Way Out West
Way Out West
Dung Nguyen
Way Out West


Excerpt featuring Dung Nguyen on dan bau
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  • country:Australia
  • style(s):Afro, Asian
  • label:Jazzhead Records
  • type:Band
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:instrumental
  • artist posted by:Way Out West

Line up

  • Dung Nguyen (dan bau and dan tranh (Vietnamese zithers) and gui)
  • Howard Cairns (acoustic bass)
  • Paul Williamson  (saxophones)
  • Peter Knight (trumpet)
  • Rajiv Jayaweera (drum kit)
  • Ray Pereira (Ghanaian talking drum, djembe, hand percussion)


A unique and alluring sound combining Vietnamese,
African and jazz influences...

The eclectic trumpeter/composer Peter Knight, and Vietnamese traditional music virtuoso Dung Nguyen (dan bau, dan tranh, modified electric guitar) are at the heart of this remarkable collaboration. Inspired by the cultural vitality and diversity of Melbourne, Way Out West creates something miraculous, a truly new sound rather than a pastiche of something pre-existing. Their new album Old Grooves for New Streets (released on Jazzhead in Australia and in Canada on Effendi) is superb
and has been getting five star reviews in Australia as well as some very favourable international attention: "Certainly a candidate for Best Release of the Year - I hope lots of ears hear this one" Laurence Donahue-Greene Editor All About Jazz New York.

In addition to Peter and Dung, Way Out West also features world-renowned West African percussion specialist, Ray Pereira, along with other Melbourne music luminaries, explosive saxophonist Paul Williamson, earthy acoustic bassist Howard Cairns, and young firebrand drummer Rajiv Jayaweera.
Way Out West's sound has been described as "utterly unique" and features the hauntingly beautiful timbres of traditional Vietnamese instruments the dan tranh (16-string zither), and the dan bau (single string zither), played by Dung Nguyen. Dung learnt music from his grandfather while growing up in Vietnam, continuing a tradition of many generations. He came to Australia
when he was 16 and continued his studies at university where he developed a love of jazz and won prizes for his guitar studies. Dung's fluency in both Vietnamese music and jazz ensures
that collaboration with the rest of the band really is collaboration: the creation of a new sound rather than a pastiche of pre-existing sounds. In fact, many reviews of Way Out West's first album, Footscray Station, note the unified approach the band achieves: "That these exotic sounds blend so well with jazz is a mysterious Melbourne alchemy" (Sydney Morning Herald).

Enquires Ph Peter +61 409 797 852

Winner 2009 Bell Award, 'Best Australian Jazz Ensemble'

Nominated for 2008 APRA 'Jazz Work of the Year'

4 on jazz charts in Montreal July 2008

Included in "Top 10 CDs of 2007" Sunday Herald Sun

Included in Jazz Australia's Top CDs of 2007 Critics' Poll

* * * * * ABC Limelight Magazine
* * * * * Adelaide Advertiser
* * * * 1/2 The Australian
* * * * The Age
* * * * Voir Magazine (Montreal)

Press Reviews

Jazz Times review of Vancouver Jazz Festival performance June '08
"The afternoon's international revelation was Way Out West, an extraordinary sextet from

Voir Magazine Montreal July '08
Rating * * * *
"An authentic jewel of world-jazz."

Vancouver Sun June 30th 2008
"Truly one of the highlights of the day, the Melbourne-based group managed to combine different styles seamlessly, succeeding where so many other world music fusion groups fail."

Hour Magazine Montreal July '08
"This ain't no worldbeat novelty stunt - the instruments are worked in artfully, and beyond them, there's a melodic sense to the whole band... honest, inventive and original."

Adelaide Advertiser March 3rd 2008, live review Adelaide Fringe, John McBeath
Rating * * * * *
"Every member is a master musician interpreting the works wonderfully, with standout solos from everyone."

Laurence Donahue-Greene, editor All About Jazz New York: "Certainly a candidate for Best Release of the Year - I hope lots of ears hear this one"

ABC Limelight Magazine October 2007, Peter Wockner
Rating * * * * *
"A mixed marriage of unprecedented success While the thought of fusing African and
Vietnamese music may appear unusual, the result is one of the most compelling releases of 2007."

The Australian November 2007, John McBeath
Rating * * * * 1/2
Live in Toronto July 2008
"Vietnamese, African and a dash of the Middle East, all melded into Knight's original grooves."

The Age, Green Guide August 9th 2007, Leon Gettler
Rating * * * *
"Captivating and cross-cultural with its blending of jazz, Asian and African sounds... In an age
where so many albums have a sameness about them, this one is a refreshing gem."

Owen McKern RRR
"It's an absolute stunner - one of the really fine new releases I've heard this year."