ASZA was a pioneering world fusion group that performed from 1991 to 2003. Based in Vancouver, Canada, ASZA was unique, eclectic, imaginative, and entertaining. They were as original as they were virtuosic, seamlessly combining the musical styles and techniques of all the world’s music into tight cohesive performances. No matter what musical style, from Tuvan throat singing to Brazilian rumba’s or from Chinese folk melodies to African pygmy music, ASZA wove them together to produce a jaw dropping whirlwind tour of the music of the world. They came on to stage with over a hundred unique instruments and as many fascinating stories.

ASZA performed tours to South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Vietnam and across North America. They were the subject of two nationally televised documentaries in Canada, a national Prime Time TV Special in Vietnam, and were introduced to Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahatir. ASZA’s self-titled CD was nominated for Best World Music Album for Canada’s Juno awards. With credits that collectively ranged from performing with symphony orchestras to Cirque du Soleil, and from David Lindley and Strunz and Farah, to Aerosmith, Yes and the Cranberries, ASZA's versatility and musicality made them an international favorite.


ASZA's lineup changed over the years and has included:
Randy Raine-Reusch - (Halifax, Canada) - zheng, khaen, dulcimer, naw, dan bau, dutar, didjeridu, ney, kwii, bawu, hulusi, saw, whistles, voice, percussion

The group's leader and driving force, Randy is a composer, international concert-artist, writer, producer and world music consultant.  Randy has studied music in over ten countries with numerous teachers, from the jungles of Borneo, to the temples of  Korea and Japan. He has premiered works at three World Expos and is known for his collection of over 700 world instruments, Randy has worked with a wide range of artists including Pauline Oliveros, Sainkho Namtchylak, Barry Guy, Robert Dick, Aerosmith, Yes, The Cranberries, and Cirque du Soleil. Randy helped create the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia, as well as recorded two CDs of traditonal Sarawakian music. Randy tours regularly with Mei Han and as a solo artist.

Mei Han - (Beijing, China) - zheng, liu chin, ruan, voice, percussion, jaw harp

Mei Han is a rare blend of performer and scholar, specializing in the Chinese zheng (zither), the parent instrument of the Asian long zither family. Recognized internationally as one of the world's leading virtuosi and authorities on the zheng, Mei’s career spans Asia, Europe and North America. Mei began playing the zheng at ten years of age, advancing rapidly to study with a number of the most famous zheng masters in China. She was a featured soloist for over ten years with the prestigious Beijing Zhan You Ensemble, considered the premiere ensemble of its type in China. Coming to Canada in 1996, she rapidly became a prominent performer, performing at WOMAD Festival Singapore, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, the Vancouver Sacred Music Festival, the Chime Conference in Prague, and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.  Mei holds two Masters degrees in ethnomusicology, and wrote the zheng entry for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Mei also tours regularly with Randy Raine-Reusch.

Steve Dawson - (Vancouver) - slide guitar, Hawaiian guitar

Incorporating influences from jazz, blues, ragtime and bluegrass music, Steve Dawson has developed an exciting unique style of slide and Hawaiian guitar. He has toured extensively with Violinist Jesse Zubot as the duo Zubot and Dawson, performing at major jazz and folk festivals across North America and Europe. Steve has won numerous awards for his CDs with Zubot as well as his own recently released solo CD, Steve is also active as a guitar teacher with the Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop and as staff of the International Guitar Seminar with Bob Brozman, and John Renbourn.  Steve joined ASZA for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Michael Dunn - (Quebec) - guitar, Hawaiian guitar, kabosy

Michael Dunn is an internationally known instrument maker and performer, with a special interest in 1930s French jazz guitars in the style of Django Reinhardt.  Playing guitar since the age of eleven, Michael has expanded his interests to also include the African kora, the Malagasy kabosy, the Hawaiian guitar and numerous other world music instruments from his ever increasing collection. He has toured regularly throughout North America and Europe with Hawaiian steel guitar sensation Bob Brozman , performed Romanian Gypsy music with the Lache Cercel Ensemble , as well as leading his own group, The Hot Club of Mars.  His compositions for kora, kabosy and steel guitar have been recorded on CD by a number of artists in Europe and North America, and Michael is presently working on a CD of guitar and oud player featuring the music of Django Reinhardt as well as his own compositions. Michael is also active as a studio musician.

Joseph 'Pepe' Danza - (Montevideo, Uruguay) - djembe, udu, dumbek, shakuhachi, bansuri, guitar, percussion, voice

Joseph 'Pepe' Danza is an electrifying percussionist and multi- instrumentalist. A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, he began classical guitar studies at age eight, and started his professional career at thirteen. After studying at the National Conservatory, Pepe developed an interest in world music and spent three years studying shakuhachi in Japan, and two years studying Indian music in India and Sri Lanka. Moving to Canada in 1989 he quickly establishing himself as one of the foremost drummers and band leaders on the West coast. His credits include performances with South Indian master drummer Trichy Sankaran, and concert tours throughout Europe, Korea and New Zealand. 

Pepe is also an active composer, arranger, producer and Musical Director; and is presently the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Sacred Music Festival.

Laurence Mollerup - (Edmonton, Alberta) - 5-string bass, 6-string bass, upright bass

Laurence Mollerup is known as Vancouver top acoustic and electric bassist. Laurence has a foot in the Classical world, performing in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and numerous classical ensembles; in the jazz world, performing with the best of the local and visiting artists, including Herb Ellis and Louis Bellson; and in World Music, performing with a wide range of ensembles from Latin to Asian, and African to Middle Eastern. He is the bass at Vancouver Community College and is an excellent bass guitar maker.

Laurence has toured with Silk Road  Music and Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado, and is featured on Mei Han and Randy Raine-Reusch's CD DIstant Wind.

Fana Soro - (Ivory Coast) - balafon, djembe, percussion

Fana Soro is an internationally acclaimed percussionist and performer whose musical expertise includes the balafon (West African marimba), drumming and traditional West African dance. Chosen at the age of 7 to play the balafon, solo artist at age 11, and recruited into the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast at age 17, Fana has performed and taught West African music and dance internationally from a young age. After nine years with the National Ballet, he was invited to Norway to work for the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, bringing music to schools across Scandinavia and working as Artist in Residence at The Museum of Children’s Art in Olso. Since coming to Canada, Fana has established himself as an exceptional performer and teacher. His Masabo Culture Company performs at festivals and in schools both regionally and internationally. Fana also has performed with  Europe’s Super Djembé Kan, African sensation Alpha Yaya Diallo, and the African music and dance ensemble Marang.

Celso Machado  - (Ribeirao Preto, Brazil) - guitar, persussion, sintir, Kora, voice.

A founding member of ASZA, Celso remained with ASZA until 1994, when he decided to pursue a solo career. Machado is a stunning Brazilian guitartist and multi-instrumentalist who has gained a reputation as one of the most captivating entertainers you will ever see on stage. Celso has a growing instrument collection and is able to excel on most of them. Although best known for his stunning guitar compositions, he often appears on stage playing a Moroccan sintir, or an West African kora.  He performs regularly throughout North America and Europe, and has numerous CDs to his credit.  Celso still performs as a guest with ASZA, and also performs sporadically with Qiu Xia He.

Qiu Xia He - (Xian, China) - Pipa, voice, whistles, da-ruan, percussion

A founding member of ASZA who remained until the group went through a personnel change in Dec. 2001, Qiu Xia He specializes in the Chinese pipa, a four string tear drop lute. Born and raised in Shaanxi province, China, Qiu Xia left home at an early age to study at the Xian Academy of Music, and remained there as an instructor after graduation. Coming to Canada in 1989, she quickly gained the attention of North America audiences as a solo artist and with her own ensemble, Silk Road Music, which specializes in Chinese music. She often performs with Brazilian guitarist Celso Machado and regularly tours with Silk Road Music.

Andre Thibault - (Montreal, Quebec) - Flamenco guitar, oud, mbira, percussion, voice, whistles.

A member of ASZA until 2001, Andre is a specialist on the Flamenco guitar and Moroccan oud.  Raised in Montreal, Canada, Andre began his studies at an early age, and over the years developed a firm foundation in Classical, Spanish, and Jazz guitar techniques. His interest in North African and World music led him to study the oud. Thibault has continued to learn an ever increasing number of world instruments, and his interweaving of the traditions Arabic, Flamenco and World music have led him to redefine the guitar and ud, creating a new voice that is uniquely his.