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Bio

Drummer/percussionist Alastair McGrath-Kerr is recognised as one of Australia's leading exponents of Brazilian percussion and jazz drumming.  He studied under legendary teacher Col Hoorweg at the Canberra School of Music, and is currently a PhD candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts.  In addition to a busy performance schedule, Alastair has given masterclasses and workshops across Australia, and teaches at some of Melbourne's leading institutions, including Monash University and Melbourne Polytechnic (NMIT).

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ENSEMBLES ALASTAIR IS INVOLVED IN

DdV3 sound check at Salon 2-6-12Well known as a jazz drummer, over the past decade Alastair has been heavily involved in Australia’s vibrant Brazilian music scene.  He is a member of the Doug de Vries Trio, and has worked extensively with the guitar virtuoso, including in Sexteto Zona Sul and Panorama Brasil. The Doug de Vries Trio has played to full houses at the Melbourne International and Wangaratta Jazz Festivals, and opened for legendary Brazilian musician Hermeto Pascoal at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

In recent years Al has added the pandeiro to the extensive list of percussion instruments he carries around, and he is now one of Australia's most in-demand pandeiristas.  He peforms regularly in a number of choro and samba groups, including TamanduaSexteto Zona Sul and Trio Agogo.

Twice Acting Director of Australia’s premier bateria, MelSamba (‘04&’09), Alastair was a bateria member for five years, and in 2009 he traveled to Brazil and played with the bateria at Estácio de Sá. Al travelled to Brazil again in 2012, studying and performing with many of São Paulo's finest musicians.

Al has long been admired for his driving swing feel in a number of jazz groups. His grooves are central to Leigh Barker’s Bell Award winning album The New Sheiks. He appears on the follow-up (The Sales Tax), as well as Barker’s three quintet albums. His compositions are featured on the quintet albums, and on pianist Matt Boden's 2011 release MB4.


Ial walking awayn 2009 Alastair formed his own jazz group, The Alastair Kerr Quartet, primarily as a vehicle for his own jazz compositions. In 2010 the Quartet released their debut album (The Ultimate Fate of...) and opened for Chucho Valdes at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Following that, Al formed Panorama Brasil, a group focusing on Kerr's Brazilian influenced compositions and works by a range of Brazilian composers.  Panorama Brasil peformed the premiere of a new suite by Kerr, The Archer and the Dancer, at the 2013 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.  The recording of the suite was released as the groups debut album in June 2013.  Panorama Brasil released their second album, Flor de Pedra, in 2015, as well as featuring at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival with Vince Jones & Alda Rezende, performing a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim.

As a freelance player he has worked with many of Australia’s best jazz musicians, including Julien Wilson, Sarah McKenzie, Bernie McGann, Eamon McNelis, Diana Clark, Gordon Brisker, Marc Hannaford, Dave Rex, Mark Fitzgibbon, Craig Fermanis and James Annesley. He has also appeared on a number of jazz, blues and rock recordings

As an educator, Kerr is sought out for his excellent pedagogical knowledge. His students benefit from his extensive research, and from his own experiences as a student with some of the best drummers in Australia and overseas. He has studied with John Riley, Ari Hoenig, and Scott Kettner (USA), Marcio Bahia, Roberta Valente, Jorge Alabe, Celso de Almeida and Edu Ribeiro (Brazil), and many Australian drummers, including Simon Barker, David Jones and Hamish Stuart. Kerr completed his Master of Philosophy thesis Improvisation in Brazilian Drum Kit: Performance and Practice Techniques in Choro, Samba and Bossa Nova, and is undertaking PhD studies at the Victorian College of the Arts.

 

Upcoming Gigs
May 26 - Trio Agogo at the Paris CAt
June 10 - Jobim's Masterpieces, Melb Int Jazz Fest
Dec 17 - Trio Agogo at Paris Cat

Upcoming Gigs

Please click through the tabs for information on our upcoming gigs.

May 26 - Trio Agogo at the Paris CAt

Friday May 26, 7pm

Trio Agogo at the Paris Cat Jazz Club

Trio Agogo return to the Paris Cat for a night of fiery choro, featuring saxophonist Ben Carr.  Check out this video of us in the studio with Ben, recording one of Paul's great tunes.

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June 10 - Jobim's Masterpieces, Melb Int Jazz Fest

Saturday June 10

Jobim's Masterpieces

Vince Jones, featuring Doug de Vries

Part of the 2017 Melbourne International Jazz Festival

After the stunning sold-out success of "Jobim" at the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Australia’s leading jazz vocalist, Vince Jones, brings this tribute to the 2017 Melbourne International Jazz Festival.  Guitar virtuoso Doug de Vries features, as well as being musical director for this concert of works from the iconic Brazilian composer, pianist and songwriter, Antônio “Tom” Carlos Jobim.

A founder of the bossa-nova style, Jobim’s 1965 mega-hit The Girl from Ipanema fuelled the craze for Brazilian-inspired music that swept the world. The genius behind some of the world’s biggest jazz and pop hits of all time, Jobim has been an enduring influence on subsequent generations, and was much admired for his collaborations with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz and João Gilberto.

Joining Jones and de Vries will be Jones' long-time collaborator Matt McMahon (piano), as well as members of Panorama Brasil.

Check out the reviews for "Jobim" here and here

 

 

 

Dec 17 - Trio Agogo at Paris Cat

Saturday December 17, 7pm - Trio Agogo at Paris Cat

Brazil on Fire is an exciting collaboration between two of Melbourne’s great exponents of Brazilian music.
 Trio Agogo have been performing since 2009 and features master percussionist Al Kerr and Guitarists Adam May and Paul Carey.  These players have featured in Doug de Vries’ legendary groups and have forged their own groups which have toured nationally and been invited to international festivals.  Ben Carr is well known in Australia as a saxophonist of great virtuosity and originality.  He leads his own trio and is a prolific composer.  This collaboration brings together the powerful swinging grooves of the rhythm section as the bed for Carr’s explosive improvisations.  The material is comprised of standard repertoire which has been reinterpreted within this group and original contemporary compositions inspired by Brazil and beyond.  Online bookings here.