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Soul // Kildare, Kildare

Max Zaska is a guitarist, songwriter, musical director, and producer best known for his band ZASKA's feel-good blend of neo-soul, indie jazz, and modern funk with collaborations featuring Irish vocalists including Hozier.

ZASKA’s second album, A Better Way draws inspiration from the current UK jazz scene (Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei), mixed with soul, R&B, and hip-hop elements to create a unique sound that highlights infectious rhythms, textured with horns and strings. Thematically, A Better Way is a hopeful expression of sustainability and our ability to make the world better for ourselves and the next generation. It’s out on edbl recordings, the indie UK label of neo-soul/jazz artist edbl.

“Existing in a kind of future-soul space, leaning into a Michael Kiwanuka corner here, a Sault element there, it radiantly reshapes some familiar themes and sounds...The second release by Max Zaska has notes of pure optimism coursing throughout. The Zaska project is inherently collaborative, with this record showcasing some incredible talent” - The Irish Times (A Better Way Review)

A Better Way sees Max taking on lead vocals for the first time on The Basics and Out My Hands. He's joined by featured vocalists Tolü Makay, Faye O'Rourke (Soda Blonde), Jess Kav, Melina Malone, J Smith, Precious Okpaje, and Carly Coonagh.

Singles Just For One Day and Gone In A Minute received significant Apple Music editorial playlist support, racking up 200K streams there. The Basics scored ZASKA’s first play on influential KCRW radio, was featured on Spotify Japan’s ‘Monday Spin’, and editorial ‘A Breath of Fresh Eire’. Calm Down was featured on British Airways & Aer Lingus ‘Next Big Thing’ in-flight entertainment and Just For One Day (edbl remix) was featured on BBC Introducing on Radio 1.

ZASKA’S 2019’s debut album, the highly critically acclaimed It Takes A Village, features over 25 performers and was named Album of the Year by RTÉ 2XM's Peter Curtin.

“A benchmark example of the talent that exists in this country” - The Irish Times (It Takes A Village review)

Live ZASKA shows always spread good vibes and have a high-energy reputation that may feature a surprise or two, like a crowd-surfing guitar solo and unexpected vocalists sitting in for a tune.

In March 2023, ZASKA played a string of 4 shows in London, starting upstairs at the legendary Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and ending with a sold-out performance at The Soul Kitchen in Brixton. In April the band played the Mladí ladí Open Air Jazz Festival in Prague which was live streamed on YouTube and on Czech radio. ZASKA has played sold-out headline shows in Ireland at the 2022 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, The Button Factory, The Sugar Club, The Grand Social, and Whelans.

"You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more joyous musical experience" - GoldenPlec (live review)

“As impressive as the Zaska experience is on record, the live show featuring his earth-shaking band is an incomparable experience and one not to be missed.” - Hot Press (live review)

Max Zaska has collaborations with the godfather of UK neo-soul Omar Lye-Fook MBE as well as Irish artists Shiv, Gemma Dunleavy, Kean Kavanagh, Jafaris; Brick Nasty; Carrie Baxter, Alex Tierney, Melina Malone, and JarJarJr. He has performed with Cory Wong (Vulfpeck), Ralph Rolle (Chic), and many others.