East of West is a new project of Bosnian-born composer Goran Gajić (Double Bass), Philip Griffin (Oud) and Malindi Morris (Percussion). The trio formed in 2018 in order to explore new compositions that spring from the rich musical influences of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. East of West’s intricate story-telling compositions showcase the players’ extensive experience playing at both national and international levels and are spun over rich traditional rhythms, entwining elements of jazz and allowing space for open solos and improvisation.
Goran Gajić (Double Bass) is a Bosnian-born double bass player and composer. Brisbane based, he plays with jazz and world music acts and leads the project ‘East of West’. Goran has performed nationally and internationally, some highlights of which include two European tours, the Woodford Folk Festival, Mona Foma and the Blue Mountains Music Festival.
Philip Griffin (Oud, Laouto) is a musician, arranger and composer working across a wide range of styles. He has written music for the Royal Shakespeare Company; been a Young Artist for Opera Australia; directed the Fire Event Choir at Woodford Festival; played with Balkan bands including Makedonski Bop, Ssassa, Xenos and The Balkanics; toured and recorded with Ross Daly, Linsey Pollak, Frankie Armstrong and many others; created operatic roles in new opera performances; and played plucked strings with period instrument groups in New Zealand and Australia. In July 2018, he took the Senior New Zealand Ukulele Squad (a group he music directs comprising fifteen 14-17-year-old musicians) to perform at the Hawaiian Ukulele Festival.
Malindi Morris (Percussion) is a hand percussionist and composer drawing on influences from the Mediterranean, Balkans, Turkey and Iran. She specialises in Tapan, Darbuka and frame drums. She has studied and performed in both Australia and Europe, composing for the five-piece band, Lastovka, with performances at festivals such as Plavajoči Grad (Floating Castle) and other venues across Slovenia. Past projects in Australia include The Transbalkan Express, Dastan Sufi group and the Hikayat Ensemble, with performances at folk and multicultural festivals such as the Woodford Folk Festival, Scheherazade Festival, and the Queensland Multicultural Festival.