"Electrifying Performance from a band that has everything - Crisp melody lines and improvisation to match " Dave Phillips, Chairman, Teignmouth Jazz Festival 2009
"There have been few bands (at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival) over the years that have produced performance sets with such diversity of style, light and shade, with such strong melodies and riffs, warm harmonies and innovative structures." Andrew Stevens, resident sound engineer, Teignmouth Jazz Festival 2009
"If a band's success at our festival is measured by the CDs they sell, you came very high indeed with very favourable comments. You deserve a much bigger exposure and I defy anyone booking you to be disappointed." Ian Pennicott, Secretary, Teignmouth Jazz Festival 2009
"What I liked about Bread & Circuses was the different styles. The Caribbean flavours really shine through in 'All Change Please' whilst 'Big Girl Funk Machine' is a really danceable track. Neil Maya is a talented and technically sound musician, who is developing his sound through his quartet. Neil Maya makes saxophone sounds reminiscent to Illinois Jacquet at times, and Cannonball Adderley's influence can be heard throughout - however Neil Maya's voicing and phrasing are difficult to compare to anyone. The Neil Maya Quartet is unique - something the crowd as Ronnie Scott's would appreciate" Brian Parker, Jazz-Radio.fm
Hugely talented band of brothers....
"You'd be hard pushed to find a better sounding quartet in this neck of the woods- or any other for that matter. One of the joys of the hugely talented Neil Maya and his merry band of brothers is that they are home grown in the South Hams. As such not only did they choose Totnes to launch their second album, Bread and Circuses, but the town also features heavily in the mix....
Marcus Vergette on double bass, Nick Carter on drums, Tom Unwin on piano and Neil leading the charge makes for a creative and accomplished combination. Let's hope they don't move further afield for the next launch- the word is out now." Jonpaul Hedge, Herald Express, 15th May 2009 - DOWNLOAD THE FULL ARTICLE HERE
"Neil Maya on sax and clarinet fronted the foursome with the ease of a true professional. His sax playing was second to none as he smoothly made his way through the repertoire which ranged from his own compositions to contemporary jazz classics.... Tom Unwin on Keyboards brought a passion for his music seemingly equalled only by the high winds sweeping through the county... His performance was faultless and much appreciated by the audience. Marcus Vergette on double bass.. enthralled the audience with his energetic playing as he virtually tangoed with his bass, his footwork a sight to behold. Finally drummer (Gary Evans) held the ensemble together impeccably."
"I was very impressed by the quality of playing when the excellent Neil Maya Quartet performed to an appreciative audience at The Keay Theatre, St Austell. The musicians worked together as a tight unit, their individual skills highlighted with empathy and understatement. Neil Maya's playing on his own compositions was particularly moving and poignant and the quartet moved easily from ballads to swing and jazz to funk. An excellent, varied evening of contemporary jazz by some of the South West's leading musicians: go see them if you get the chance, you won't be disappointed." Phil Webb, Programme Co-ordinator, The Keay Theatre, Cornwall
"The Neil Maya Quartet were fantastic, playing lively vibrant jazz that was a real hit with the audience". Debbie Di-Bello, General Manager, Flavel Arts Centre Dartmouth
"It's always pleasing to see a band we have booked for our festival perform so well. Your gig at the Clifford Arms was excellent: you all play so well together. Your original tunes were great, but I must say your version of the Mingus 'Fabus of Faubus' was simply brilliant! looking forward to seeing you all again." Ian Pennicott, Secretary, Friends of Teignmouth Jazz Festival
"Thanks again to you and the others for an absolutely brilliant evening.- it was some of the most exciting jazz I have ever heard and we got lots of similar comments from other people." Lorna Howell, Lukesland Gardens, October 2006
"The Neil Maya Quartet made a very welcome return to the Exeter Jazz Club at the Globe Inn on Thursday 28 September 2006 and produced a superb, masterly performance. On this showing this must be one of the finest 'Modern Jazz' [whatever that means these days!] in the SW, if not the UK." Ian Emby, Exeter Jazz Club, Globe Inn
"Here at Speakeasy Jazz, have often invited The Neil Maya Quartet to entertain our patrons. They are an extremely talented group of fine musicians with a large repertoire and can be relied upon to tailor their performance to suit every occasion. The quartet are a first class contemporary jazz outfit who play to entertain their audience. Highly recommended!" Speakeasy Jazz Club, 2006
"The event was sponsored by Villages in Action, a rural touring scheme which helps to promote top-quality professional performances in village communities. The band played an eclectic mix of contemporary jazz, including their own material and versions of standard arrangements from legends such as Chick Corea and Django Reinhardt. Neil Maya introduced each item with some relaxed but informative background, and as well as the standard quartet instruments of drums, saxophone, keyboard and double bass they also showcased pieces featuring the clarinet and bass guitar. Each number and all the solos were enthusiastically applauded, and at the end of the evening the band was happy to accede to the unanimous calls for an encore. The Jazz Night drew an audience from the surrounding villages as well as from Dalwood. All 80 tickets were sold in advance, and the event raised a total profit of £340 for Dalwood Village Hall." Dalwood Village Hall May 2007
For further reviews, please contact Neil:
+44(0)1803 862762 or
Cool jazz at The Beehive in Honiton, surely not, cool jazz to a foot tapping packed house, your’re kidding me, but no this is a tribute to a Jazz great and performed with style and panache by the Neil Maya Quartet. All very talented musicians who have clearly spent years honing their craft to the point were they can deliver a tight set of the compositions from Dave Brubecks’s seminal album ‘Time Out’ released in 1959. Many of the compositions were in unusual time signatures but this presented no problem to this talented group. Take 5, Unsquare Dance, Blue Rondo A La Turk and many more were faithfully rendered, each with their own subtle interpretations.
Throughout the evening Nick Carter on drums and Kevin Sanders on bass kept the band together with all the changes in time signatures and rhythms. Mixed in with these jazz standards we were also treated to original compositions from saxophonist Neil Maya - Ode to a Great Shed, and pianist Matt Carter’s tribute to the great Bill Evans. Matt is a local Honiton boy who surely has a great musical future ahead of him. His tribute to Bill Evans showed a maturity beyond his age and reflected the tragedy of Bill’s turbulent life.
A great evening and as we all spilled out into the Autumnal night with the jazz beats resonating in our hearts it was hard to believe that this was the town in the country with a city class venue in The Beehive.
The Beehive September 2017