Phax Trio reinvent classical music

HAZEL ALLIES-HUSSELMAN

Three classically-trained musicians have combined their talents to start a band and with their unique sound, they are also challenging perceptions of the genre.

Zhaun Gorridon from Bridge-town, a final year student at the University of Cape Town’s College of Music, is the latest member to join the trio.

He started his musical journey at the age of 12, when he joined a Christmas choir and started off playing the trumpet. He also spent four years at Beau Soleil Music Centre in Kenilworth, where he honed his skill, and where he met his then teacher, now fellow band member, Andrea Fisher-Jeffes. Zhaun now plays the tuba.

Andrea said Phax Trio started in 2010, but they “took a break”, after one of the members left.

It was when Zhaun joined Andrea and Shaun Acker, that the band was revived.

Said Andrea: “I’ve known Zhaun for years, and we often played together.

“Shaun and I studied at Rhodes University.

“We wanted to start a band in Cape Town, and we started with just playing classical, but now our sound is more like Gypsy. We started doing covers, but then Shaun started to arrange music.”

Andrea plays the euphonium and the saxophone.

Shaun plays the clarinet, piano and the flute.

Phax Trio did their first concert as part of a collaboration in December last year.

They have since gone on to play at various functions, but will have their first show of their own in June.

Speaking about making ends meet, especially as a classical musician, and in a tough economic climate, Andrea said: “For us classically-trained musicians, there is little out there.

“What we want to do is to get more of our music out there and educate people about it. Phax Trio is all about letting people know we can do more than they think we can. It’s extremely difficult, but very brave.”

Shaun said in order to survive the industry, musicians have to be multi-skilled and although it takes time to establish yourself, one must network. “We are trying to promote independence, because jobs are scarce and we have to learn to stand on our own two feet,” Shaun said.

He added that they received a phenomenally good response to their original music.

“Classical music is popular in reinventing itself,” he said.

Check out more of the band on Facebook (PhaxTrio), Twitter (Phax Junction), Youtube and SoundCloud.