a solid production team, this album captures the energy of a band that was born to be out on the main stage. To stand out there are these subtle fusions within certain songs, little snippets of New Orleans calypso and injections of improvised Jazzy blues, that make Restless sound like the soundtrack to a Jamaican hard-boiled Neo-Noir film. On a whole, Restless is a showcase of the band's strengths, a testament to a level of musicianship beyond their years, and just a taste of what is sure to be a long and fruitful music career for Tunes of I."
- muzic.net.nz, (read the full review here)
"Where Kora pushed more towards a funk-rock vibe on their first album, Tunes of I are bringing in their full-blown New Zealand School of Music jazz credentials and supplementing their dub sound with fusion and a three-piece horn section – midway through the set the lead guitar pulled out a highly competent jazz solo just to prove the point. Tunes of I have so much going for them, including one of the most beautifully toned vocalists I’ve heard in a long time, and three brass players willing to strip off their shirts for a bit of eye-candy while performing their respective solos – admittedly, it would have been pretty hot up on that stage, so not uncalled for in any respect."
- Warwick Stubbs, Soundblab (read the full review here)
“[their self-titled EP] is definitely a winner for any reggae fan. The EP offers a generous amount of track time for the four tracks that are included, where I found myself wanting to hear more.”
-Mosca Media Australia (read the full review here)
"I was blown away with the lax yet professional stylings of a band playing grooves beyond their years. That and they were really chilled, friendly dudes that encompassed the positively Wellington vibe without the gimmick... It is almost incomprehensible that this is the bands first official EP release. It encompasses everything great about the Wellington Dub and Jazz scene... I expect huge things from these guys in the future."
- muzic.net.nz (read the full review here)