Zubot and Dawson are a "Strang" music group from Vancouver, BC. Canada. The group is composed of Jesse Zubot on fiddle and Steve Dawson on guitar who play "Strang", which is in short a blend of folk and jazz music.
Zubot and Dawson started their career in a pop oriented group the SpiritMerchants and later moved to a new style of music called "Strang". An important part of the history of Zubot and Dawson is their fusion of many musical styles to create "Strang" or what they call "acoustic music that kicks ass". They were also influenced by many musical styles such as: classical, country, folk, funk, groove, rock, ethnic, Hawaiian, bluegrass, 2 or 3 kinds of jazz, swing, blues, electronica, experimental and pop. Artists such as Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, Ry Cooder, Darol Anger and David "Dawg" Grisman influenced them as well. Over their 5 years of playing together they developed a style where they could anticipate the other's musical ideas, which lead to their unique chemistry. As Zubot and Dawson evolved in their career it is possible to see how their first CD Strang was more heavily based on an acoustic duo aesthetic and their later CD's are a venue for more expansion on the ideas of "Strang".
The group has received many grants from the Canadian government through the Sound Recording Development Program and performed on the stages of key European festivals of world music in 2003, in a promotional tour entitled Sonic Weave.
They have also been for nominated and won several awards. In 2001 they were nominated for Best Roots & Traditional Album for a Group for their album Tractor Parts: Further Adventures In Strang. In 2003 Zubot and Dawson won the Juno for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year for a Group for their album Chicken Scratch. They also won the Canadian Independent Music Award for Best Album of the Year in 2000 for their album Tractor Parts: Further Adventures In Strang.
In addition to their musical accomplishments Steve Dawson started a recording company Black Hen Music in 1995. This label has been responsible for the recordings of Zubot and Dawson and Steve has been Creative Director ever since.
Jesse Zubot plays fiddle and mandolin as well as electric mandolin in Zubot and Dawson. Jesse's first album based on improvisation is entitled Dementia and was released in the fall of 2006. The CD plays with the concepts of solo-improvised violin, micro-mandolin orchestras and minimal electronic-influenced sound design.
Steve Dawson plays acoustic, tremolo acoustic, National tricone and Weissenborn Hawaiian guitars, the later, which is a hollow-necked lap steel instrument. Currently Steve Dawson is working on two albums Waiting For The Lights To Come Up and Telescope both of which are due out in 2008. Telescope is a fully instrumental CD, which centres on the pedal steel guitar. This project started as Steve received a grant from the Canada Council For The Arts to study the pedal steel guitar with Greg Leisz. Steve Dawson was nominated for a 2007 Juno for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year in the Solo category for We Belong To The Gold Coast.
While the group started as a duo other players were added over the years. Andrew Downing joined Zubot and Dawson as a double bass player.Elliot Polsky joined the group as percussion player. The group also occasionally features musical friends such as Bob Brozman and Kelly Joe Phelps.
Both Steve Dawson and Jesse Zubot also participate in the project Great Uncles of the Revolution. The group's music is hard to categorize, as it is a mix between jazz, roots, classical, and gypsy music . Great Uncles of the Revolution won the 2004 Juno for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year for their album Blow the House Down.