Modadji is a three-piece band from Christchurch whose sophisticated style and repertoire has been designed to specifically cater to patrons attending weddings, balls, parties, nightclubs and corporate functions .
Originally a jazz duo, the trio formed in 1993 due to the trend in electronic backing which enabled a small ensemble of musicians to produce a full band sound.
The group consisting of keyboard, saxophone, and three lead vocals is able to reproduce a variety of styles including pop, soul, reggae, disco, rock and jazz
Modadji’s repertoire covers a range of the most sophisticated popular music from the 70’s to the present day
The trio pride themselves on their professionalism and their ability to accommodate every audience.
Modadji performs as either a trio or a duo depending on the clients requirements and budget.
Simon Lean-Massey: has a First-class honours Bachelor of Music degree from Canterbury University and is a double major graduate of The Christchurch Polytechnic Jazz School. He is the founding member of the group Modadji and is responsible for the arrangements and programming that give the group their unique sound and style. Apart from his stunning adeptness at playing the tenor saxophone, he also sings and plays keyboard. He is currently a music tutor at The Christchurch Polytechnic Jazz School. His advertising jingles can be heard on radio and television. Simon’s first love is jazz – and along with other tutors and ex-graduates of the Jazz School he is available to perform in this idiom, when required.
Katherine Smith: joined Modadji in January 2000. She has brought style and flair to the trio, drawing from her vast experience as a performer and a fashion photographer. Kate performed in America during a two year residence in L.A., and upon her return to New Zealand fronted the successful duo ‘Smith and Jones’ for seven years. More recently she has carved a niche for herself as the voice behind many television and local radio advertising jingles. Her vocal talent has enabled the group to perform an even wider variety of styles and has strengthened the close-knit harmonies that distinguish Modadji from other groups.
Sarah Lean-Massey: has been singing professionally since the age of 15. A vocal performance graduate from The Christchurch Polytechnic Jazz School, Sarah is currently teaching vocals at the Hagley Community College Jazz School and on the Christchurch Polytechnic Rock Course. Throughout her career she has experimented with many styles of music including Country, Middle-of the Road, Rock, Heavy Metal, Standard and Fusion Jazz, however; her forte lies within the rock/pop idiom and Modadji is the perfect vehicle for her talents. Sarah can also be heard performing advertising jingles for radio and television.