By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Australian group Jagwar Ma will bring their psychedelic dance-pop sounds to the Lagoa venue, Miranda, on Friday, March 28th. They arrive in Rio thanks to the help of Queremos, a Rio based crowdfunded kickstarter, that connects musicians, agents, fans and venues.

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Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield of Australia’s Jagwar Ma, press image.

Influenced by an eclectic mix of musicians and bands including: The Avalanches, Aphex Twin, Moondog, Ewan Pearson, J Dilla,and Bo Diddley, the audience on Friday should be in for a treat as Jagwar Ma has crafted a sound uniquely their own.

Formed in Sydney, Australia in 2011, Jaguar Ma consists of lead vocalist, Jono Ma, and Gabriel Winterfield on guitar, synths and samplers. Bassist and vocalist Jack Freeman, joins Ma and Winterfield at live shows.

After finishing up a tour opening for the xx, the trio are currently on their own headline tour in support of their critically acclaimed debut album entitled, Howlin’.

Pitchfork said of the release in June 2013 review; “From the moment ‘What Love’ [the album’s opening track] fades in with its loose-limbed, floppy rhythm, Howlin’ ensures everybody will be dancing […]” While NME wrote that the album, “fuses dance and guitar music in a way that hasn’t been done for twenty years.”

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Jagwar Ma’s Jono Ma, Jack Freeman and Gabriel Winterfield before a show at Scala in London, UK, photo by Goldenskyandsun/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

Thus far, Jagwar Ma have released four singles: “Come Save Me,” “The Throw,” “Man I Need” and most recently, “Uncertainty” in February of this year. They are also reportedly working on a Sophomore album.

Their music is often compared to bands like The Beach Boys, The Stone Roses, Primal Scream and The Happy Mondays. Lead vocalist Juno Ma, while speaking with New Zealand’s Under the Radar, said of the comparisons, “To say we’re the second coming of the Happy Mondays – that feels lazy and it feels like it’s undermining or ignoring the other ideas in the record and in the sound of the band. So it’s flattering, but I also think it’s lazy.”

The origin story for the band’s unusual name is as complex and layered as their sounds, often puzzling fans and critics alike.

“It’s a bit of a long story,” Gabriel Winterfield explained, “It stems from me having a guitar called a Fender Jag and then there’s this painting, you know the image of the Jaguar that we use? One of our mates, Gus (da Hoodrat) found it on the side of the road one night […] in fact I’d probably credit him with the naming of the band because it’d just be a bit of an in-joke between friends for Jono & I when we were working together. Then when we were in France the French would be like ‘oh jagwarmaaa’ (says in a French accent) and it sounded really cool.”

For fans of everything psychedelic and to those who just feel like discovering an up-and-coming musical force, the experience of dancing the night away at Lagoa’s Miranda on Friday with Jagwar Ma should be a great night.

What: Jagwar Ma
When: March 28th, Doors open at 8PM and show to begin at 10PM
Where: Miranda, Avenida Borges de Medeiros, 1424 – Piso 2. Lagoa
Entrance: R$70 (half price entry with 1kg of non-perishable food). Tickets available online here.


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