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Collaboration collaboration collaboration….

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I’m currently working on three collaborations… It was supposed to be my thing for this year, and I made a decision not to reveal who they were until they were done, but I’m really excited about the first one that has been in the pipeline for a very long time.

Let me tell you a little story. I came into contact with a rapper – no it would be wrong to call him just a rapper. He’s also a musician. A poet. A thinker. An entrepreneur. A lover of good music. Very generous with his time.

His name is Ruinz Ason.

Remember that name because he’s doing big things. I’ve known Ruinz for over 7 years, and I’ve got a lot of respect for him because he follows through with ideas, and has a lot of talent. We used to work together, and used to talk music all the time, and about history. He taught me a lot. We always talked about collaborating, but you know how things happen… Finally I sent Jay Flames, his brother my piano part – an 8 bar line, over the weekend and I got an email back with my part wrapped in a big beat… I’m not even going to tell you anymore but all I can say is keep an eye out -we’re premiering it soon! Thanks Ruinz and Jay, I’ve been looking forward to this for a very long time, you’ve made another dream come true.

Please follow Ruinz on twitter and support him. www.twitter.com/RuinzAson

Featured artist: Dan Keep

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Dan is a jazz flautist, singer, songwriter and teacher, holding a Master of Arts degree. He started playing the flute at the age of 13 and his performances were mainly classical but he always maintained his love of jazz from a very early age. For many years his musical specialism was as a classically trained baritone; having sung in major venues across Europe; from the Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall in the UK, to St Mark’s Venice, Chartres Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore, the Pantheon and St Peters Vatican in Rome. Dan has performed on the stage in opera, operetta and musicals; Billy Flynn (Chicago), Sky Masterson (Guys & Dolls), Colonel Pickering (My Fair Lady), Bishop of Digne (Les Misérables). In recent years his love of jazz has come to the fore and he sings jazz and plays jazz flute with a number of groups and artists, focusing very much on the improvisational nature of the instrument. He has been fortunate recently to perform open air at Le Jardin du Luxembourg and Disneyland in Paris, where his band were spotted and invited to perform at the Eastern European Jazz Festival, and recently was fortunate to gig with the legendary Jools Holland. He loves performing at any level and is particularly keen to bring young people into the improvisational nature of jazz; working from the principle that in jazz you should play what you feel, with confidence, and that “you are only ever one note away from a right one”.

Follow Dan on www.twitter.com/jazzflautist