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Zaska releases Christmas song with a message

Staying In

NEW TUNES Zaska’s new song is a soulful bop that reminds us to give to those who need it most this Christmas.  

When Westport’s Max Zaska sat down this past summer to work on a Christmas song, he decided to write one about his own feelings, rather than cover a traditional song. The result is ‘Santa Don’t Come To Everyone’, the perfect smooth, mid-tempo, bop for your Christmas playlist. The song was released all streaming platforms last Friday, November 29, with an accompanying music video on YouTube.
Known for feel-good neo-soul that blends modern funk, jazz and R&B, Max Zaska is the guitar-wielding songwriter at the helm of a supergroup of Irish talent, the eponymous ZASKA. This revolving roster of players and rising stars from across genres in the Irish music scene included Hozier as the band’s original vocalist.
‘Santa Don’t Come To Everyone’ serves as a reminder that taking care of each other is more important than buying gifts. “There’s so much more consciousness about the need to reduce our consumption of needless things, both for economic and environmental reasons,” Max explains.
“With increasing homelessness as well, I wanted to write something that reminded people that the act of caring for others is far more meaningful than spending money on more and more stuff that we really don’t need.”
The soulful duet features vocalists Carly Coonagh and Niall McCabe. Carly Coonagh featured heavily on ZASKA’s debut album ‘It Takes A Village’ and is a regular in live performances. Cork-based Clare Islander Niall McCabe released his second album in 2018 and sings with Beoga, the band behind Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’. He’s been touring Ireland, the USA, and the UK with them over the last 18 months, opening for Sheeran and Foy Vance.
The lineup on this ZASKA track features Dylan Lynch (Little Green Cars/Soda Blonde), Luke Dunford (Chief Keegan), Kevin Higgins (Mescalito) and Max Zaska on guitar. Most of ‘Santa Don’t Come To Everyone’ was recorded live on location this past September.
After completing a BA in Jazz Performance in Dublin’s Newpark Music Centre, Max studied with jazz legends in Brazil, Italy, and Canada. Ever since, the musician-songwriter has been steadily gaining a solid following for his feel-good blend of funk, jazz and R&B.
Accolades for Zaska’s music have poured in, with Hot Press branding his earlier work as ‘one of the most strikingly accomplished debuts to cross the Hot Press towers sound system in quite some time indeed’, and Le Cool calling him ‘one of the most exciting up-and-coming artists in the country’.
Golden Plec is a huge fan too. Last year, the music magazine included him on its ‘Golden Axe’ list of ‘The Best Guitarists in Ireland Right Now’. “The crown prince of Irish jazz, Max Zaska’s place on this list was never in doubt,” the magazine said.
He recently performed a sell-out concert at Westival – Westport Music and Arts Festival.