Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier may be a new name here but his Meier Group are well known in Europe, having toured extensively in Switzerland, Italy and France.

Now based in London, his new look Meier Group features saxophonists Gilad Atzmon, Dave O'Higgins and Rob Laver, bassist Tom Mason and drummer Asaf Sirkis. With the release of Orient and a tour set for February 2006, Meier is about to be a whole lot better known here as well.

Orient draws on a multitude of influences: Jazz, Flamenco, Latin and middle-eastern music are all passionately explored in a series of heartfelt acoustic modern jazz originals and all represent part of Meier's musical and personal world. His wife Songul is Turkish and he has spent time both there and in Spain. Orient draws on the captivating melodies and rhythms of both countries.

Nicolas studied arranging with Max Jendly and Francis Boland before earning a scholarship to Berklee in Boston, USA, immersing himself in classic American jazz and playing acoustic jazz and fusion. He has performed live with illustrious names such as Elvin Jones, Brad Meldau, Trilok Gurtu and Bill Evans.