The People’s Lounge Presents Myele Manzanza + Creature

Sunday 28th May

Rhythm resides deep in the spirit for drummer and composer Myele Manzanza. It is the universal pulse that governs movement, an intuitive connection between body and sound that produces his genre-spanning, infectiously vibrant music.


He first came to prominence as a founding member of future soul group Electric Wire Hustle, channelling the sensuous swing of D’Angelo, J Dilla and the Soulquarians in their 2009 debut, self-titled album. He was also selected as a participant in the 2010 Red Bull Music Academy, & Detroit house producers Recloose and Theo Parrish soon tapped him to tour in their live groups, allowing Manzanza to further explore the connections between jazz swing, dance music and the rhythms of the African diaspora. “Theo was a teacher, allowing me to translate electronic drum beats onto the kit and getting closer to a sense of my own sound,” he says.

Since relocating to London in 2019, Manzanza has been delving deeper into that grounded spirit of his music, establishing his solo career as one of the capital’s most remarkable bandleaders and producers. “It has been a continual process of honing in deeper and deeper on my sound ever since my debut album One in 2012,” he explains. “That record came from a beatmaker mentality and the follow-up OnePointOne in 2016 was about translating it into the live space. It was then on 2019’s A Love Requited that I began a personal exploration into finding my voice as a composer.” Now, the pinnacle of this journeying process and eclectic taste comes in his ambitious five-part album series Crisis & Opportunity.
Volume One (London) was released in 2021, heralding a career-defining flow of creativity that was spurred on by the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic. Featuring some of the capital’s finest talent, including Ashley Henry, Benjamin Muralt, James Copus and George Crowley, the album’s deep-swinging tracks enshrine the diverse spirit of London’s diaspora-influenced music. Later that year, Volume Two (Peaks) took on a more frenetic pace, highlighting the UK’s burgeoning community of New Zealand expat musicians, including Ashton Sellars, Aron Ottignon and Matt Dal Din.

As such, 2022’s Volume Three (Unfold), takes Manzanza full-circle, back to his beat-making days as he explores the world of electronic production in conversation with the warmth of acoustic instrumentation. It is Manzanza at his most self-assured and rhythmically-moving, co-produced with Lewis Moody & featuring guests including vocalists China Moses, Wallace and Rachel Fraser, singer/guitarist Rosie Frayter-Taylor and neo-soul pioneer Omar. The year also saw Manzanza awarded as the New Zealand Jazz Artist of the Year 2022.

“I’m always finding new ways to express myself,” he says. “It’s all about moving forward, in my own groove.”

+ Creature.

After leading a continuously successful career as drummer in the enigmatic London Jazz Scene, Jim Cornelissen a.k.a Creature. combined his love for hip-hop production and live jazz/fusion music into his debut Album All Now, For Good.

In the album Creature. blends crisp sampling and impactful synths with live instrumentation, creating a unique forward thinking sound which is groovy, energetic and has a deep live feel. Feeling inspired both by the trademark London jazz movement, Creature. also implements a deep footprint of West Coast American jazz/hiphop. The album includes some of the groundbreaking young up-and-coming musicians and artists in the scene today.