PHAT STRUT ft. Azania Noah
Funk, Jazz (CH)
AZANIA NOAH – Voice
Laurent Schafter – Bass, arrangements
Bertrand Gallaz – Guitar, compositions
Thierry Choinard – Drums, arrangements
Giuseppe Germano – Hammond B3 Organ
Drummer Thierry Choinard met with bass player Laurent Schaffter in Los Angeles, in 1995, which led them to play as a combo in different Soul Funk and R&B projects.
Bertrand Gallaz joined the combo in 1998 in Switzerland to found their first project, Fool Groove, focused on playing The Meters’ repertoire, in local festivals and venues.
Bertrand was already an established and recognized guitar player of the local scene – and to some extend international scene – especially in Jazz and Funk. He had already several CDs out featuring well-known artists such as Jean-Paul Bourelly or Ronald Shannon Jackson (Decoding Society, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler).
In 2008, the three musicians decided to create their own music. PHAT STRUT was founded. Meanwhile organist / keyboardist Guiseppe Germano joined the band and a first repertoire of pure instrumental Funk was born. The band recorded its first CD in 2011 and started to play festivals and venues around the French part of Switzerland.
The guys knew they wanted to add some great soulful and funky lead vocals at some points.
Since 2008, PHAT STRUT has been collaborating with several gifted soulful artists with captivating voices and strong energy.
LZ LOVE, who was already an established and accomplished artist, songwriter and lead vocalist (Mary Wells, James Brown, Michael Franti, Jennifer Lopez) on the Gospel, Soul, Funk and R&B scenes, joined the band in 2012 as featured lead singer, lyricist and amazing performer.
AZANIA NOAH joined PHAT STRUT late 2019, as a featured artist. AZANIA is an accomplished, famous, award-winning multi-cultural solo artist with impressive voice and performance abilities.
Her vocals abilities, powerful energy and positive charisma make her a phenomenal performer to see on stage. Azania has prestigious performance credit, including Blue Note Jazz Club and the legendary Apollo in New York City. She was also featured on the famous TV show The Voice in France (TF1 TV) seen by over 8 million viewers internationally. Azania latest album RISING contains several groovy soul and funky tracks inspired by the 70’s vibe.
PHAT STRUT has released 4 CDs, including one recorded live in Austin, TX. Several singles and the latest CD « Funky Confessions » are available on all main digital platforms for download or streaming.
All studio recordings were recorded live, meaning all instruments were recorded together at the same time with no over-dubs or re-recording what so ever. Each track is a lively authentic capture of the band moment, in the same way The Meters recorded their music. All organic and live.
Since PHAT STRUT started, the band had the great honor to receive appreciation from people everywhere it performed as well as from some established and legend Funk or Jazz artists such as Pee Wee Ellis, Leo Nocentelli (The Meters) and Shane Theriot.
We look forward to playing our music for more and more people and provide a great time to everyone.
Few people are born with the gift of instantly touching people’s hearts with their voice. Azania is one of them. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, this award-winning, multi-cultural artist was born and raised in the U.S. & in Geneva, Switzerland. From the age of 6 she knew that singing was her calling. “It’s a beautiful way to share emotions and connect with people on a deep level” she says.
Azania’s captivating voice, powerful energy and positive charisma make her a phenomenal performer and a joy to see on stage. She has performed over 800 concerts around the world, from Europe to Africa, Asia and the U.S. and looks forward to travelling worldwide. “It’s always wonderful and fascinating to see how universal music is. It surpasses so many cultural boundaries and speaks straight to the heart”.
Azania has sung at some of the most prestigious venues, including the famous Blue Note Jazz Club and the legendary Apollo in New York City, as well as the Blues Alley in Washington D.C. She has also performed in major music festivals, such as the world-renowned Montreux Jazz festival in Europe and has been invited to perform for 4 Presidents – of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and former prime minister of the U.K. Tony Blair.
In Paris, she won first prize in the French T.V. competition ‘Graines de Star’ on M6TV. Broadcast to millions of viewers, it was the first French show similar to ‘American Idol’. She also recently featured on the famous TV show “The Voice” in France (TF1 TV) seen by over 8 million viewers internationally.
Azania has always been interested in the “business” side of the music business as well, which is why she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, a Certificate in Marketing, as well as a Master’s Degree in International Business at the University of Webster in Geneva, Switzerland.
A true vocal chameleon, Azania loves exploring various facets of her voice in different styles of music. During her 12+ years of classical opera voice training, she performed in many different bands of not only soul and funk, but various styles from jazz to disco, electro/house to gospel, reggae to musical theater.
In her latest album, RISING, several songs are inspired by the groovy soul and funk era of the 1970’s. However Azania’s compositions evolve from diverse musical influences. “I simply compose what I feel, and I’m inspired by different styles. To me what’s most important is the message and emotion of each song. If you feel it, that’s all that counts”. Reflecting her warm personality, Azania’s lyrics are often enriched with uplifting and positive messages.
An avid philanthropist, Azania is goodwill ambassador to the All As One Children’s Center and orphanage based in her home country, Sierra Leone in West Africa. Founded during the country’s civil war, since 1999 they have provided shelter, food, medical care and schooling to over 3,000 of orphaned and destitute children in Sierra Leone.
Azania is also a talented actress, she notably performed in a short film “Grace” playing a Kenyan immigrant who suffered domestic violence. She recently acted in an upcoming documentary film produced by the grandson of the famous African-American icons, Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis, called “Life’s Essentials by Ruby Dee”.
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