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1700 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201


more tba

All Ages
Friday, June 16
Show: 8pm Doors: 7pm
$17 / Day Of : $20

Surprise Chef’s music is based on evoking mood; their vivid arrangements utilize time and space to build
soundscapes that invite the listener into their world. The quintet’s distinct sound pulls from 70s film scores,
the funkier side of jazz, and the samples that form the foundation of hip hop. They push the boundaries of
instrumental soul and funk with their own approach honed by countless hours in the studio, studying the
masters, and perhaps most importantly, the ‘tyranny of distance’ that dictates a unique perspective to
their music.

Hailing from just outside of Melbourne, Australia, their first two albums, All News Is Good
News and Daylight Savings amassed a die-hard fanbase and brought their sound from their home studio
to every corner of the globe. The band is now signed to Big Crown Records, joining a lineage of
contemporary and classic sounds that have influenced Surprise Chef’s music since their formation in

Surprise Chef is Lachlan Stuckey on guitar, Jethro Curtin on keys, Carl Lindeberg on bass, Andrew
Congues on drums, and Hudson Whitlock—the latest member who does it all from percussion to
composing to producing. Their self proclaimed “moody shades of instrumental jazz-funk” have a bit of
everything: punchy drums, infectious keys, rhythm guitar you might hear on a Studio One record, and flute
lines that could be from a Blue Note session. But when you step back and take in the entirety of their
sound and approach, you’ll hear and see a group greater than the sum of its parts.
In many ways Surprise Chef embodies the idiom “the benefits of limits.” They were limited in that there
weren’t many people making or talking about instrumental jazz/soul/funk in Southeast Australia, let alone
putting out records. This left them to develop their sound and approach in a kind of creative isolation
where a small circle of friends and like-minded musicians fed off each other. “Being in Australia, being so
far away, we only get glimpses and glances of this music’s origins,” Stuckey says. “But hearing a label like
Big Crown was one of the first times we realized you could make fresh, new soul music that wasn’t super
retro or just nostalgic.”

This approach is on full display throughout their new album Education & Recreation. Tracks like
“Velodrome” pair chunky drums with an earworm synth line that has all the making of something you
would find on an Ultimate Breaks & Beats compilation while numbers like “Iconoclasts” show their knack
for tasteful use of space. From the crushing intro of “Suburban Breeze” to the floaty mellow bop of
“Spring’s Theme” Surprise Chef has weaved together an album that takes you through peaks and valleys
of emotion and provides a vivid soundtrack that will pull you deeper into your imagination. There is a
beauty in the vast space for interpretation of instrumental music and they are adding a modern classic to
the canon with this new album. Turn on the record and enjoy the ride, wherever it may take you.

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