PYJÆN are Dylan Jones - Trumpet, Ben Vize - Sax, Dani Diodato - Guitar, Ben Crane - Bass, Charlie Hutchinson - Drums. The five-piece met at Trinity Laban College of music, united in their passion for improvised music and the jazz tradition, with a shared vision of pushing music forward in new directions. You’ll find influences of rock, electro, afrobeat, hip hop and jazz fusion in their sound. They play The Verdict on Thursday 15th November as part of their UK tour. Guitarist Dani Diodato told us about the origins of the band and what they have planned.
Dani, why is The Verdict a special venue for you and important to play on this tour?
Last time we were at the Verdict we had a great time. The venue is beautiful and the audience really listens to the music, which is not something you always get at gigs! It is also quite a small room, which means we don’t need to use mics for the horns, giving the gig quite an intimate vibe. We wanted to return because we love The Verdict, and we love Brighton!
How’s the tour going? How have things changed since you released Prologue last year?
The tour is going well, lots of traveling but we are grateful to be bring our music around the country. A lot has changed since releasing our initial EP Prologue last November. We still play the tunes that are on that EP, but we have developed them and changed them as well. We have also added a lot of other tunes to our repertoire, and keep on composing. A lot of opportunities have arisen for us since the EP release, such as playing at the Jazz Café twice; firstly supporting Ginger Baker, and secondly playing the music of Miles Davis album “Tutu”, as well as our own compositions. We are planning to release our first album in April next year, which will include some compositions from the first EP, but mostly will be the new material that we have been performing this year.
Tell us how you work together as a 5-piece. Also, how did you come up with the name PYJÆN?
Each one of us at PYJÆN brings a different stylistic approach to the band. We all love lots of different styles and that is brought out when we play together, so the result is that you get a fusion of jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk and many more. We also all write tunes for the band. Our usual approach is that someone brings a tune they’ve written to a rehearsal, we play it, and then we all give our own ideas and thoughts to the tune, changing and adapting it to the fit the band. Sometimes the original piece of composition has been completely changed!
The name PYJÆN was created when we were all at a festival called Brainchild together. The trumpeter, Dylan Jones, was buying a cup of coffee at one of the stalls. The barrister asked for his name so it could be written on the cup of coffee. However, when Dylan’s name was read out, the barrister thought it was written as PYJÆN. He came back and told us what happened, and we all found it hilarious, and decided to use it as the band’s name.
What various influences do you all bring?
Each of us have lots of different influences that we bring to the band. I’ve mentioned rock, jazz, hip-hop and funk are just a few of the different genres that shape the band. Dylan's also in the Ezra Collective. Our individual influences vary from jazz giants such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis and so on, to contemporary and pop artists, such as Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar.
What will the show at The Verdict entail?
The show this week will be one not to miss. Because the Verdict is such a great venue with a really intimate vibe, listeners will feel really close to the band! We’ve always loved acoustic setups when possible, because you can really hear the timbre and colour of the brass instruments, drums and guitars. We will be playing new material, as well as stuff from the EP, but with new setups and different forms. Hope to see you there!
You can see PYJÆN at The Verdict on Thursday 15th November.
£8/£4 buy tickets here: https://www.roxanneattheverdict.com/whats-on